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Those who wish to work in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are well advised to acquire a broad spectrum of skills in computer science, mathematics or business IT. In addition, employers in the field of AI attach particular importance to several years of professional experience. These are the findings of a study by the German Economic Institute commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, said: "Artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly significant role in individual companies and for the German economy as a whole. It is changing job profiles and sought-after skills. AI specialists should therefore be aware of the skills they will need for successful careers. The study provides important findings about this."

The study evaluates approximately 11,000 job advertisements in AI-related occupations. It analyses what skills companies are expecting in changing or newly created occupations and itself uses AI technologies for its analysis. The study focuses on the first quarter of 2020.

As many employers see it, their prospective employees will have acquired their AI skills during higher education studies or vocational training. Only around one third of all AI-related job ads make no reference to a specific degree. Where job ads do request a specific qualification, 96% of them are looking for someone with a higher education degree. Degrees in data-related STEM studies, including computer science, business IT, mathematics and – to a smaller extent – engineering and natural sciences are in high demand.

Companies usually expect applicants to have at least one specific skill such as an understanding of technical AI concepts, including machine learning (31%) or Big Data (25%). Knowledge of programming languages such as Python (35%) or SQL (25%) are another priority criterion.

The analysis of companies' demand in the field of AI will be continued in the coming years with different focuses. The next results will be presented in spring 2022.