5 AI jobs that can make you a star now and in the future

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As enterprises gear up to launch or expand artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, they are struggling with a severe and growing shortage of AI talent.

This hardly is unique as emerging technologies begin to catch on and organizations seek people with the right skill sets and knowledge to leverage these new tools. For workers on the favorable side of the supply/demand equation, the increasingly urgent need for AI talent creates tremendous opportunities for people who might not be AI experts at the moment, but are trainable and adaptable. And for workers who already have AI knowledge and/or experience, this could be the year when they become highly coveted superstars.

“With the surge in open AI roles on the horizon, companies are competing to build and diversify their teams to help them progress from AI pilots to integrated and scalable solutions across the business,” writes KPMG partner Brad Fisher, who leads the company’s U.S. data analytics and AI practice.

Fisher and his colleagues identify the top five AI jobs companies “need to create/consider if they are to effectively build their AI capabilities.” Just to be clear, the AI jobs below aren’t theoretical or something enterprises are planning to fill someday — they exist today! To prove it to you, I’ve included links from Indeed.com and SimpleHired under each of the five AI jobs described below by Fisher. As you’ll see, there literally are thousands of positions available now.

AI Architect

“These specialists look at individual business processes – as well as the big picture organization – and determine where they can inject and embed AI successfully. They are also responsible for measuring performance, and sustaining the AI model over time – ensuring it removes mundane tasks to optimize humans in the workforce. The lack of AI architects is a big reason why companies cannot successfully sustain AI initiatives.”

  • Indeed.com lists more than 3,000 job openings for AI architects, with annual salaries ranging from $95,000 to more than $200,000.
  • SimplyHired — More than 2,000 job openings, $95,000 to $200,000.

AI Product Manager

Working closely with the AI architect, the AI product manager serves as a liaison across multiple business teams to ensure solutions are successfully implemented. They also work closely with these teams – as well as HR – to identify organizational changes needed to ensure optimal performance of both humans and machines.”

My 2 cents: Anyone who must communicate and coordinate across business units needs strong people and leadership skills.

  • Indeed — More than 500 job listings, $105,000 to $145,000+
  • SimplyHired — Nearly 400 job openings, $105,000 to $200,000+

Data Scientist

With the ever-growing amount of data available to businesses, there is a shortage of experts with the skills to clean this data, and then design and apply the appropriate algorithms to glean meaningful insights.”

My 2 cents: A data scientist essentially serves in a critical support role for AI initiatives, doing the gritty work necessary to extract value from data. Perhaps more importantly, they must create algorithms that best enable AI to understand and learn from processes and data.

  • Indeed.com — Nearly 4,000 listings, $100,000 to $200,000+
  • SimplyHired — More than 1,800 openings, $100,000 to $200,000+

Software Engineer

One of the biggest problems facing businesses is getting AI from pilot phase to scalable deployment. Software engineers work hand-in-hand with data scientists to bring AI into production, blending business acumen with a deep understanding of how AI works.”

My 2 cents: Another good example of an AI job that a regular software engineer could transition to with enough training and effort.

  • Indeed.com — More than 5,700 openings, $95,000 to $200,000+
  • SimplyHired — Nearly 5,000 jobs, $95,000 to $200,000+

AI Ethicist

As ethical and social implications of AI continue to unfold, companies may need to create new jobs tasked with the critical responsibility of establishing AI frameworks that uphold company standards and codes of ethics. Initially, these roles could be fulfilled by existing leaders in an organization, but as the effects of AI fully take shape, it may need to be the responsibility of one person to ensure these guidelines are upheld.”

My 2 cents: I’ve written about the importance of ethical considerations as AI becomes integrated into businesses, governments, and our personal lives, as well as why “ethical AI” might be a challenge. One of those reasons is that AI is developing at a faster pace than efforts to get a handle on ethical considerations. Which is one of the reasons, I’d assume, that there were no job listings on Indeed.com or SimplyHired for AI ethicists. As Fisher alludes, organizations are trying to figure things out on their own. Soon, though, they probably will have to create and fill specific positions devoted to AI ethics.

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