Main image of article Are There Lots of A.I. Jobs Out There?

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning are going mainstream. Millions of people are experimenting with what ChatGPT and other A.I.-powered chatbots can do for them; thousands of companies are trying to integrate machine learning into their apps; and workers are already fearing the technology’s potential impact on jobs.

But is that rapid adoption translating into A.I.-centric jobs? According to CompTIA’s latest Tech Jobs Report, the answer is “yes.” As you can see from the following chart, however, the number of A.I. job postings remains relatively limited, and concentrated in states with well-established tech hubs (such as Massachusetts and California):

(CompTIA pulls its data from Lightcast, which collects and analyzes many millions of job postings from across the nation. In other words, it’s pretty comprehensive.)

If you’re interested in A.I. as a profession, here are some key takeaways from this data:

A.I. Hiring is Still Concentrated in a Few Areas: Mature tech hubs such as California and Massachusetts host dozens of large companies with the budgets to actually pay for A.I. talent, which is why you’re seeing these concentrations of job postings in a few states. As A.I. matures and more people learn the techniques behind it, you’ll likely see a decline in salaries toward a new mean—and with that, more demand for A.I. talent in up-and-coming tech hubs.

Don’t Be Fooled by the ‘Low’ Numbers: Yes, there’s relatively little hiring for A.I. researchers and machine learning specialists, at least compared to other tech professions such as sysadmin or software developer—but knowledge of A.I. is quickly becoming table stakes for many tech professionals. As A.I. and machine learning permeate virtually every aspect of the tech industry, becoming familiar with the technology’s tools and techniques will help “future proof” your career.

A.I. May Drive More Hiring… Not Less: Upwork recently surveyed 1,400 U.S. business leaders, from senior managers to C-suite executives, and found that 49 percent plan to hire more full-time staff and freelancers as a result of generative A.I. Even if you don’t think A.I. will have a meaningful impact on your career in the near term, be prepared for it to impact your team and company in seismic ways.