The year 2020 has witnessed some massive transformations of the decade with countries going under lockdown and millions of professionals losing their jobs overnight. Post seven months of isolation, when things are now beginning to return to normal, businesses have started looking to survive the post-COVID era. With tech professionals becoming a critical asset amid this crisis, companies have started putting out their resources for recruiting the right tech talent to remain relevant. And, thus, there has been a gradual rise in demand for professionals with advanced technical skills.
While tech skills have always been sought after, some skills are expected to gain more traction than others in the post-COVID world. In fact, various reports and studies conducted at the beginning of year highlighted a rise in domains like artificial intelligence, deep learning, data analytics and machine learning. Despite the lockdown, these domains continued to develop at a steady pace.
According to a recent study done by Analytics India Magazine, it has been noted that open jobs for analytics professionals have the highest proportion at 33.7%, which is then followed by machine learning at 20.4% and cybersecurity at 15.4%. This could be attributed to the immense amount of data that is generated in every transaction across B2B and B2C segments. Such data also shows that despite the recession, there is still a requirement for data analysis and automation to reduce redundancies, and to safeguard critical data.
AI/ML Can Help In Adapting To The Change
To remain relevant in the era beyond COVID, businesses are critically looking for tech talent and skills that can help them adapt to the new change. And for that, artificial intelligence and machine learning have turned out to be the critical skills that are creating a buzz in the industry. Not only the technologies have vast use cases in the industry but are also helping in significant innovations for the post-pandemic world.
With businesses expected to automate their operations and primary manual roles, the requirement for AI and ML experts have been on the rise. As a matter of fact, LinkedIn’s job report for this year noted that the hiring growth for AI specialists has grown to 74% annually in the past few years. On the other hand, according to another job portal, Indeed, the average base salary of a machine learning engineer is $145,539 per year in the US and a median wage of 13.6 Lakhs in India.
The data show that in spite of the economic downturn, the requirement for AI and ML talents has to be steady without any decrease in their salaries. The report further noted that skills like TensorFlow, Python, Natural Language Processing are the highest in demand and thus will be critical for professionals to land on AI/ML jobs.
Agreeing to this, Ammar Jagirdar, Product Head at Qure.ai said, while the demand for skilled data scientists and engineers has always been strong, in the post COVID era, we appreciate the importance of adaptability. “Our world has changed rapidly and may transform further, but we’ll be ready for these challenges,” said Jagirdar. “At Qure, we are looking for candidates with experience in deep learning R&D and product deployment, specifically for healthcare. We are also presently hiring for data science positions as well as front-end and back-end engineering roles.”
Even Lakshya Sivaramakrishnan, Program Lead at Google believes that machine learning and data science will be the tech skills that will massively gain traction in the post COVID era. “This is because more and more companies will be looking for more adaptability and flexibility post the pandemic and would adapt to the required change to stay relevant.” However, she also believes that businesses cannot keep building models without having professionals with engineering standpoint, and that’s where mean stack developers come into play.
Indeed shared a recent report on top ten most in-demand tech jobs, which highlighted a 30% growth in tech jobs listings and how developers, systems integration engineers and SAS programmers are most coveted. It stated that the average annual salary of a software engineer manager has increased to $144,793 and a SAS ABAP developer’s highest salary earring is $139,920. These numbers highlight the increased requirement of these lucrative skills in the industry.
With that being said, no one can deny the importance of AI and ML in almost every industry, including healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing, education, etc. When asked, Abhinav Tushar, Head of AI at Vernacular.ai, stated that, with machine learning gaining traction, there is more demand for work involving automated analysis of the text, audio and video media content. “Therefore, I think ML for analysis on speech/text has overall been exceptionally high in demand in recent times.”
Thus, the possibilities are endless, and one can apply machine learning skills to every requirement — starting from developing chatbots for better customer service to improving workplace communication and enhancing cybersecurity. Thus professionals who are delving into the fields of AI and ML are definitely going to be most in-demand for the post-COVID world.
With such evidence in hand, it can be established that the post-COVID world will be way advanced than today with enterprises adopting emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Since AI and ML will be the new norm rather than the exception, it is critical for companies as well as professionals to look at their strategies and find ways to delve into these evolving fields to stay relevant post-COVID.
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Sejuti currently works as Senior Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at email@example.com