Time to upskill? Employers may pay 77% more for AI roles

Employee Benefit NewsBy Employee Benefit News
December 4th, 2023 • 2 Minutes

Artificial intelligence is changing the way employees work, and it may soon start impacting just how much they get paid.

The pay gap between tech jobs and other occupations has widened by 36% in just a year, according to a recent report from tech insights platform BizReport. In fact, AI-related jobs offer 77.53% higher salaries than other occupations, as more and more employers work to keep up with the proliferation of AI in the workplace.

“This data is indicating a growing recognition of the value of AI skills in the job market,” says Young Pham, a project manager for BizReport. “The widening pay gap between tech and non-tech roles also underscores the influence of AI across industries and suggests that the salary conversation at large will increasingly revolve around the importance of AI expertise.”

In 2023, 30% of all tech job postings were AI-related. By 2026, BizReport forecasts that there will be more than 100,000 AI-related jobs in the market, a notable increase from the 12,000 recorded in 2011. The salary disparity will also be most noticeable for the younger generations of workers just entering the labor market, with AI-related entry-level positions seeing a 128% higher compensation than their non-AI counterparts.

“In today’s job market, it will be crucial for applicants to stay competitive by considering reskilling or upskilling in areas related to AI,” Young says. “The data clearly shows an increasing demand for professionals with expertise in AI, and individuals can boost their chances at breaking into the workforce by acquiring these skills.”

For prospective applicants looking to solidify their chances, pursuing certifications, courses, or degrees in fields like AI, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision or natural language processing could prove beneficial, according to Pham. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that applicants have to change their career trajectories altogether.

Read more: 49% of CEOs say AI could do the bulk of their work. What does it mean for the C-suite?

“Salaries are being significantly influenced in roles related to AI,” he says. “However, this doesn’t automatically mean that the value of skills not directly related to AI is decreasing. Instead, it underscores a changing landscape where professionals with non-AI skills may just need to adapt.”

On the employer side, organizations will have to adjust their recruitment strategies. Although more and more job seekers will naturally begin to add AI-related skills to their resumes, they will also expect the companies they’re interviewing with to provide AI-related training and upskilling.

“It is still important to maintain a balance between the integration of AI and human skills,” Pham says. “The future workplace involving AI will  involve an approach where humans and AI work together to enhance productivity, creativity and problem-solving abilities.”

This article originally appeared in EBN and was written by Paola Peralta Associate Editor, Employee Benefit News. It is being reposted with permission.

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