Is It Wise to Get Into an AI Job?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is about being able to sift through mountains of data rapidly to guide strategy and operational tactics. But for those entering the IT job market, or wishing to upskill and move up the food chain, is it wise to get into an AI job?

A recent survey suggests that AI skills are only going to gain popularity in the coming years. Read on to learn how this industry is impacting the wider technology job market.

Read more: AI Equity in Business Technology

AI Jobs Are on the Rise

Application development firm Reign surveyed more than 1,000 people across the U.S. to explore the growth of AI and its impact on different industries and their workers.

Some study highlights:

  • Industry growth: Over the past decade, the U.S. has seen a 21% increase in the number of AI jobs, plus a 27% increase in AI-related job wages.
  • Possible disruptions: 54% of respondents were either moderately or very concerned that AI would negatively disrupt their job — those in the production industry were the most concerned.
  • AI’s impact: 23% of employees in the production industry feel AI will start to have a large impact on their industry within the next 1-2 years. Another 25% believe the disruption will be felt within five years.
  • Eager to learn: 45% of people said they were very likely to consider learning tech skills related to working with AI in the near future.
  • Taking the lead: 47% of millennials said they were very likely to consider learning skills directly related to AI in the near future, the most of any generation.

The majority of workers, then, feel that AI will begin having a large impact on their industry over the next few years. So yes, it may well prove to be wise to add AI to existing IT skillsets.

“The demand for workers who can develop AI technology is increasing as are the effects of AI on workers around the world,” said Felipe Silberstein, Vice President of Strategy at Reign.

He cited a Forbes article claiming that 90% of leading businesses had already invested in AI, and half had already implemented AI to directly increase productivity.

Read more: AI Software Trends for 2021

What Is an AI Job?

Where exactly is the money in AI? According to the survey, top AI wage earners are found in industries such as:

  • Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
  • Merchant wholesalers and durable goods
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing
  • Computer and electronic product manufacturing

According to Silberstein, jobs requesting AI or machine learning skills are expected to increase by 71% in the next five years. The primary job titles or roles are:

 
AI Job Titles
 
Data Scientist
Senior Software
Engineer
Machine Learning
Engineer
Data Engineer
Software Engineer
Software Developer
Software Architect
Senior Data
Scientist
Full-Stack
Developer
Principal
Software Engineer

AI Presents an Opportunity for IT Workers

Those currently working in IT would benefit by obtaining AI-based certifications in alignment with their career goals.

There are plenty of options out there. A quick search revealed online courses available from the likes of Microsoft, IBM, Intel, MIT, Stanford, and many others. Similarly, those just beginning an IT career are advised to take whatever AI courses are available.

In the current environment, most people in IT benefit significantly by having security skills. There is so much attention on cybersecurity that IT personnel with supplemental security capabilities are in high demand. In all likelihood, the same thing will be true for those with AI talents in the coming years.

Read next: 4 Benefits of Using AI in Cybersecurity

Drew Robb
Drew Robb has been writing about IT and engineering for more than 25 years. Originally from Scotland, he now lives in Florida.

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