By Danny Aspinall
Alright, it’s 2024—we all know that artificial intelligence (AI) is the talk of the town by now.
But while in the last 12-18 months the conversation was all about how AI might become the next big thing, today one thing’s crystal clear: the AI revolution has most definitely begun.
Just look at all the AI services and solutions AWS has launched in recent years:
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Yep, that’s a whole lot of services! And this list doesn’t even mention AWS’ range of generative AI-powered applications like Amazon Q and AWS CodeWhisperer, as well as tools like Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMarker, designed for building generative AI applications of your own.
This exciting library of AI solutions is great news for organizations hoping to unlock a whole new world of capabilities and efficiencies, with a study by AWS and research firm Access Partnership reporting that a huge 93% of businesses expect they will be using AI solutions across their organizations in the next five years.
But there’s still one significant hurdle standing in the way: finding the right talent to leverage these new solutions effectively.
In fact, that same report found that hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority for three-quarters (73%) of employers, but three in four say they are unable to meet their AI talent needs. And when assessing job listings, we found a similar gap in supply and demand: despite the number of organizations looking to hire talent specifically for their generative AI solutions having increased by over 500%, less than 10,000 candidates list generative AI or LLM as something they have experience working on daily, and just 6,800 candidates list MLOps as something they practice day-to-day.
And this opens plenty of new doors for current and prospective AWS professionals alike. Sure, those with existing AI expertise currently hold all the aces in the job market, but IT talent who are willing to seize the opportunity by developing AI expertise and skill sets that are so highly sought after look set to prosper. And research shows that this effort is more than worth the reward: Access Partnership’s report found that employers expect their workers to earn up to 47% more in salaries if they upskill in AI.
But if you’re eager to upskill in AI to increase your market value, you’re probably wondering where to start. Lucky for you, AWS has just the answer you’re looking for.
Recently, Amazon announced their ‘AI Ready commitment’; a series of initiatives designed to scale existing AI training programs and provide both students and adults with free skills training. Aiming to train 2 million people globally by 2025, this commitment hopes to make learning AI more accessible by removing cost as an entry barrier to gaining these critical skills. And we think that’s awesome.
The initiatives making up the AI Ready commitment are:
Education is critical to bridging skills gaps in AWS and this starts at the very beginning, promoting opportunities to students in STEM and equipping graduates with in-demand skill sets that ensure longevity to the talent pipelines feeding the ecosystem.
But what about those who are already part of the AWS community? Or existing professionals hoping to build a new career in AWS? And how can business leaders grasp a foundational understanding of AI in order to better comprehend how to make it work for their organizations?
As part of the 80+ (yep, you read that right: over 80!) free and low-cost AI and generative AI courses and learning resources provided by AWS, the eight new courses developed as part of the ‘AI Ready commitment’ are purposely designed to aid both technical and nontechnical learners in AI training.
Businesses and non-technical audiences can gain foundational knowledge of AI and what it can do for their organization through three courses:
Meanwhile, technical learners and existing AWS professionals can upskill through five free purpose-built courses available on AWS Skill Builder:
It’s no exaggeration to say that the rapid evolution of AI and its breakthrough into the mainstream has revolutionized the tech industry and, along with it, the industry’s job markets. Professionals with the right skills should look to capitalize on the plethora of opportunities available today, while AWS talent who are currently lacking expertise and experience in the area, should take the steps to upskill today to reap the rewards tomorrow. And with the help of the AWS ‘AI Ready’ initiative, taking that first step has never been easier.
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