Artificial Intelligence has majorly shifted the jobs statistics debate. At one point, while the world mulls over 30% of all jobs being siphoned off by 2030 ( a McKinsey report indicates) there is also an upside to AI. Despite all talks of doom and gloom, AI-led automation will also generate a new set of jobs that workforce has to be ready for, thereby ushering in a skills-based economy.
It is very important to keep pace with change and not become irrelevant. A study indicates that 14% of the workforce will need to change their skillset to stay competitive. And the field is not restricted to people with a background in Deep Learning only, everyone can participate and take part in this journey. “It is not just technical expertise that is alone required, there is a lot of business knowledge that also comes with it. The question that most business leaders now face is how can one build capabilities in the organisation in order to drive this wave of digital transformation,” a speaker shared this thought at the Rising 2019.
On the other hand, we see more and more businesses experimenting with digital technologies and implementing large-scale projects. And the question companies are bracing with is — do we hire or reskill?
In our recent study on the AI landscape in India, AIM provided a well-rounded view of the AI and Data Science ecosystem in India and how the industry has grown by close to 30 per cent in the last one year and has proven to be a competitive advantage for businesses across functions, such as sales, marketing, finance, customer service and IT. The mature and well-funded AI ecosystem indicates that the startups and companies can become the next generation of market leaders and also create new job roles in this domain. Our recent report clearly highlighted how AI has led to unprecedented potential for value creation for organisations of all sizes. “In fact, the fast-paced growth of AI makes it more conducive for younger businesses to leverage the technology earlier than blue-chip companies,” Sumeet Bansal, CEO & Co-Founder of Analytixlabs, emphasised in the recent report.
With the buzz in AI increasing, there has been a surge in AI-centric roles with close to 57% of organisations looking for candidates with over five years of experience in AI. Findings indicate that the top skill-set the employers look for is Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Neural Networks, Analytics, Cloud Computing & Pattern Recognition.
Given the current scenario, AI has opened plenty of job opportunities at mid and senior level. What’s in it for software engineers and IT professionals who are at a crossroads in their career and want to pivot to AI and machine learning roles.
Tops-down Approach to Upskilling
Now, here’s a fundamental challenge for India’s workforce in an AI-led economy that has developed new roles, spawned new skills and even the need to work in agile settings. With startups and companies gearing towards an AI technology stack and building products with machine learning, leading tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are open sourcing developer tools to empower the developer community to do more with AI and at the same time gain a competitive advantage. On the other end of the spectrum are industries that are forging tie-ups with AI service providers to leverage AI capabilities across their products and services. So, what’s of importance here for IT professionals is to tap into new insights and understand the evolving AI tools landscape.
Couple of challenges that India’s workforce face in an AI-era
- Increasingly, the workforce is being tasked with your employees with ready-to-use AI enabled tools supporting their day-to-day work to increase productivity
- Building products with ML and bake it into existing services
There is a significant shift in mindset when it comes to reskilling — both from the organisational end and professionals who are taking the study route to level the playing field. There is a marked shift from upskilling a few isolated people in a core data science team to corporate data literacy that has become the new mandate in organisations. In order to stay competitive, organisations are now realizing that to gain competitive advantage from data, every employee must become data literate and “data smart”. This in turn has driven a strong demand for AI and analytics training across functions with senior leadership teams also coming on board for a hands-on training on how to deal with data. This is followed up with more specialised and advanced training for ML teams.
With machine learning becoming core to enterprises, companies need a strategic approach on how to get started with artificial intelligence.Partnering with stakeholders like AnalytixLabs that also have an entrenched consulting practice can help firms and mid-sized organisations embed AI capabilities. From prototyping to productionizing, Deep Learning has gradually become mainstream. Irrespective of industry, this year with every client we have witnessed applications of Deep Learning gaining impetus and deliver effective solutions to some of the most complex business problems, shared Bansal. For those who want to discover more about Deep Learning and how to implement popular DL frameworks such as Keras and Tensorflow, check this hands-on task-oriented course aimed at IT professionals and aspirants.
Also, if you are interested to learn about job opportunities in AI from industry thought leaders and how you can get a start in this field, check out this upcoming meetup organised by AIMinds & AnalytixLabs in Gurugram on April 5, 2019.
Click here to register!
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Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.