Artificial intelligence is driving the next generation of jobs in the UK

As artificial intelligence continues to pervade a range of industries, the next generation of jobs is on the horizon.

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 the latest report from global recruiter Robert Walters and market analysis experts Vacancy Soft.

“As businesses become ever more reliant on AI, there is an increasing amount of pressure on the processes of data capture and integration. As a result, we have seen an unprecedented number of roles being created with data skill-set at their core,” said Ollie Sexton, principal at Robert Walters.

“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% year-on-year.

“Now is the perfect time to start honing UK talent for the next generation of AI-influenced jobs. If you look at the statistics in this report we can see that demand is already rife, what we are at risk of is a shortage of talent and skills.”

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Data professional demand on the rise

IT professionals dedicated to data management appeared 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% since 2015. And in general, data roles across businesses have increased by 80% since 2015 — with key areas of growth including data scientists and engineers.

The emergence of the data scientist as a mainstream profession is perhaps the most interesting development, with job vacancies increasing by a staggering 110% year-on-year. The same trend can be seen with data engineers, averaging 86% year-on-year job growth.

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Professional services on the hire hype

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

Within professional services, vacancies for data analysts (+19.5%), data managers (+64.2%), data scientists (+28.8) and data engineers (+62%) have all increased year-on-year.

Top industries investing in AI

1. Agriculture
2. Business Support
3. Customer Experience
4. Energy
5. Healthcare
6. Intellectual Property
7. IT Service Management
8. Manufacturing
9. Technical Support
10. Retail
11. Software Development

Tom Chambers, manager — Advanced Analytics and Engineering at Robert Walters, explained that this “uptake of AI across multiple industries is bringing about rapid change, but with that opportunity.”

He said: “Particularly, we are 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.”

“Similarly, experimental AI is making huge breakthroughs in the healthcare industry, with the power to replace the need for human, expert diagnoses.

“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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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...