The number of AI-skilled members from India on the LinkedIn platform has surged by 14 times in the last seven years, pushing the country among the top 5 for AI talent increase, alongside Singapore, Finland, Ireland, and Canada.

LinkedIn, which has launched its maiden Future of Work: State of Work @ AI report, said India seems to have embraced AI learning as the technology’s adoption increases at the workplace.

The report was launched on the sidelines of Charcha ‘23, a two-day conference on livelihoods and skills organised by the Nudge Institute at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.

Over the past year, 43 per cent of the Indian workforce has witnessed increased AI usage at the workplace. This has prompted 60 per cent of all workers and 71 per cent of Gen Z professionals in India to acknowledge that acquiring AI skills could enhance career prospects. Further, two in three Indians say they will learn at least one digital skill in 2023, with AI and machine learning as leading choices.

“As AI shapes the future of work, India recognises the importance of human potential and the pivotal role that soft skills will play in building a world-class workforce of the future,” Ashutosh Gupta, Country Manager at LinkedIn India, said.

“With India’s top executives endorsing the potency of interpersonal skills in the age of AI, we’re entering an era that values more fulfilling, human-centric work. To seize the moment, leaders must solidify their commitment to skills-first hiring because prioritising potential over pedigree can expand talent pools, boost upskilling, and build agility in their workforce,” he said.

AI skilling, a priority

As AI skills gain ground, their impact on the job market is becoming more evident. In 2022, the growth in hiring AI talent has outpaced overall hiring in the Asia-Pacific region. For India, 2023 promises continued growth in AI hiring, with half of India’s top executives aiming to upskill or hire for AI talent this year.

Concurrently, 57 per cent of executives plan to enhance AI use in their organisation next year, suggesting they are reskilling existing workforce to ensure they remain agile and adaptable.

The emphasis on soft skills such as creativity and communications in the age of AI is particularly strong in India, with 91 per cent of top executives recognising their increased importance, surpassing the global average of 72 per cent. A majority of the Indian workforce agrees with this sentiment as 69 per cent of professionals believe that soft skills such as creativity and problem-solving can bring a fresh perspective to work.

“Hyderabad emerges as a key hub in the labour market, consistently attracting professionals from cities like Delhi, Pune, and Vijayawada. Professionals in Hyderabad are eager to grow, with 47 per cent wanting to learn new, in-demand skills,” Ruchee Anand, Senior Director (Talent and Learning Solutions), LinkedIn India, said.

“With executives in India now looking to hire talent with the right soft and AI skills, upskilling in these areas will become even more critical for workers in Telangana to build successful careers,” she said.

She said LinkedIn is investing Rs 3 crore in a three-year skilling partnership with The Nudge Institute, a non-profit working towards building resilient livelihoods for all. It will build employability skills in India’s youth from economically disadvantaged communities.

AI skill index

LinkedIn’s AI Skills Index measures the increase in the share of members with at least two AI skills in their profiles since January 2016. For example, a value of 3x means the share of members with AI skills has trebled.

LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index is based on a quantitative online survey distributed randomly to members via email every two weeks. The LinkedIn Executive Confidence Index is an online survey of about 5,000 LinkedIn members (at the vice-president level or above) every quarter.