AI and Automation Drive New Job Boom

By Nicole Lewis May 26, 2021
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data scientist

​Looking toward a post-pandemic future, 70 percent of HR professionals who responded to a recent survey said they'll be emphasizing reskilling and upskilling efforts to boost workforce innovation.

The survey results from CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for IT professionals, showed that more organizations will implement artificial intelligence and automation. More than 80 percent of 400 HR and workforce learning professionals expect AI to have either a moderate or significant impact on human resource management, and a majority of companies are planning or actively using AI in areas such as candidate screening, onboarding, competency assessment and career planning.  

CompTIA found that the top areas where HR professionals are using or exploring AI-enabled tools are competency assessments and hiring process management (71 percent), employee self-service tools (71 percent), and career-pathway modeling (68 percent).

Organizations are hiring, too, to support these initiatives: 74 percent of large firms are likely to fill IT or technology positions in 2021, filling new roles and specializations such as IoT network architect, 5G engineer, edge-computing integrator or drone automation engineer.

Advances in AI and data are creating new titles like automation architect, machine learning analyst, AI ethicist, data scientist and data loss prevention security engineer.

People skills in the virtual-work world will become more important as distributed teams increasingly rely on remote collaboration.

CompTIA estimated that technology occupations are projected to grow at twice the rate of overall employment in the U.S. economy between 2020 and 2030.

Additionally, employers are going to have to compete for IT skilled labor in several sectors, from retail and banking to construction, education, health care and agriculture.  

As the demand for skilled technology workers grows, learning and development leaders will need to make sure employees can:

  • Pair scalable learning tech with effective experiential learning.
  • Maintain data security from home offices.
  • Fine-tune AI tools and interpret their outputs.

One company that is using AI and automation to revamp its learning and development process is Conduent Inc., a business process services company headquartered in Florham Park, N.J.

Conduent has developed automation to eliminate repetitive tasks effort and uses AI to reduce the time it takes to plan and prepare for training from two weeks to minutes.

"To avoid duplicating any training needs, the AI algorithm analyzes historical deployment data such as course records, training domains, language, location, isolated event assignments, lead times, range dates, event assignments and pre-existing training plans among others," said Beth Fritts, general manager, learning solutions at Conduent.

Fritts added that Conduent's learning solutions focus on achieving the right balance between learning and performance support. Since last year, the company has been actively developing digital adoption platform solutions that overlay an application or website to help guide end-users through the technology's tasks and functions.

The tool then can collect end-user utilization, evaluate data that provides insights against defined objectives and assist management with making better decisions based on the information.

"If there are new data streams that can help learning and development executives understand and tailor learning to the candidate, certainly that should be taken advantage of," said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "Many are probably going to have to get up to speed on the data side before they can even begin to take advantage of some of the emerging technologies."

Nicole Lewis is a freelance journalist based in Miami.

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