If you’ve spent any time in the tech industry, you’ve no doubt heard quite a bit about artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning. Based on that chatter, you might think companies everywhere are trying to fill many thousands of roles that utilize artificial intelligence. Is that assumption accurate?
As a new CompTIA analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data makes clear, a rising number of jobs in “emerging tech” deal with A.I. In December 2021, some 13 percent of all “emerging tech” job postings mentioned A.I. as a necessary component of the job (and “emerging tech” job postings constitute roughly 30 percent of all tech job postings).
In states like California and Texas, where enormous tech companies are looking for highly specialized talent (including A.I. experts), there are thousands of A.I.-related job openings every month; in other states, the average number generally drops to several hundred. Check out the chart:
Although jobs that deal heavily with A.I. aren’t as prevalent as, say, software engineering, there’s a general expectation that the number of A.I.-related jobs will increase dramatically in coming years. For example, Burning Glass (which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country) predicts that jobs that heavily involve machine learning (a prominent subfield of artificial intelligence) will grow 76.3 percent over the next 10 years.
As you might expect for such a highly specialized field, A.I. experts can make quite a bit of money. O’Reilly recently estimated the average salary of data and A.I. professionals at $146,000 per year (that’s from 2,778 respondents in the U.S. and 284 in the U.K.), with salaries increasing an average of 2.25 percent annually. (That breakdown also highlighted a significant gender pay gap, with men working in A.I. and data making an average of $150,000 per year, while women made $126,000.) At huge tech companies such as Google, the addition of stock options to compensation packages can make specialists’ total pay climb even higher.
Consulting, finance, healthcare, and technology companies are all notable hirers of A.I. talent, and their needs will only increase in coming years. A recent study of A.I. use-cases showed many companies leveraging A.I. in the context of sales, CRM, chatbots, cybersecurity, and marketing automation. Keep that in mind if A.I. interests you as a career path.