Chennai: India currently has a shortage of at least 4,000 artificial intelligence (AI) professionals in the mid and senior levels, even when newer AI-backed jobs are being created. A study on the Indian AI industry by Great Learning indicates that there are over 4,000 positions related to AI in the country that remain vacant for a period of 12 months due to shortage of qualified talent at the mid and senior levels. This is despite the industry growing by close to 30 per cent in the last one year to $230 million in size.
This supply-demand gap indicates huge opportunity for mid and senior level professionals across industries like IT, finance, healthcare and e-commerce, which are looking at transition into AI over the next few years.
Meanwhile, Cognizant has predicted that 21 more jobs will emerge in the world of artificial intelligence, automation, algorithms, bots and big data in the near future.
The Great Learning study finds that one of the reasons contributing to the talent shortage at the middle and top level is the lack of experienced candidates. While 57 per cent organisations hiring for AI look for candidates with more than five years of experience, the average AI experience of Indian professionals is mere three years. Only 23 per cent of this workforce has over 10 years of total work experience. Almost 67 per cent AI professionals in India have joined/transitioned to their current role only in the last two years.
“AI being a nascent sector in India, the industry is facing a huge skill gap when it comes to filling senior and mid-level positions. The field offers great potential for working professionals who are looking to transition into newer technologies. AI will make a huge dent across sectors like IT, healthcare, fin-tech and e-commerce. This is the right time to enter the field and be at the forefront of these changes,” said Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder, Great Learning.
On the demand side, the 10 leading organisations with the most number of AI openings this year are -– IBM, Accenture, Amazon, Fractal Analytics, Societe Generale, SAP Labs, 24/7 Customer, Atos, Nvidia and Tech Mahindra. The top skill sets that AI employers are looking at are machine learning, natural language processing, neural networks, analytics, cloud computing and pattern recognition.
More than 1,000 companies in India claim to work on AI in some form or the other. This includes a small number of companies into products (chatbots, AI-powered visual search and recommendation engine) and a larger chunk offering either offshore, recruitment or training services. There is a 30 per cent Y-o-Y increase in the number of companies setting up dedicated AI teams in India. That said, India still has a long way to go as it contributes only 10 per cent to the global AI job openings.
Meanwhile, Cognizant finds that 21 more new jobs will be added to ensure ethical behaviour and security while newer technology adoption catches up. There will be jobs for chief purpose planner, algorithm bias auditor, juvenile cyber crime rehabilitation counsellor, head of machine personality design and head of business behaviour which will ensure that machines and humans act well and behave themselves, finds Manish Bahl, AVP, centre for the future of work, Cognizant.