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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Bring New Opportunities

Posted: 9 Apr 2020

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Bring New Opportunities

A shortage of tech-related skills means that there are good opportunities for candidates with relevant experience, particularly in areas like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

A recent Silicon Republic story notes that tech-related roles feature strongly in LinkedIn’s latest Emerging Jobs report. Artificial intelligence and cybersecurity topped the list with data scientists, analysts and engineers also featuring as well as content and customer-facing support roles.

The findings are very much in line with our experience at Eolas Recruitment where we are seeing more organisations interested in building internal AI capabilities to help them compete in the digital economy. The trend is particularly strong in financial services, professional services and healthcare where relevant job specs often state that experience of artificial intelligence and machine learning is desirable. Knowledge of search technologies, data modelling, machine learning concepts, SaaS platforms, and APIs are also requirements for certain roles.

What is driving adoption?

Factors contributing to the growth in adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning include both revenue generation and cost control. Data is emerging to suggest that companies adopting advanced technologies are outperforming their peers. A McKinsey Global Institute Briefing Note prepared for London Tech Week last year noted that in professional services and retail, cash flows generated from digital businesses are 15 to 20 percent lower in companies that do not deploy AI compared to their AI-embracing peers. In financial services, the gap is 30 percent, and in high tech, 80 percent.

Competition for talent

With demand for advanced technology skills growing, Irish companies face strong competition when sourcing talent. A recent DCU Business School study found only 30 percent of respondents were confident about their ability to meet future skills needs arising from automation, digitisation and the rise of AI.

Ireland is not alone in experiencing a scarcity of AI and ML talent. A Deloitte study, published last year shows 68% of global respondents are experiencing moderate-to-extreme AI skills gaps. The top three roles needed to fill the gaps are AI researchers, software developers, and data scientists.

Various initiatives have been launched in recent years to help address the skills shortage and good courses are now available at a number of third level institutions. The University of Limerick offers a PostGraduate MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has also introduced a MSc in Artificial Intelligence. DCU recently launched a new two-year part-time MSc in Computing (Artificial Intelligence) delivered primarily online. NUI Galway also offers an online MSc In Computer Science – Artificial Intelligence while TCD’s MSc in Computer Science allows students to specialise in one of four areas — Data Science, Intelligent Systems, Graphics and Vision Technologies and Future Networked Systems.

Post-graduate courses in tech-related disciples typically require applicants to have a strong proficiency in mathematics, including statistics, and an advanced level of relevant coding competency.

Artificial Intelligence as a Service

As more companies look to capitalize on AI technologies, a recent IDA prediction suggests 2020 could be the year that AI as a Service (AIaaS) explodes onto the market. However, it will be important for businesses to procure AIaaS from high‑profile tech companies that have made the required investment in cybersecurity so as protect their infrastructure and clients.

Sourcing opportunities

The current talent shortage means that there are good opportunities for candidates with relevant AI and ML expertise. Given that these technologies are rapidly advancing, our advice to candidates is to focus on updating relevant knowledge and skills. As well as formal education and experience, self-directed learning can be valuable in this regard and there are many useful online courses that can help you strengthen your CV.

As always, we encourage you to get in touch for information on current roles. Our specialist recruiters will advise you on how to maximise your chances of securing a suitable role. Contact us for details.

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