How will artificial intelligence influence the IT labour market?

10 07

How will artificial intelligence influence the IT labour market?

logo-kwadrat-2-2-2 Author: Maciej Kołodziejski

Maciej Kołodziejski – has been working in the IT industry for more than 4 years. He initially focused on the distribution and alignment of the best software/hardware solutions and now works as a Business Manager at ITDS, meeting the needs of global banking institutions in recruitment and project management. He has 6 years of experience in key account management.  on A graduate in IT – Internet Technologies and Multimedia Techniques from the Częstochowa University of Technology.

ChatGPT has sparked a discussion about the degree to which artificial intelligence will start replacing human employees in various sectors, contributing to the extinction of many professions. While industrial automation is already here and nobody has any doubts about it, experts are still divided about how AI will impact the labour market in the IT sector. In this article, I will discuss how artificial intelligence is now being used in the IT industry, as well as address its potential future role!

What changes in the labour market will be brought about by artificial intelligence?

According to a recent study, artificial intelligence may affect up to 300 million jobs. AI technology is expected to increase the global GDP by 7% in the upcoming years, while at the same time causing quite a stir in the labour market.

The spread of robotization and automation solutions will naturally cause workforce evolution. Thanks to AI, manual labour may be replaced in many painstaking, repetitive processes. This helps to significantly increase productivity and work efficiency, while at the same time reducing costs.

Personnel Service experts have put together a list of professions which will become fully or largely automated in the near future. These include:

  • retail cashiers and sales attendants,
  • customer service employees and telemarketers,
  • manufacturing and assembly personnel.

While the list did not include software developers or other IT specialists, the researchers decided that data analysts and statisticians are also at risk in the long run.

Although people working in a diverse range of industries are concerned about these developments, it is worth remembering that the advent of AI may also represent a huge opportunity. On the one hand, it will cause many professions to become extinct, while on the other hand, it will create many new ones. It is normal for the labour market to keep continuously evolving. Without doubt, the greatest potential can be found at the source, i.e. in the information technology sector.

What is the role of artificial intelligence in the IT industry?

In the IT industry, artificial intelligence is currently used to reduce employees’ workloads, which translates into time and money savings. Systems able to use ready-made code fragments to create software and applications (e.g. DeepCoder) or to analyse code and test software, immediately finding and correcting errors, are becoming widespread.

Moreover, artificial intelligence is currently employed to create and improve code quality. By automating this process, programmers will be able to focus more on management and control. Currently, they need to be involved at virtually every stage of project implementation. This makes basic business understanding competences, or soft skills related to e.g. team work, especially relevant.

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Artificial intelligence in the IT industry – benefits

New AI technologies benefit the IT industry in numerous ways. They are mainly responsible for:

  • increasing process and operation efficiency,
  • improving service and product quality,
  • increasing profits,
  • reducing costs,
  • saving time,
  • increasing the level of security (e.g. data protection algorithms).
  • reducing the number of errors and delays.

Will software developers be replaced by artificial intelligence?

In the past, software developers were required to have at least basic technical competences. A simple skillset was enough to find employment, on attractive terms and with a satisfactory salary. 

According to recent reports, used by experts to develop their forecasts, “artificial intelligence might push many specialists out of the market”. This conclusion stems from the fact that bots and algorithms are already able to perform the same tasks humans do, with the additional advantage of increased speed and reduced costs. However, a future where IT specialists become obsolete still seems to be a long time away.

Programmers at risk of losing their jobs mainly include those who were largely responsible for writing simple scripts and codes. Even if their technical skills are beyond reproach, they should focus on specializing in a particular area (such as AI), without forgetting to keep honing their soft skills.

IT work has always presupposed continuous professional development. Software developers must ceaselessly expand their knowledge and try to acquire new skills, as their qualifications are continuously put to the test by the labour market. Therefore, upskilling in the area of AI seems to be a natural choice.

Experts emphasize that in this situation, we should not be asking “if”, but rather “when” AI will turn the market upside down.

However, let’s not forget that artificial intelligence has been created by humans and only works as directed by them. Therefore, at least for now, it is still very much pattern-based and requires some level of supervision. Therefore, demand for qualified employees, who are at the same time creative and have good team management skills, is unlikely to dwindle anytime soon.

What is the future of artificial intelligence in the IT industry?

Over the last two years, the range of AI applications has grown significantly, driven largely by accelerated digitization brought about by the pandemic.

The discussion about the future of AI in the labour market is divisive for business owners, including in the IT sector. Experts, however, agree that as AI becomes more popular, disruptive economic and social changes will follow. Because of the potential for automated AI processes to take over more easily replaceable jobs, the number of positions in certain areas will shrink, marking a trend that seems set to continue.

On the other hand, artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing specialists will be in high demand. The best course of action will thus be to adapt to the evolving reality.

Using AI solutions has become a new development standard, which is why many jobs are being created in this area of the market.

Many experts also claim that artificial intelligence may be a solution to workforce shortages – a problem many employers have been facing for a few years now. Companies are looking for candidates with a high market value and a high impact across the entire organization, so the ability to reduce the number of positions required will allow them to focus on key specialists.

In this rapidly changing world, employers are responsible for shaping conditions which will facilitate development without excluding human participation.