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Acquiring AI skills could boost salary up to 28%: Study

IT workers are seen to benefit the most from this. 

A recent study by Amazon Web Services (AWS) revealed that having skills related to artificial intelligence (AI) could increase the salaries of Hong Kong workers by up to 28%.

According to “Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Hong Kong Workforce for Jobs of the Future,” those in the field of information technology will enjoy the highest pay increase, followed by research and development, and sales and marketing. 

Aside from salary increases, the AWS study also reported that respondents believe AI can increase their company’s productivity by 40%, and even help enhance their efficiency by as much as 47%. 

Both employers and employees believe that AI could help in terms of improving workflow and outcomes, automating repetitive tasks, and supporting learning, it added. 

AWS also said employers are placing greater emphasis on soft skills for employees to possess by 2028. Employers find soft skills like critical thinking (56%) and creative thinking (52%) more important than technical skills like coding (51%), the study added.

In terms of integrating AI in their system, the survey said 84% of employers said they used AI-powered tools in 2023, which is seen to increase to 94% by 2028. The IT department will be the biggest beneficiary in the shift, it noted.

Within the next five years, 94% of employers and 91% of employees expect to use generative AI tools on the job. Around 62% of companies believe this will help in automating repetitive tasks, followed by increasing innovation and creativity (60%), and improving outcomes (56%).

Per industry, workers from the financial sector (71%) are the most positive about the impact of AI on their careers and organisations, followed by manufacturing (69%), ICT (65%), and wholesale and retail trade sectors (57%). 

A total of 91% of respondents from the financial service currently use AI tools, and 94% expect to by 2028. 

Overall, around 80% of workers expressed interest in developing their AI skills.

However, the study also revealed a gap, with 73% of employers who prioritise AI-skilled workers saying they find it challenging to get the talent they need. 

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“Of the surveyed employers, 76% said they lack the knowledge to implement an AI workforce training program. They also lack the financial resources to provide employees with AI training (70%), and time for employees to pursue AI training outside of core work responsibilities (69%),” AWS said. 

“In addition, 65% of employees cited a lack of knowledge of the AI skills training programs available as a top barrier,” it added. 

The AWS study involved over 1,600 employees in 500 organisations in Hong Kong.

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