Workers with AI skills can expect higher salaries – depending on their role

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Workers with AI skills can expect higher salaries – depending on their role

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Deemed a growing scarcity in the industry, workers skilled in artificial intelligence (AI) can prompt higher salary offers of up to 44%, depending on which department the role is for. 
Employers say they are willing to bump up salaries by 44% for AI-skilled workers in IT and 41% more for those in research and development, according to a survey released by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Conducted by Access Partnership, the study polled 4,664 employers and 14,896 workers across nine Asia-Pacific markets, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.
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Employers also are willing to fork out 39% more to hire AI-skilled workers in sales and marketing as well as in business operations, while they will pay 37% more for those in finance.
Across the region, employers will increase the paychecks of workers who acquire AI skills by an average 33%, with those in India the most generous, offering a 54% salary bump. 
AWS noted that the expected average salary hikes are proportional to the productivity gains Asia-Pacific employers are anticipating from their AI rollouts. 
They believe AI can improve productivity by 51% if leveraged to its full potential across all functions. Workers, too, believe the use of AI in their jobs can push productivity up by 50%.
Asked how AI would help daily work functions, 64% of employers pointed to task automation while 60% cited improved workflow and outcomes. Another 59% said it would enhance communication and 49% said it would augment innovation and creativity. 
In terms of the departments that would benefit most from AI, 91% pointed to IT, while 89% and 88% highlighted business operations and finance, respectively. 
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Among workers, 93% believe their AI skills will have a positive impact on their careers, including increased efficiency, higher job satisfaction, and faster career progression, according to AWS. 
Some 83% indicate interest in developing AI skills to accelerate their careers, including 87% of Gen Z workers, and 79% of Gen X. Some 68% of baby boomers, aged 55 and above, would enroll in an AI upskilling course if they were offered the opportunity.
By 2028, 92% of workers across Asia-Pacific expect to use AI in their daily work, with 34% planning to do so "extensively". This is higher than their counterparts in the UK, of whom 76% and 18% said likewise, respectively. 
For now, though, 75% of Asia-Pacific employers note their struggles in finding the AI talent they require, with 79% describing hiring AI-skilled workers as a priority. 
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Asked about skills that need to use AI by 2028, 57% pointed to creative design and thinking, while 53% highlighted critical thinking and problem-solving. Another 45% said technical such as coding and 36% noted ethics and risk management. 
However, 79% admitted not knowing how to run an AI workforce training program, while 74% of workers are unsure about career paths where AI skills are useful.
Organizations looking to deploy GenAI often have questions on where to start and who to train first, said Emmanuel Pillai, AWS' Asean head of training and certification. Tech employees typically are in the initial batch to skill up on GenAI, such as learning how to use the tool to test software codes, said Pillai during a media briefing to discuss the study's findings. 
GenAI training for non-tech workers usually is focused on improving customer service, products, or user experience, he added, noting that AWS' training programs are role-based to provide more relevant context. 
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An AWS training customer, Terrascope, is using GenAI tools to improve its efficiency in calculating carbon emissions. It works with AWS to develop its in-house cloud and AI skills training program, Terrascope CTO Mathavan Arugalaimuthu said at the briefing. AWS is one of several cloud platforms the company uses. 
Headquartered in Singapore, the carbon measurement platform employs some 100 employees, and its technical staff — including data scientists — were among the first to be trained on GenAI, Arugalaimuthu said. Its employees also are guided on how to identify potential hallucinations when using GenAI tools. 
There are the necessary guardrails, too, he said, with humans always included in the loop. Software programs developed using GenAI-assisted tools are sent through the usual security and peer review to ensure they contain only legitimate codes, he added. 
"With a growing number of organizations expected to deepen their use of AI solutions and tools, and the continual evolution of AI-driven innovations, there is a need for employers and governments to nurture a proficient workforce capable of steering current and future AI advancements," said Abhineet Kaul, director at Access Partnership.
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AWS this week introduced its GenAI Competency service, which it says will help enterprise customers assess and select GenAI products that fit their requirements. Encompassing a range of tools and services, the new offering showcases products from more than 40 of AWS' partners including Nvidia, Deloitte, Tata Consultancy Services, HCLTech, and Capgemini. 
These companies have been validated through the AWS GenAI Competency service and are grouped into three key areas, spanning GenAI applications, foundation models and foundation model-based application development, and infrastructure and data, AWS said.

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