Top 5 countries with the greatest opportunities for AI jobs
Why should you consider a career in artificial intelligence (AI)? For starters, it promises to deliver some of the most significant and disruptive innovations of this century. From self-driving cars, robotic assistants, to automated disease diagnosis – are all products of an emerging AI revolution that could reshape how we live and work.
With the demand for talented engineers more than doubling in the last few years, there are limitless opportunities for professionals who wish to work on the cutting edge of AI research and development.
“AI will be a great transformer, improving the efficiency of many sectors… and enabling the creation of higher-value services that can lead to overall economic growth,” says Microsoft general manager of mixed reality education Dan Ayoub.
Today, careers in AI have developed exponentially to meet the demands of digitally transformed industries. However, while there are plenty of jobs available in the field, there is unfortunately a shortage of candidates with the required skills to deliver.
The New York Times’ insight into the industry revealed that people with just a few years of experience can expect base pay of between 300,000 US dollars and US$500,000 annually, while seasoned professionals can rake in millions. One independent AI lab told the publication that there were only 10,000 individuals worldwide with the right skills to spearhead serious new AI projects.
In some countries, the need is greater. Identifying which should be a crucial first step for those looking to make their mark on the industry in an impactful way. To help you plan your journey, here’s a list of countries leading the way in development and seeking specialists the most:
The US is a leader in attracting AI and machine learning (ML) talent. A study by Pysa shows that the top 20 AI companies are spending more than US$650 million to hire AI talent and that there are more than 10,000 positions available at top employers across the country.
The total annual investment among the 20 employers that are looking to hire AI talents is US$33,292,647, which indicates that the future success of the companies heavily depends on the technology and the talent to create them.
According to Glassdoor and Pysa, the top recruiters in US are Amazon, Google, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Facebook, Intel, Rocket Fuel, General Electric, Cylance, Oculus VR, Booz Allen Hamilton, Huawei, Adobe, and Accenture – amongst many others.
After the US, Canada is gradually becoming a go-to place for AI experts. According to an Indeed report, jobs in Canada requiring AI skills have grown by 1,069% since 2013 — a growth rate faster than both the UK and US.
Companies that are actively hiring for AI skills in Canada include the Royal Bank of Canada, IBM, Scotiabank, KPMG, Amazon, LoyaltyOne, TD Bank, Kinaxis, Huawei and Capital One – to name a few.
Additionally, global tech companies such as DeepMind, Microsoft, Facebook and Google among others are also setting up their research labs in the country and tapping Canadian talents to head new AI arms.
There are shortages of digital skills, especially AI and ML, in every country in Europe. In every major European tech centre, be it Berlin, London, Paris, Eindhoven, Amsterdam or Stockholm, there are jobs waiting for professionals with the right expertise.
In the UK, these jobs pay well above the average salary, with data scientists taking home £56,385 a year and ML engineers earning an average of £54,617 a year.
Due to the demand, European countries have been forced to recruit skilled specialists from outside the EU to fill the vacancies. Along with the UK, Finland is the only EU country to adopt an AI strategy at government level, which means digital businesses have government support and legal framework to develop and implement innovations. To battle the skill shortage, Finland’s digital game industry is aggressively recruiting digital experts from India, China, Russia and the US.
China has ambitious plans to become an AI global leader by 2030; the country reportedly has a domestic AI industry worth almost US$150 billion. This goal is looks achievable as the nation has already established itself as a global leader in AI research.
China, however, is facing a similar problem faced by other countries: a talent shortage. The country needs some five million professionals in the field, and the domestic job market is unable to fill its large amount of advertised positions. Specialists with five years of experience available for employment are a rare commodity, so Chinese companies are in need for such professionals.
A LinkedIn report on the Digital Workforce Future notes that India is a testing ground for some of the most exciting applications of AI, be it in farming, healthcare, to recruitment.
As the country heads towards becoming Digital India, the IT industry will require 50% more workforce equipped with digital skills.
According to outsourcing and consulting group Kelly OCG India, the country would see a 60% rise in the demand for AI and ML professionals. Candidates with PhD degrees in AI-related technologies are especially sought-after (and rare).