- Jobs related to blockchain and machine learning saw the most growth in interest from employers in the last year, according to a new report from LinkedIn. Six out of the top 15 "emerging jobs" in 2018 were related to artificial intelligence (AI), based on LinkedIn Economic Graph data from 2014 through 2018.
- Demand for blockchain developers — up 33% in 2018 — came from around the country, with particular emphasis in San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta.
- LinkedIn also found that "basic operational functions," like administrative assistants, sales development and assurance staff, had not been reduced in importance in favor of machine learning and engineering. “Soft skills,” like leadership or oral communication, were high on the list of desired traits with a skills gap.
Smart cities are increasingly captivated by blockchain, given the technology's potential to overhaul city finance and civic functions ranging from taxes to real estate to voting. That helps explain the 33% growth in interest in blockchain developers from around the country. San Francisco topping LinkedIn's list of cities where interest ran highest in blockchain developers mirrors the conclusion from a May 2018 study from Crypto Fund Research, which found that San Francisco, New York City and Chicago were the industry’s top markets.
The interest in AI should also come as no surprise, with companies trying to build machine learning into just about every field. LinkedIn chief economist Guy Berger wrote that "skills related to AI are starting to infiltrate every industry, not just tech," including fields like manufacturing and financial services. The top cities for machine learning-related skills were all over the map, from west coast tech centers like San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose, CA to less expected markets like Madison, WI, Denver and Chicago. The automotive industry has seen especially high interest in AI skills as automakers look to get self-driving cars on the road.
Many cities have appeared desperate to establish themselves as tech centers to attract the growing industry. New York City, for example, established a blockchain resource center to help nurture the industry, and others have tried to attract new outposts for established tech firms like Apple or Google. Given the clear interest in machine learning and blockchain that doesn’t appear likely to tail off, smart cities will continue to roll out projects that attract those skills.