UK Employers Willing to Pay a 14% Wage Premium for AI Skills, Finds PWC

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As artificial intelligence becomes ever more prevalent across various sectors of the business world, the demand for employees with AI skills is growing. According to a PwC report, employers are willing to pay a 14% wage premium to entice employees with these sought-after skills.

Read on to learn more about what PWC has discovered, how AI may be successfully implemented into a business and the help it can provide.

Roles Required AI Skills Have Increased Three Times Faster Since 2012

The 2024 Global AI Jobs Barometer by PWC analyses more than half a billion job vacancies advertised across 15 countries. According to this PwC report, jobs requiring specific aptitude with respect to artificial intelligence have been outpacing other job postings by a considerable amount.

Vacancies for roles which demand AI skills (i.e. knowledge of how to develop, implement, and manage systems and applications) have increased 3.6 times more quickly than for all other types of jobs in the UK since 2012. Moreover, sectors in which artificial intelligence is easy to implement like professional services and IT, are seeing productivity grow 4 times more.

14% Wage Premium for AI Jobs

The PwC report also reveals that for jobs requiring AI skills, employers in the UK are offering a 14% wage premium on average. This varies across sectors, with employers typically proposing wage premiums of up to 58% for database designers and administrators, 34% for systems analysts, and 24% for applications programmers.

However, as the demand for AI skills rises, so does the need for employees to acquire such competencies. An understanding of programming languages, machine learning, and data analysis are just a few examples of AI specialist skills which might help employees get the 14% wage premium.

Read: AI More Likely to Displace Workers in High Paying Jobs

Leader of Global Markets and Tax and Legal Services at PWC Carol Stubbings has highlighted some positive conclusions from the report’s findings. She states: “For many economies experiencing labour shortages and low productivity growth, the findings highlight optimism around AI with the technology representing an opportunity for economic development, job creation, and the creation of new industries entirely.”

Implementing Artificial Intelligence into a Business

Whilst artificial intelligence suits a few sectors more than others, a majority of businesses are likely to benefit to some extent. Given the vast range of technologies now available, they can perform an equally wide variety of functions.

From assisting with branding and marketing to providing advice to customers to managing investments, the possibilities are continuing to evolve. However, choosing and implementing the correct artificial intelligence for a particular business can sometimes be difficult. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Analyse business objectives and ascertain how different types of artificial intelligence may be able to assist with each. It is also important to select the type of solution which is most appropriate for the task in question.
  2. Take time to investigate different technologies, how they operate (including their compatibility with existing infrastructure), and their pros and cons.
  3. Have data management systems in place as AI systems have a large quantity of data to be identified, obtained, stored, maintained, input, and utilised. Also, ensure that data protection regulations are complied with.
  4. Assemble a workforce with the relevant AI skills to ensure the system operates effectively. This may involve training existing employees and/or recruiting new ones (potentially offering the 14% wage premium), as well as contracting with AI specialists.
  5. Continue monitoring, evaluating, and improving what you have to offer and eliminate any issues. Every aspect of the implementation should be reassessed regularly for optimum value and growth to be achieved.

Can AI Sufficiently Support Businesses to Justify the 14% Wage Premium?

According to government research, one in six businesses across the UK are using at least one form of artificial intelligence, with the most popular being those providing data management analysis, natural language processing and generation, and machine learning.

Ultimately, the use of artificial intelligence is intended to increase profits and efficiency whilst enhancing customer experience; but how does this work in practice?

Read: While Elon Musk Says Artificial Intelligence Will End Jobs,
Not Everyone Agrees

Firstly, many artificial intelligence systems operate using data. As such, given the correct types of data in adequate quantities, these technologies are able to make accurate predictions and improve decisions for a business, without individual subjectivity or biases.

Artificial intelligence also frequently helps businesses to be more efficient and productive, with standard capacity and rapidity far exceeding those which are possible for humans.

Another advantage is its potential for offering tailored experiences for customers, from direct interactions to refined options through data analysis. In the famous words of Michael LeBoeuf, “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all”, and artificial intelligence can help to achieve this customer satisfaction.


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