Even Wall Street bankers are worried about what automation will mean for their jobs. So when our CEO, Matt Sigelman, was invited to speak on a panel at the ABS East conference, we thought we’d take a look at what was really happening with artificial intelligence and automation skills in finance jobs.

We found that in finance, automation and artificial intelligence bear all the hallmarks of what we call a “disruptive skill” that upends an industry’s talent needs. The demand is small now, but it is growing fast.

Based on our database of job postings, we found machine learning and other AI-related skills were still rare in the finance sector, accounting for slightly more than 8,000 postings over the last 12 months. That’s out of more than 1.8 million finance job postings overall.

But what stands out is how fast demand for these skills has been growing. Since 2012, demand for these skills has grown over six times faster than demand for all finance jobs (422% compared to 67%).

These skills also command a significant salary premium. On average, openings for these jobs in finance advertise salaries of $129,000 per year – significantly higher than the sector average of $75,000 across all jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree.

Total PostingsRelative Posting Growth since 2012
(compared to all finance)
Average Advertised Salary: Automation and AI in FinanceAverage Advertised Salary: All BA+ Jobs in Finance
8,0406.3x$129,000$75,000

The demand for automation skills is heavily concentrated in data science and analysis roles in finance, but they are also spreading into traditional IT roles – such as software developers and network engineers – as well as finance-specific roles, such as risk managers and financial quantitative analysts.

Top 10 Occupations Requesting Automation and AI in Finance

  • Data Scientist
  • Data / Business Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Data Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Risk Manager
  • Business Intelligence Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Database Architects
  • Financial Quantitative Analyst

Financial firms are bringing dedicated data science, data engineering, and machine learning skills in-house in order to build automated tools and processes. Building and leveraging these tools also requires knowledge of programming languages, such as Python and JAVA. And this demand isn’t limited to New York and Silicon Valley—requests for these skills are in job postings ranging from Texas and Illinois to Ohio and Minnesota.

Top 10 Automation Skills Demanded in Finance Jobs

  • Machine Learning
  • Python
  • SQL
  • Apache Hadoop
  • SAS
  • Big Data
  • Data Mining
  • Java
  • R
  • Data Science

So what makes automation and artificial intelligence qualify as disruptive skills in finance? Leaving aside the impact automation potentially has on the financial world, these skills are also expensive for employers to find—and failing to find the right talent in this field may leave a financial institution lagging behind if AI comes to dominate how the industry operates.

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To get more information on how Burning Glass Technologies can provide your organization in-depth knowledge of the skills found in your specific job market, contact us today.

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