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Watch Out for the Top 5 Most In-Demand AI Job Skills in 2021

  • Aileen Scott 

8541298865Despite the tough year, many companies across the world have started accelerating their approach toward using artificial intelligence (AI) to maximize businesses.

A recent AI survey by PwC reported a quarter percent of companies had taken part in the survey, an increase of 18 percent as compared to last year. The rest 54 percent of other companies are moving up fast. Partly because they’ve all seen how AI pique amid the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, most companies have started adopting AI seeing the major benefits it entails.

As a result, the number of AI applications are on the rise. So, AI engineers are continuously finding newer ways to embrace the latest technology trends.

Let us delve deeper and explore how the AI job market will fare in 2021.

IT automation, AI, and machine learning are two major tech jobs with the highest premium wages in 2021, says Burning Glass Technologies.


  • IT Automation USD 24,969
  • AI & Machine Learning USD 14,175

Whereas the average premium wage for other tech jobs ranges from USD 4,204 to nearly USD 25,000.

Startups that are valued at USD 1 billion or even higher are 33 percent most likely to adopt one or more than one tech job in their new hiring plan as compared to the Fortune 100-based competitors in the industry.

The analysis: How they did it?

With the help of AI-based technologies, the research firm considered around 17,000 unique skills listed in their database from more than a billion historical job listings. The study further focuses on skills that were likely to grow faster.

The research also demonstrated how acquiring these skills can be valuable for businesses.

Major AI job skills AI engineers need to start preparing for:

  1. DevOps

Expert professionals with DevOps skills are going to be the most marketable skill in 2021.

Analysis by Burning Glass Technologies’ says there will be around 634,600 job openings available in North America. While employers said, of 1,714,483 job postings, at least one disrupted skill area needs to be highlighted, with the growth of each skill to rise by 17 percent. Tech professionals have multiple options to choose from for their professional development plan.

  1. AI and machine learning

Both AI and machine learning skills have started distributing to become the most sought after job skill in the tech industry.

Important factors leading to the growth of tech skills include:

  • Improving business models to accelerate faster and bring balance amid the pandemic
  • Control over a remote operation to improve compliance-related issues
  • Facilitate better visibility regarding the service costs across systems to make sure to get the exact financial reports.

AI and machine learning skills predict to grow at a growth rate of 71 percent compound annually by 2025. The current job openings in both fields are said to be around 197,810 with a premium salary of USD 14,175.

The major job positions include roles like:

  • Data scientists
  • Data engineers
  • Senior data scientists
  • Software developers
  • Network architects
  • Network engineers
  • AI engineers

Major industries looking to hire a specialist in the given positions are professional services, finance and insurance, IT, retail trade, and manufacturing.

  1. Connected Technologies or Internet of Things (IoT)

Skills in connected technologies also referred to as IoT is now considered an important skill factor by most enterprises. Technology can be seen everywhere, thus, causing an impact on the way we talk, work, or engage with others.

As organizations look forward to leverage IoT, the demand for skills in the field is bound to increase.

Specialists in the field can opt for job roles in 2021. Some of the emerging trends worth watching this year includes – predictive maintenance, augmented role of data analytics, connectivity, evolving IoT applications, workforce management, digital twins, blockchain, the demand of smart home, data processing with edge computing, and security.

  1. Cloud technologies

As predicted by Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure global market will rise to USD 120 billion, around a 35 percent increase by the end of 2021.


As a result, cloud technologies are helping companies adopt the new normal with the help of its technology. As employees look forward to remaining at home even in 2021, every company will become more agile, responsive, and be adaptive.

Here’s how cloud computing will help enterprises:

  • Demand for cloud-native will accelerate as containers and serverless continue to heat up
  • Most of the on-premises disaster recovery operations will face while every enterprise starts shifting to the public cloud
  • The public market of hyper-scale to return to hypergrowth

So, if you’re looking to get into the field, now is a great time to upskill and grab a career in IoT technologies.

  1. Quantum Computing

Technical workers with skills in building quantum computers and optimizing their applications will be in huge demand for the upcoming five years.

The global market for quantum computing is estimated to grow to USD 1,765 million by 2026 from USD 472 million in 2021, says Markets and Markets research.

As organizations look forward to shifting from traditional apps to cloud-based platforms, skills in computing have become a must-have for tech professionals. Triggered by the pandemic, the job market for experts skilled in quantum computing looks promising. Business leaders have started investing in their workforce. Upskilling in the latest technologies like analytics, cloud, machine learning, and AI has become the organization’s major concern.

With technologies rising at a rapid pace, and a shortage of talent supply, upskilling in the latest technologies can propel your career to the next level. While upskilling becomes imperative, tech professionals have also started enrolling themselves in AI engineer certification programs to stay job-ready.

As companies look forward to leveraging AI technologies, adaptability and flexibility remain to be a top concern. This is also one of the major reasons why individuals need to start embracing upskilling.


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