Artificial intelligence (AI) experts urgently needed

Poland ranks 24th in the ranking of AI practices saturation in the European Union (share of specialists among the total workforce). Taking into account Central and Eastern European countries, it is in the middle of the list. The leader of the region is Estonia. Most AI specialists in Poland work in Warsaw (30%).

The success of the development of artificial intelligence in the economy consists of many elements – from investment outlays allocated for its development to the openness of companies and institutions to implementations in this area. However, one of the most important success factors are people and their competences. 

In a comparison of AI practices saturation in the European Union, Poland loses as much as 70% to Estonia, the regional digital leader. Such a comparison debunks the myth of a large number of AI programmers and experts in Poland. According to experts, we already need twice as many ICT specialists in the Polish economy. However, the share of specialists in the IT services and software development sector in Poland is significantly higher (58%) than the European Union average (40.6%). In education and industry, on the other hand, we fare somewhat worse. In education (above all in the research and higher education sub-sectors), the share of specialists amounts to 12.6% and is nearly half lower than in Europe (24.5%). In industry, the share of experts is almost 1/3 lower in Poland than in other European countries. It results from the latest report of Digital Poland Foundation “Competences of AI experts”.

Education and skills of AI experts

All AI professionals are science graduates. More than half of them graduated from: mathematics, computer science, electrical and electronic engineering, information technology, mechatronics or robotics and automation engineering.
As it turns out, Polish AI experts are analysed on the market mainly through the prism of hard skills. They often lack soft competencies such as knowledge transfer, communication or teamwork skills. In the future, when AI will become more common in all industries and cooperation in teams will be necessary, this may be a barrier to further development.

Polish AI experts, like European ones, are versatile and program in many languages. The most popular programming environments include: TensorFlow, OpenCv, Scikit-learn and Keras. Most libraries use the Python language.

International job market for AI specialists
The job market for AI practitioners is international by nature, and this is also confirmed by the data: as many as 42% of specialists in the European Union do not work in the country where they graduated. In Poland this percentage is lower – 67.2% of Polish AI specialists work in their home country. This may indicate, among other things, that employers provide attractive career opportunities, as well as a relatively high demand for AI specialists in Poland.  Among AI experts working in our country and holding a university diploma, the majority are those who received their education in the United States (nearly 44%), the United Kingdom (7.4%) and Germany (4.2%). LinkedIn does not check the nationality of users, so they can be either foreigners working in Poland or Poles who have returned after obtaining degrees at foreign universities.

Young AI specialists dominate

The average career length in the field of artificial intelligence is relatively low at 5.1 years. 63.1% of professionals have a maximum of 5 years of work experience, 11.3% are still studying. Only 15.5% of practitioners have more than 10 years of experience. This data is consistent with the development of the artificial intelligence market in Poland and shows that it is still at an early stage.

Mismatch between experts competencies and market needs

In Poland there is a visible mismatch between available AI experts and market needs. First of all, there is a lack of experts in computer vision. The most sought-after and scarce are experts with knowledge of libraries or programming environments such as PyTorch, CopenCv, Scikit-learn, Caffee and NLTK. In Poland, there is also a shortage of experts with knowledge of Data Science libraries and programming environments. For the most popular of them, the demand exceeds even five times the number of specialists available on the market.

Women in AI

The percentage of women who are AI specialists in Poland is less than 13%. This is less than in the European Union and globally, where the percentage of women among all AI employees is 16% and 22% respectively. The highest share of women in AI is in Latvia, where it is over 29%.  

Digital Poland Foundation

The Digital Poland Foundation was established in order to integrate companies and society. It deals with promoting knowledge on the role of innovation and digitisation in the economic development of the country. It brings together companies and organisations from different industries, encouraging them to cooperate on specific projects. The Foundation’s mission is to position Poland as a leading centre of digital innovation in the world. By promoting international and cross-industry initiative, combining forces, topics and creating a network of contacts and relationships it mobilises companies to make the transition from offline to online. Digital Poland Foundation invites to cooperation all who are interested in implementing innovative projects that will change Polish economy

Accenture globally and in Poland

Accenture is a leading global professional services and solutions firm in the areas of: Strategy, Consulting, Digital, Technology and Operations. With the breadth of experience and expertise of our experts in more than 40 industries, we offer services that connect business and technology. We operate worldwide – 506,000 employees help our clients in more than 120 countries improve their business performance and achieve real shareholder value