AI Skills: The Must-Have Competence for a Tech Professional

As more and more industries adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI), there is a new pocket of demand unfolding for AI professionals. And it’s a big one. “We’re at the beginning of a golden age of AI. Recent advancements have already led to an invention that previously lived in the realm of science fiction—and we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible”. – Jeff Bezos, Founder, and CEO – Amazon

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a fringe technology anymore. It has achieved mainstream adoption and sound investments in a brief period. Almost every industry is using AI Tools, AI Models, and AI Solutions for various use-cases. The demand for skilled AI professionals is hitting the roof as enterprises are looking for the right talent to deploy AI.

AI is here, where are you?

You may be a newcomer joining the industry, or you may be a seasoned programming professional, but eventually, your professional domain is going to gravitate towards AI or its associated bundle of skills. In a recent Deloitte’s global study of AI early adopters, most adopters were seen to face AI skill gaps and were looking for expertise to boost their capabilities. 68 percent reported a moderate-to-extreme AI skills gap and the top four most-needed positions cluster towards ‘AI builders’ (those professionals who can create AI solutions). 

  1. AI Researchers — who can invent new kinds of AI algorithms and systems
  2. Software Developers — who can architect and code AI systems
  3. Data Scientists — who can analyze and extract meaningful insights from data and
  4. Project Managers — who can execute AI projects according to the plan

That’s not all. Organizations need skills beyond the ‘building’ AI solutions. They also need ‘AI Translators’ who bridge the divide between the business and technical staff. Such AI Translators are also required both at the front and back-end of building AI solutions.

Industries are investing in advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions and algorithms, and they need a vast set of competencies in some specific areas to make these investments work.

  1. Data Science
  2. Machine Learning
  3. Algorithm Design
  4. Algorithm Training
  5. Natural Language Processing
  6. Data Models
  7. Machine Learning
  8. Automated Machine Learning (AutoML)
  9. APIs, Pre-trained machine models and Cloud tools for AI
  10. Deep Learning
  11. Neural Networks
  12. Industry-specific AI application
  13. AI Security
  14. Reinforcement Learning
  15. Algorithm correction and Black-box problems

The expanse of AI capabilities is getting wider and wider as enterprises scramble to shorten their AI learning-curves. The real impact of AI would be garnered not by those who invest early, or those who invest more, but by those who can translate their investments into outcomes with the right competencies by their side.

AI is IT’s New Name

In a survey (Netwrix) of 937 professionals done recently, it was observed that IT skills shortage causes organizations to prioritize investment in IT staff education.

  • The share of CIOs and IT directors who plan to invest in IT education has jumped from 20 percent to 38 percent, after the pandemic-driven crisis.
  • 31 percent of organizations have planned to educate IT personnel. This was 19 percent before the pandemic.
  • Another exciting trend is that organizations do not need just technical mastery in AI but also a grip on the application and business side of it.

As a Deloitte report confirms, the AI-skills gap stood at;

  • 32 percent for AI researchers and 19 percent for business leaders – for those that have up to five production AI systems.
  • 21 percent and 35 percent respectively for AI researchers and business leaders- for those with over 20 production AI systems

This bracket of companies also feels the need for software developers (28 percent), data scientists (27 percent), user experience designers (23 percent), and subject-matter experts (15 percent).

This makes skilling in AI promising in potential growth, compensation, and career opportunities. If you are learning Python, Angular, TensorFlow etc. then you already know how this space is going to fuel the world’s future. AI is where you learn what’s hot and what’s cool at the same time. Start scouting for the right platforms and programs that give you the best yield on your time, existing skills, learning abilities, and career goals.

AI is calling. Be there.