Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Career – Is it worth it?
Data science and artificial intelligence have been buzzwords. In the past few years, there has been phenomenal growth in data science and artificial intelligence space. According to an IDC (International Data Corporation) report, worldwide spending on AI systems will grow at a CAGR of 38% and reach $79.2 billion in 2022. In fact, the spending on AI systems in Asia Pacific region has surpassed its expected forecast and will reach $5.5 billion in 2019, almost 80% increase over 2018, according to a latest IDC report.
Data science and artificial intelligence are pushing growth.
Tech industry alone isn’t contributing to the growth of this space. Every industry is playing a significant role in its growth. Retail, for instance, has been a major contributor to the growth of AI in the Asia Pacific region and worldwide. Retail industry followed by banking will lead spending. with investments around $5.6 billion and $5.9 billion respectively.
Retail industry in AI-based solutions such as automated customer agents and product recommendation systems, while banking will invest in the building including automated threat intelligence & prevention systems and fraud analysis & investigation systems. Further, discrete manufacturing, healthcare providers, and process manufacturing will complete the top 5 industries for AI systems spending this year.
Demand for data science and AI-related skills talent is increasing. The need for companies to add AI capabilities has led companies seeking qualified talent in this field. There is a huge demand for talents in this space. Roles like Data Scientist are much in-demand and has been touted as the highest-paying entry-level role in America.
However, contrary to popular notion, it is not the only role in the market. Several roles including machine learning, deep learning, AI engineer, Data Engineer and more widely needed. Unfortunately, there is a lack of talent in this space. Most countries are grappling to fill the supply-demand gap that exists in this space. According to Tencent, Chinese Conglomerate, there were only 300,000 AI engineers worldwide.
Consequently, this also causes qualified talent to switch frequently and companies are ready to pay hefty salary packages. Government, multinational companies, and third-party providers (like online learning portals) have been proactively involved in shortening this gap by offering upskilling and re-skilling programs.
Jobs roles that exist in data scientist and artificial Intelligence space
As mentioned earlier, Data Scientists are the most in-demand professionals in the space. Companies are hiring for several roles. Most often the following roles are in-demand:
Data Engineer: These are the experts that design and build infrastructure that ensures data is available to those who need it. This role requires extensive knowledge of databases like Cassandra, BigTable, MongoDB etc. As they’re responsible for overseeing infrastructure, they are also required to have hands-on experience with data warehousing and ETL. In an entry-level role, a data engineer can procure up to $110,000.
Analyst: This is an entry-level role which mostly requires strong analytical skills and knowledge of tools. R, Python, SPSS, SAS, Ms- Excel etc are some of the requisite skills required for this role. As an entry-level Analyst one can fetch up to $70,000.
Machine Learning Engineer: These are the professionals who use extensive algorithms to make machine or computer applications learn. Programming skills are important for this job. Java, R, C++, Python are some of the common programming languages required for this role. Distributed computing and advanced signal processing techniques are required for this role. Further, the application of probability and statistics is an essential skill required for this. A machine learning engineer can get up to $121,707 at the beginning of their career.
Data Scientist: This role requires an extensive set of skills starting from statistics to machine learning algorithms. Further, good analytical skills and innate curiosity for numbers and business domain help. The salary of a Data Scientist can go up to $113,436 as they begin their career.
All in all, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of jobs in data science and artificial intelligence space. Companies are willing to pay generously and more compared to other job roles in the technology sector. As the use of data increases across industry, more companies will move towards data-driven decision making and automation, thereby accentuating the need for more talent skilled in skills and technologies related to data science and artificial intelligence.