Artificial intelligence and the impact it’s having on the workplace is worrisome to many who fear jobs will be soon replaced by the technology. Yet, on the other end of the spectrum, a new trend is also emerging: the advent of the high-paying AI job. Recently, Netflix posted a job listing seeking a product manager position for a machine-learning platform. The position offers a total compensation of up to $900,000 annually, according to the posting.
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As The Wall Street Journal reported, companies are competing to lure AI-related talent and avoid losing out to rivals, with salaries almost reaching seven-figures.
But what do these jobs entail and who is hiring?
Who’s Hiring: AI Jobs
Companies across various industries are hiring for AI workers and looking for employees with related skills. From Walmart to Amazon — and from online-dating platform Hinge to Upwork — it seems that every sector is looking for these specific skills. The one common thread: these companies are offering a lot of money.
Ashu Dubey — co-founder and CEO of Gleen — explained that there are many different companies hiring AI roles, including startups hiring engineers and UX designers to build AI products for businesses. Established businesses may be looking to hire entire AI departments.
“Even more than that, nearly every department in most major companies will have some AI components in the coming years,” said Dubey. “For example, we built an internal benefits bot to handle HR inquiries from team members. So not only do non-AI businesses like Wal-Mart need AI-trained team members, even AI companies will be incorporating generative AI solutions in-house.”
A recent Adzuna report noted that the number of advertised job ads citing “Generative AI” skyrocketed to 1,496 listings in May — up from 185 jobs in January, a whopping 800% increase. Just two years ago, in May 2021, there were merely 10 “Generative AI” job ads, according to Adzuna.
“Companies don’t want to be left behind, especially when there’s a new technology boom like we’re seeing with AI right now and, before this, with crypto and the metaverse,” said Brian D. Evans, CEO and founder of BDE Ventures. “So these companies put out these outrageous salaries so they don’t miss out on attracting good talent.”
Evans added that there is a definite need for people with engineering backgrounds and deep technical expertise in large learning models (LLMs) — and machine learning in particular.
How To Get an AI Job
Having a computer science and machine-learning background will be important in terms of getting hired, said Markus Levin, co-founder of XYO Network.
“Certainly there are job postings on LinkedIn and such, but it would also help to have connections already in the industry,” added Levin. “This is going to be a multi-year boom, so it’s good to increase your technical understanding of LLMs now so as to better position yourself.”
And according to Fei Sha, Degreed‘s vice president of data science and engineering, employers are increasingly seeking talent from candidates with lateral experiences across a variety of industries.
In turn, Sha said that the overall talent shortage being experienced by many organizations makes employee adaptability and willingness to learn new skills increasingly important. Such a worker may take precedence even over new hires with a niche set of AI-specific skills — skills that may become obsolete or outdated at any time.
“Many organizations are now seeking not only candidates with certain AI capabilities such as Python, R, and data visualization but also prioritizing candidates that are able to illustrate their intrinsic motivation to life-long learning,” said Sha.
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How Long Does AI Job Training Take?
According to Sha, training, much like skill-building, is a continuous process.
“While initial training can be relatively quick, any technology-driven role requires employees and organizations to consistently build their knowledge of how to leverage the latest tools in the market,” she said. “Individualized training may begin with a quick boot camp or extend into a longer-term goal such as earning a master’s degree.”
In any job function, look for the skill-building methods that make sense as essential to a professional growth and career plan, she added.
Is AI Work Stressful?
According to Evans, the rigors of these jobs will be rather intense and highly specific. And to get a job in this field, of course, it helps to have a serious technical background and to have a deep familiarization with ChatGPT, Midjourney and also the engineering aspects on the backend of these tools.
“And certainly such jobs will be highly stressful, especially since so many brand-name companies are searching for ways to utilize various aspects of AI to lower costs and increase efficiencies,” said Evans. “But what we are feeling from these companies is a sense of FOMO here, and so I’m not certain whether this AI-hiring goldrush of sorts is durable — at least not in its current form.”
On the other hand, experts such as Gleen’s Dubey believe that these AI jobs are not any more (or less) stressful than other career paths.
“But I do think it is a lot of fun to be working on the cutting edge of a revolutionary technology,” said Dubey.
Downsides to AI Work
According to XYO Network’s Levin, there are seven-figure offers being put out there by Apple and Google — and a host of other major companies for these positions — because, in short, they just can’t afford to fall behind.
However, the downsides of such work would of course be that you’re probably going to have to put in extra-long hours and get deep into the weeds of building out very sophisticated tools, he added.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Things To Know About This $900,000 AI Job