I have heard that there is a huge talent demand in AI, with limited talent supply. Is it true?
In one word – yes, there is!
If you are following the industry reports then you must know that more than 500,000 jobs are lying vacant because there is a huge shortage of qualified talent in the industry. It is also quite interesting to note that the market has almost double the number of jobs available than the required talented ML and AI professionals – just in case – there is someone out there.
Another thing to note is that the countries like US, China, India, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, France, Spain and Singapore — have seen a consistent rise in demand for skilled ML and AI professionals.
Let's consider both pieces of that question as we consider the overall one.
- Is there a shortage of machine learning professionals?
- Is there a shortage of artificial intelligence professionals?
Supply and demand are the two words associated with price in the often oversimplified model of price in a free market. We can discuss them, but they are difficult to quantify and their is no particular function that predicts the cost or pay in relation to a job title purely on the basis of the number of job requisitions on the web and the number of resumes that match the job description. It's not that simple, if the question author is looking for financial security.
Although there is a much larger frequency of job requisitions with job titles such as "Machine Learning Engineer" or "Intelligence Designer", it is often difficult to state outright that there is a demand. It depends on the perspectives of the requisitioning manager and the professional.
Many companies are operating already without such professionals and don't really know what they want to do with ML or AI. Calling that "demand" is stretching the meaning of the term somewhat. Others have such talent in house and are really looking for a programmer that can follow directions and still others have some objective they believe can be done in a year but may take fifty. For an experienced engineer or contractor, those are not coveted positions. For those that want to get a paragraph onto a resume with some ML or AI key words in it without lying, they'll do.
On the supply side, the number of people who have mastered one or more of the ML libraries are growing fast, mostly due to the improved maturity of the libraries, their examples, and the data sets to use them. That does not mean that everyone on the supply side can make code work in robots and data centers to produce competitive products, which is where the supply side is weak for the ML question.
Artificial intelligence is such a wide field that includes ML only as a small sub-field, is a much more difficult role to define and fill. It may have the larger future as a career now, partly because of the ML craze, but it is also a less frequent job requisition category and there are fewer resumes that legitimately demonstrate AI research and development background.