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The best way to show off your emerging A.I. skills to land a job

The job market for tech workers remains strong, and especially so for those picking up emerging artificial intelligence skills.

The U.S. in particular is leading the way in growing its AI workforce, with some 169,045 open jobs calling for the skill in June, according to the global search platform Adzuna, and another 3,575 focused on generative AI work. For comparison, India was hiring for 25,900 AI jobs and the UK was hiring for 16,825 roles involving the skill in June.

Generative AI jobs are a “hot area at the moment,” says James Neave, Adzuna’s head of data science, with more and more roles calling for candidates knowledgeable in large language models like ChatGPT, DALL-E, LLaMA , PALM 2 and others.

But given the emerging and quickly developing nature of the tools, it can be tricky to display your expertise in a particular AI skill as a job candidate, Neave says.

“This really only kicked off in the last 12 months,” he says, with ChatGPT exploding onto the scene in late 2022, and so “it’s such an emergent area, no one can claim to have years of experience in this thing because it hasn’t existed that long.”

With that being said, Neave recommends interested job applicants build up their AI skills and stand out from the competition in three key ways:

  1. Stay on top of developments. Neave recommends finding online resources and signing up to email lists to read about the latest trends and developments. “The technology is moving so fast, the challenge is staying up to date with it,” Neave says, adding it can be overwhelming to try and keep up with developments that change by the week. If anything, it’s at least “really important to try” and build a fundamental knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes with AI news.
  2. Use AI in your own work. “Seek out opportunities in your work to try and use these tools for real,” Neave says. “That’s when you really start to understand the strengths and weaknesses” and can learn to write smart prompts to get the best application out of them. It’s a good idea to check with your manager about your company’s policy on using AI in your work before doing so, and remember to avoid entering sensitive proprietary company data into ChatGPT to get answers, as it’s a public tool.
  3. Finally, show how you’ve used AI successfully to achieve a specific goal. To set yourself apart as a candidate, you might “demonstrate you’ve built a product using this technology or that you’ve added commercial value to your organization by using it,” Neave says. “If you want to take it to the next level, you can fine-tune these large language models based on your proprietary business data,” Neave says.

Some of the most common AI-related jobs employers are hiring for right now include software engineer, product designer, deep learning architect and data scientist.

AI could be a reliable skill in an unpredictable market that’s seen some big-name tech layoffs in recent months, Neave says, and those looking for high-paying roles should keep a pulse on AI in the second half of the year in particular.

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