Loads of companies are hiring for AI jobs, and they’re willing to pay top dollar
The emergence of AI in the workplace has brought with it concerns from some workers about losing their jobs to software. That tension played a significant role in the Writers Guild of America strike and a lesser one in the UAW strike.
On the flip side, the rapid adoption of AI across a wide variety of industries is leading to huge demand for specialists who know how to work with AI and get the best results for business success.
“We have to think about it in a holistic manner,” Subodha Kumar, founding director of the Center for Business Analytics and Disruptive Technologies at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, told BOSS about AI in the supply chain. “We should not think about AI taking jobs. It should be more like how human-machine collaboration can happen.”
AI can take over some repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. But it doesn’t have intuition or common sense. With customers looking for more and more services, humans can take on those more complex tasks.
“Now, once humans start doing advanced jobs, the initial salary in many jobs will go up because human employees will be doing more advanced tasks.”
We’ve already started to see that happen, with high-paying jobs such as Netflix’s posting for a machine learning project manager role with a $900,000 salary offering.
Across the globe, the number of job listings mentioning AI has more than doubled since 2021. More than 2% of total postings in the U.S. are for AI jobs, and advanced economies such as Germany, France, and the UK have seen demand for workers with AI skills skyrocket.
With the rapid adoption of tools such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, Dall-E, and other AI systems, competition for AI skills is fierce in a variety of industries. In addition to Netflix, corporations like Walmart, Amazon, Hinge, and Upwork are among those hiring for AI jobs. They’re looking for AI developers, engineers, digital product managers, and cyber security experts. Some of those big players might even build entire AI departments in the next few years.
“Even more than that, nearly every department in most major companies will have some AI components in the coming years,” Ashu Dubey, co-founder and CEO of generative AI platform Gleen, told Yahoo Finance. “For example, we built an internal benefits bot to handle HR inquiries from team members. So not only do non-AI businesses like Wal-Mart need AI-trained team members, even AI companies will be incorporating generative AI solutions in-house.”
When it comes to generative AI, knowing the right prompts to achieve the desired effect really is an acquired skill. Job ad search engine Adzuna noted that in May 2021 it had just 10 listings related to generative AI jobs. That number is now in the thousands.
Tech companies are of course looking for employees with AI skills, but that’s hardly the only sector. Retail, consumer goods, finance, insurance, they’re all hiring for AI jobs.
Naturally, all that demand creates lucrative opportunities for job-seekers with AI skills. That $900,000 Netflix job was enough of an outlier at the time it was posted to generate a lot of headlines, but there are hundreds of high-paying AI job listings out there. Apple and Google are reportedly offering $1 million or more for some positions.
“Companies don’t want to be left behind, especially when there’s a new technology boom like we’re seeing with AI right now and, before this, with crypto and the metaverse,” Brian D. Evans, CEO and founder of BDE Ventures, told Yahoo Finance. “So these companies put out these outrageous salaries so they don’t miss out on attracting good talent.”
The number of LinkedIn profiles listing AI skills has soared, and a Global Talent Trends survey discovered nearly 90% of professionals are excited to work with AI. For workers with the right skills, it’s another boom in an already strong job market, and it’s likely to last for years.
As with any new technology, change will come quickly and workers will need to update their skill sets to keep pace. But with such strong demand for those skills from a lot of different employers in various industries, there’s a lot of reasons to do so. In some cases, there are a million or more reasons.
Schools of Thought
As we’ve seen with the proliferation of AI-generated images online, there’s a noticeable difference in skills between those who are good at prompting and those who are not. To be sought-after for lucrative AI jobs, hopefuls need to speak AI’s language. Quite literally that means proficiency in programming languages such as Python, R, and C#. It also means familiarity with the subtleties and differences between various AI applications. What gets the best results on Dall-E might not be as effective on Midjourney, for example. As generative AI tools are relatively new, jobseekers can feel free to play around with different ones to get up to speed. It’s hardly as if prospective employers can demand someone have five or more years’ experience with new technology.
But for students or people in the workforce looking to add to their skillsets, universities are quickly adding AI-based curricula to prepare for a new era of AI jobs. Traditionally tech-focused schools such as Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Stanford are leading the charge in the U.S. But as a career in AI becomes a viable and normalized path, AI studies will proliferate, as the high-ranking programs at the University of California and University of Illinois attest.
Though AI can help us automate a lot of tasks, that will require highly skilled humans behind the scenes running the show. As Kumar said, more consumer demand for services will create more complex tasks for humans to do.
“So yes, we will see some problems in the short run and in transition, but in the long run we’ll be much better off with the machines doing some jobs,” he said.
It will be human ingenuity that powers the AI jobs revolution.