Artificial intelligence roles head up list of UK emerging jobs

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Artificial intelligence and tech roles fill the top ranks of the UK’s fastest emerging jobs according to new data revealed by LinkedIn.

The top three ranked emerging jobs, according to the social media/career website were artificial intelligence specialist, data protection officer and robotics engineer. Other roles seeing rapid growth included site reliability engineer and data scientist.

LinkedIn’s research looked at each of the emerging roles to discover what types of organisations were recruiting them, what skillsets the role demanded and where the role tended to be geographically. For example, AI specialists were being hired mostly by IT and financial services firms, research entities and software development firms. The candidates were mostly previously employed as data engineers and scientists and software engineers. In terms of region, the role was most strongly associated with London.

Data protection officers had previously been compliance officers, data managers and information officers with a relatively high proportion tending to be in London, Manchester and Cardiff. Financial services, government, IT, non-profits and healthcare were among the prime recruiters for this role.

The research also revealed emerging roles that required a high degree of human interaction: customer success specialists, sales development representatives and user researcher, a role that requires a deep understanding of user behavior, needs, and motivations.

A distinct gender gap was revealed by the data. More than 65% of all these emerging roles, across all the industries employing them, are held by men, with financial services (80 males to 20 females) and telecommunications (81 males to 19 females) showing the greatest imbalance.

Although, inevitably, technology firms were dominating the employment of people working in the emerging roles with 33%, the analysis picked up significant growth in pharmaceutical industry (+49%), consumer goods (+48%) and higher education (+48%). Sectors such as HR and marketing were also among the top 10 adopters of emerging roles.

Interestingly, despite Brexit fears, the nationality of those working in the roles came from a diverse group of countries with Spain, India and the US strongly represented and a high proportion of UK professionals in the roles relocating to the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.

Mariano Mamertino, senior economist at LinkedIn, said: “As technology continues to advance at a pace, AI specialists will become even more crucial across multiple roles and sectors. Today, there is eighteen times more talent employed in this role in the UK than in 2015.

“Similarly, as data privacy concerns have grown, so has demand for talent to fill roles such as data protection officer and cyber security specialist. As we move into the second year of the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, we can only expect these roles to increase.

AI specialists will become even more crucial across multiple roles and sectors. Today, there is eighteen times more talent employed in this role in the UK than in 2015”

“But while tech roles dominate, the importance of the human touch persists.”

Although London dominates in terms of the numbers of professionals working in emerging roles (44%), regional cities are also experiencing growth. Belfast (+39%), Cardiff (+35%) and Nottingham (+35%) had the largest year-on-year growth in emerging jobs.

LinkedIn said it based its emerging jobs analysis on those members of the website with a public profile who had held a full-time position within the UK during the past five years. Once the talent pool had been identified, LinkedIn then calculated the share of hiring and compound annual growth rate for each occupation between 2015 and 2019 to identify the roles with the largest rate of growth: the emerging jobs.

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