Ai Job Market Surges: Double The Growth Of Other Digital Roles

In the bustling tech landscape of India, the demand for professionals proficient in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is experiencing an unprecedented surge, outpacing the growth of other digital roles. According to staffing firm Randstad, hiring for AI and ML positions has been skyrocketing at a remarkable rate of 30% annually since the onset of the pandemic. This surge in demand contrasts sharply with the more modest growth rates observed in other digital skill sets.

The emergence of generative AI has sparked a wave of excitement across various industries, propelling organizations to prioritize the integration of AI and ML into their digital transformation endeavours. Randstad estimates that there are currently around 200,000 professionals equipped with AI/ML skills in India, a figure indicative of the sector’s rapid expansion.

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Rohit Kishore, Randstad’s global delivery and talent officer, underscores the growing significance of what he terms “Gen AI,” emphasizing that organizations are increasingly endeavouring to embed AI and ML technologies at the core of their digital strategies. Demonstrating their potential to streamline processes and enhance productivity, AI and ML implementations are driving transformative changes across sectors.

The surge in demand for AI and ML talent is particularly pronounced within the global capability centres (GCCs) of multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in India. These GCCs, which serve as the technological and shared services hubs of MNCs, are spearheading the adoption of AI and ML technologies to drive digital innovation. Jung Bahadur, director for talent solutions at Aon, highlights the pivotal role played by GCCs in fueling the demand for AI and ML-related roles, attributing their proliferation to the burgeoning appetite for digital transformation among both traditional and emerging businesses. “Even traditional businesses now want to become digital, for which AI/ML is a key factor. These companies are across industries, including health and manufacturing. That is the difference between 2021 and now,” Bahadur said.

Bahadur notes a significant disparity in salaries for AI and ML professionals compared to their counterparts in other digital roles. Salaries for AI and ML specialists, especially those employed in product firms, substantially outstrip those offered in other tech domains. The salary for those with 0-5 years of experience in AI/ML at an IT services firm is between Rs 14 lakh and 18 lakh, between Rs 16 lakh and Rs 20 lakh in GCCs, and between Rs 22 lakh and Rs 26 lakh in product firms. For the same experience level, salaries for other digital tech roles range between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 22 lakh. reaching up to Rs 96 lakh for those with 10-15 years of expertise.

Furthermore, AI/ML specialists are set to receive a hefty salary bump of 12.5% this year, surpassing the expected 9% increase for the wider workforce in India, according to insights shared by Bahadur. This stark contrast underscores the growing demand and high value placed on specialized skills within the AI and ML sectors. Moreover, HR solutions firm Teamlease has disclosed that AI and ML roles come with a salary premium ranging from 10-15% compared to other tech positions. Impressively, in some cases, this premium shoots up to a remarkable 50%, signalling the exceptional demand and coveted expertise in AI and ML technologies across the job market.

Krishna Vij from Teamlease noted the emergence of over a dozen new roles in AI/ML. Entry-level positions include chatbot developers and prompt engineers, while mid to senior-level roles encompass AI ethics specialists and robotics engineers. Additionally, education technology offers roles like AI curriculum developers and AI learning architects. Vij highlighted the importance of upskilling existing talent, suggesting IT security specialists transition to AI security roles to meet evolving demands.

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