Which Industries are Hiring A.I. and Machine Learning Roles?

Companies everywhere are pouring resources into artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning (ML) initiatives. Many technologists believe that apps “smartened” with A.I. and ML tools will eventually offer better customer personalization; managers hope that A.I. will lead to better data analysis, which in turn will power better business strategies.

But which industries are actually hiring A.I. specialists? If you answer that question, it might give you a better idea of where those resources are being deployed. Fortunately, CompTIA’s latest Tech Jobs Report offers a breakdown of A.I. hiring, using data from Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Check it out:

Perhaps it’s no surprise that manufacturing tops this list; after all, manufacturers have been steadily automating their production processes for years, and it stands to reason that they would turn to A.I. and ML to streamline things even more. In theory, A.I. will also help manufacturers do everything from reducing downtime to improving supply chains—although it may take some time to get the models right. 

The presence of healthcare, banking, and public administration likewise seem logical. “These three industries have the money to invest in A.I. and ML right now and have the greatest opportunity to see the investment pay off, fast,” Gus Walker, director of product at Veritone, an A.I. tech company based in Costa Mesa, California, told Dice late last year.“That being said, the pandemic has caused industries hit the hardest to take a step back and look at how they can leverage AI and ML to rebuild or adjust in the new normal.”

Compared to overall tech hiring, the number of A.I.-related job postings is still relatively small. Right now, mastering and deploying A.I. and machine learning is something of a specialist industry; but as these technologies become more commodified, and companies develop tools that allow more employees to integrate A.I. and ML into their projects, the number of job postings for A.I. and ML positions could increase over the next several years. Indeed, one IDC report from 2020 found three-quarters of commercial enterprise applications could lean on A.I. in some way by 2021.

It’s also worth examining where all that A.I. hiring is taking place; it’s interesting that Washington DC tops this particular list, with New York City a close second; Silicon Valley and Seattle, the nation’s other big tech hubs, are somewhat further behind, at least for the moment. Washington DC is notable not only for federal government hiring, but the growing presence of companies such as Amazon that hunger for talent skilled in artificial intelligence:

Jobs that leverage artificial intelligence are potentially lucrative, with a current median salary (according to Burning Glass) of $105,000. It’s also a skill-set that more technologists may need to become familiar with, especially managers and executives. “A.I. is not going to replace managers but managers that use A.I. will replace those that do not,” Rob Thomas, senior vice president of IBM’s cloud and data platform, recently told CNBC. If you mention A.I. or ML on your resume and applications, make sure you know your stuff before the job interview; chances are good you’ll be tested on it.