AI Boom Has Tech Workers Retooling Their Skills

AI Boom Has Tech Workers Retooling Their Skills

As artificial intelligence continues to gain traction, tech workers are retooling their skill sets to bridge the gap between what they know and what they need to know, adding skills and knowledge to pivot into this game-changing technology. Tech companies, meanwhile, are refashioning themselves as AI companies and trying to remold their workforces to be more AI proficient.

The current tech labor market is in an unbalanced state, according to MRINetwork recruiters, who have long stayed ahead of tech trends. There is demand for a specific type of tier-one AI talent – namely those who have the technical knowledge or experience working with large language models, or LLMs, that fuel chatbots with the ability to generate content. Their client companies are seeking candidates with those skills, but not enough workers who are qualified to do them.

As a consequence, there has been a significant increase in the level of urgency that tech workers feel about the need to upskill in order to find and keep their jobs. It’s not AI itself that will replace them – they’ll be replaced by someone who knows AI and does their job.

The number of LinkedIn members adding skills like Copilot and ChatGPT to their profiles was 142 times as great as in the year prior, according to the 2024 Work Trend Index from Microsoft and LinkedIn. The survey also found that job posts on LinkedIn that mention AI receive 17% more applications compared with non-AI roles.

Many tech workers specifically want to work at companies that are solving problems in AI, notes MRINetwork. Even if they work at a desirable tech company, they will leave for a new position because they want to go to an AI company. Candidates shouldn’t worry too much about a lack of experience, say the recruiters who specialize in this space. Many of the firms they represent are looking for talent to build applications on top of large language models, which require software engineering skills but not AI-specific experience.

Companies are typically willing to take a chance on workers new to the space. More important than prior experience in AI is a willingness to learn and a commitment to the company’s mission.