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The ultimate skill set for a job in AI

Page one of a Google search for “artificial intelligence” is smattered with results containing words like “risk,” “fear” and even “apocalypse.” Clearly people are afraid of AI.

So far, however, innovation in AI is creating jobs. Lots of them. ZipRecruiter data shows jobs in AI have increased nearly 400 percent since last year, and the roles aren’t exclusive to high-tech.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in May referred to AI as “the defining technology of our times.” Given the current growth rate of AI jobs, and its central role in what is now known as the fourth industrial revolution, it’s time job seekers shed their fear of the unknown and hone the skills of the future.

Communication skills

If you’ve perused any job descriptions lately, you’ve likely seen communication skills listed as a core requirement. Being able to effectively communicate your ideas is key to success in this field because good AI requires creating emotional intelligence through technology. If you’re not confident in your communication skills, there are plenty of online courses you can take to improve, such as at Just make sure the course is in interpersonal communications. Otherwise, you may end up studying public relations, which is a skill set unto itself.


Of all the programming languages that appeared in our research, Python was the most prevalent by far. Python is lauded for many reasons, chief among them its simplicity when compared to other languages. It’s of particular relevance for AI candidates since many of the major AI frameworks were built using Python. Plus, given the popularity of the language, there are a host of free online resources to help you get started, including at

Digital marketing

The ultimate AI candidate will have some understanding of digital marketing goals and strategies. Marketers are implementing AI in many ways to optimize user experience, better predict search patterns and ultimately improve conversions from contact to customer. If you’re working in AI, you’ll need to know your employer’s endgame in order to build the best technology possible.


Collaborating effectively with others is a valuable skill for candidates in any industry, and it’s essential for working in AI. At its core, AI is modeled after the neural pathways of the human brain. In other words, work in this field is no easy task. You’ll need a teammate (or 20) to accomplish your goals. In fact, most days will start with a daily scrum — a quick meeting with your collaborators and product manager to get everyone on the same page.

Analytical skills

Analytical skills are required for a lot of AI jobs, from real estate agent to data scientist. The ultimate goal of most AI innovation is to create technology that solves our human problems for us. The best AI will not just follow a set of predetermined rules, it will learn how to solve problems creatively. Creative problem-solving is the next major step for AI, and that’s why this skill is in such high demand.


To determine the top skills required for jobs in artificial intelligence we searched in May our database of over 8 million active jobs requiring skills in either artificial intelligence or machine learning. After determining the top 10 artificial intelligence jobs available, we analyzed the required skills for each job title and ranked them by their prevalence across the multiple disciplines.

ai, skill