AI driving ‘next generation’ of UK jobs

The uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) by industry will drastically change the UK job market in the coming years – with 133 million new jobs expected to be created globally.

In the UK alone, up to a third of jobs will be automated or likely to change as a result of the emergence of AI, impacting 10.5 million workers, according to recruiter Robert Walters and market analysis firm Vacancy Soft.

IT professionals dedicated to data management appear to be the fastest growing area within large or global entities, with volumes increasing ten-fold in three years – an increase in vacancies of 160 per cent since 2015.

Data roles across the board have increased by 80 per cent since 2015, with key areas of growth including data scientists and engineers.

The emergence of data scientist as a mainstream profession has seen job vacancies increasing by 110 per cent year-on-year. The same trend can be seen with data engineers, averaging 86 per cent year-on-year job growth.

The rise of cybercrime has resulted in professional services - particularly within banking and financial services - hiring aggressively for information security professionals since 2016, however since then volumes have held steady.

Within professional services, vacancies for data analysts (up 19.5 per cent), data manager (64.2 per cent), data scientist (28.8 per cent), and data engineer (62 per cent) have all increased year-on-year.

Ollie Sexton, principal at Robert Walters, commented that as businesses become ever more reliant on AI, there is an increasing amount of pressure on the processes of data capture and integration.

“Our job force cannot afford to not get to grips with data and digitalisation – since 2015 the volume of data created worldwide has more than doubled, increasing (on average) by 28 per cent year-on-year.

The top industries investing in AI are agriculture, business support, customer experience, energy, healthcare, IT service management, manufacturing and retail, according to the report.

Tom Chambers, manager for advanced analytics and engineering at Robert Walters, said he was seeing retail, professional services and technology industries’ strive to develop digital products and services that are digitally engaging, secure and instantaneous for the customer – “leading to huge waves of recruitment of professionals who are skilled in implementing, monitoring and gaining the desired output from facial recognition, check-out free retail and computer vision, among other automation technologies”.

He added: “What we are seeing is from those businesses that are prepared to invest heavily in AI and data analytics, is they are already outperforming their competitors – and so demand for talent in this area shows no signs of wavering.”

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