The number of jobs in artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK has risen dramatically in the last three years, according to job site Indeed.
Since 2014, the number of available AI roles in Britain has increased by 485%, representing a significant spike in demand for employees with the appropriate skills for these jobs.
Yet Indeed’s data also reveals there are over two times as many AI jobs available than there are suitable applicants, with a ratio of 2.3 roles available per candidate searching in the last quarter. Interest in AI roles has risen more steadily by 178% in the past three and a half years, not quite high enough to meet the fivefold surge in postings.
The popularity of software in innovations including smart home devices and customer service chat bots demonstrate how the industry is developing at pace.
Typical roles in AI include machine learning engineers and software developers in areas as diverse as banking, universities and commerce. In most cases, applicants require previous experience and a degree in a subject like maths or physics, although some may even have qualifications in machine learning.
But despite the sector paying well – the average annual salary for a machine learning engineer is £54,366 – the availability of workers with suitable skills simply isn’t keeping up with demand from employers.
While the government has made high profile attempts to encourage more people take up science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and degrees, the data reveals that this has yet to take effect on the AI front line.
Mariano Mamertino, EMEA Economist at global job site Indeed, commented: ‘’Employers in every sector are keen to utilise artificial intelligence and need workers with the right skills to fill these roles. Our data shows that competition for this shallow pool of candidates is fierce, with the numbers of available roles outstripping potential new hires.
“The AI sector is likely to keep growing as the potential for the widespread application of the technology, across different industries, becomes more clear. Investing in education and the right skills needed to propel the industry forward will be key to its growth in the coming years.”