Why Talent Shortage In AI May End Soon


Organisations across the world are witnessing talent shortage in AI and are struggling to hire competent employees in this ever-changing landscape. Since every company is striving for a data-driven approach, there is a rise in the integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence, data science, among others, to achieve business objectives. However, the absence of superior talent in the market is impeding the growth of firms. In fact, research tells us that 85% of AI projects fail due to risk, confusion and lack of upskilling in the employees. 

“It is very challenging to get excellent developers in the space even though AI and Data Science has been the most sought-after skill,” says Gaurav Mehrotra, vice president and head of business data solutions at Innoviti Payment Solutions. 

A recent report published by noted online learning platform Coursera states that out of the 45 million learners on the platform, two million enrolled in AI-based content in 2019. These courses were not only taken by aspirants but also CXOs and employees, resulting in a sudden surge. 

“With the growing relevance of new-age skills needed to keep pace with the changing workplace, employers are acknowledging the importance of stackable credentials,” said Raghav Gupta, managing director at Coursera India and APAC.

Insights Into The Report

Coursera’s learner base grew by more than 8 million — with the US, India, China, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, and Russia being their most important markets. The proliferation of mobile also lead to learning on the go, with more than 40% of learners accessing the platform from a mobile device.

AI courses were on the rise as along with engineers, non-tech were active in enrolling for machine learning-related courses. For instance, AI For Everyone – a non-technical premier course from deeplearning.ai and Andrew Ng – made it in the top 10 list in its very first year. It was the fifth-most popular course of the year globally.

Other famous courses were related to machine learning, deep learning, Python basics, and introductory TensorFlow for AI course. However, not all the courses were technology-centric, and some of the surprising entry was: Learning How to Learn and The Science of Well-Being.

Top 10 Courses On Coursera:

  1. Machine Learning (Standford)
  2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects (McMaster University and UC San Diego)
  3. The Science of Well Being (Yale)
  4. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) (University of Michigan)
  5. AI for Everyone (deeplearning.ai)
  6. Neural Networks and Deep Learning (deeplearning.ai)
  7. English for Career Development (University of Pennsylvania)
  8. Algorithms, Part I (Princeton)
  9. Introduction to TensorFlow for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning (deeplearning.ai)
  10. What is Data Science (IBM) 

Tech Education Is In High Demand

The proliferation of ‘AI For Everyone’ course demonstrates the rise of interest among people from different backgrounds. To keep pace with the digital transformation, learners from all corners realise the importance of upskilling.

One of the biggest problem areas for enterprises is the lack of skilled talent in AI. This is one of the reasons why companies fail to implement planned projects. In another report, it was found out that 93% of US and UK organisations have devised the roadmap, but about 51% of them accepted that they don’t have the AI talent for materialising the plan. 

Now with recent Coursera’s End of Year Round-Up 2019, one can see the rise in AI and expect that the skill gap will become narrow down in the years to come.

Closing The Demand-Supply Gap In AI Talent

Several universities have picked up the pace in including AI-related courses, but are insufficient to enrol a huge number of aspirants. Besides, middle and senior management need to upskill to hander tasks related to AI. Thus, we witness the rise of e-learning courses, which are driven by both IT employees and aspirants alike. Undoubtedly, such a surge will infuse aspirants into the field, but will it be enough to fill the skill gaps? Yes, an increasing number of learners, although without a degree, learning from short courses will at least empower them to carry out basic tasks and learn advanced skills as they move forward.

However, as per a World Economic Forum report, 75 million jobs may be displaced due to AI, but 133 million new roles will surface by 2022. The demand is more and may seem like we cannot fill the gap. But, as the percentage of e-learning is increasing, we might be able to reach the target.


Two million learners in just one e-learning platform a great achievement, and as a result, it will further invoke interest among aspirants and learners to enrol in technology-related courses. Besides, firms are also upskilling their workforces in various cutting-edge technologies. Firms like Google, Microsoft, among others are providing free courses through Microsoft Personal Program and Analytics Academy. Collectively, in the coming years’ technology will further democratising among learners all around the world, thereby, filling the talent shortage in AI.

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Rohit Yadav
Rohit is a technology journalist and technophile who likes to communicate the latest trends around cutting-edge technologies in a way that is straightforward to assimilate. In a nutshell, he is deciphering technology. Email: rohit.yadav@analyticsindiamag.com

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