Generative AI Tops the List


Despite a turbulent economy and widespread layoffs, tech skills remain in high demand, and not surprisingly, generative AI leads the charge, according to a newly released report from Indeed. Half of the top 10 highest-paying tech skills on the U.S. list are AI-specific, the study finds.

Top 10 tech skills in the U.S. and their average salary potential

1. Generative AI, $174,727: Generative artificial intelligence is AI capable of generating text, images or other data using generative models, often in response to prompts.

2. SoC, $174,564: System-on-chip is an integrated circuit that integrates most or all components of a computer or other electronic system.

3. Deep learning, $170,939: Deep learning is the subset of machine learning methods based on artificial neural networks with representation learning.

4. Torch, $169,874: Torch is an open-source machine learning library, a scientific computing framework, and a scripting language based on Lua.

5. PyTorch, $168,636: PyTorch is a machine learning framework based on the Torch library. It is used for applications such as computer vision and natural language processing. The ML framework was developed by Meta AI and is now part of the Linux Foundation umbrella.

6. Computer vision, $166,873: Computer vision is a field of computer science that focuses on enabling computers to identify and understand objects and people in images and videos.

7. SystemVerilog, $165,832: SystemVerilog is a hardware description and hardware verification language used to model, design, simulate, test and implement electronic systems.

8. Mesos, $165,788: Apache Mesos is an open-source project to manage computer clusters like CPU, memory, storage and other compute resources.

9. Rust, $165,637: Rust is a general-purpose programming language that emphasizes performance, type safety and concurrency.

10. Elixir, $165,245: Elixir is a functional, concurrent, high-level general-purpose programming language that is also used to implement the Erlang programming language.

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Job seekers with AI skills clearly stand out

There is little doubt that AI is changing the tech industry and the nature of jobs. Consequently, “job seekers would do well to consider the changing industry’s new demands, which include changes stemming from the widespread adoption of generative AI,’’ the first-ever Indeed top 10 highest-paying tech skills report noted. “While Gen AI will touch virtually every industry, tech will be impacted the most.”

Despite the layoffs in tech that have dominated headlines, “this data is demonstrating an inverse trend within the industry — proving the demand for certain tech skills is still high, and in some cases, skyrocketing,” Donal McMahon, vice president of data science at Indeed, told TechRepublic via email. “With this in mind, it is interesting that we see AI-specific skills dominating half the list. This underscores that in a tight market, job seekers with AI skills can stand out, and potentially earn almost 50% more than their counterparts.”

AI skills are sought globally

With the rise of AI globally, Indeed is seeing as much demand for similar skills across the world as in the U.S., McMahon said. Companies around the world “are all searching for employees who know AI and can adapt to new and emerging technologies,” he noted.

Top companies and industries hiring these tech skills

The top companies hiring for these tech skills include Apple, Amazon, NVIDIA, Meta, TikTok, Deloitte and Ericsson Worldwide, according to Indeed’s report.

In terms of vertical-specific industries, in 2024, every company is working to become a tech company, increasing the demand for these skills, McMahon said. “Some of the top industries we are seeing coveting these skills are the aerospace and defense industry, insurance companies, financial services, manufacturing, and semiconductors.”

Tips for hiring employers: Act fast, focus on skills and upskilling

As more businesses move their operations online and every industry takes on new forms of digital transformation, workers with specialized technical skills are needed everywhere — not just in the tech industry, McMahon stressed.

“Indeed data has shown that 77% of job seekers are frustrated with the job search process and feel like the process is too slow,” he said. “Employers also agree that it takes too long to find quality talent and hire — but they do have some control over this timeline. When job seekers and skills are in demand, we encourage employers to act fast and utilize matching technology during the hiring process.”

Not only will this alleviate pain points for the job seeker, McMahon added, but the company can make a strategic hire faster.

Further, employers can find candidates faster if they focus on a skills-first hiring approach, he said. “Rather than looking at proxies like a college degree, a certain number of years of experience, or previous companies, they can hire based on the skills they need. This will open the talent pipeline to candidates who are often overlooked but are qualified to do the work.”

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Employers can also consider implementing an upskilling program to provide opportunities for current employees to learn these skills, McMahon said. He also suggested that new workers continue developing expertise in these skills.

While Indeed’s Workforce Insights Report finds that 43% of job seekers consider lack of certifications as a top barrier to finding the job they want, a majority of the skills on this list can be learned through online courses, the report said.

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