China’s AI talent gap

China’s need for workers skilled in AI is expected to grow sixfold by 2030 (from one million to six million). However, local and overseas universities, as well as existing top-tier talent, could provide only one-third of the necessary talent, leaving a shortage of about four million. Senior partner Alex Sawaya and colleague found that Chinese companies could use two key levers to address the shortfall: upskilling existing workers and diversifying talent sources.

By 2030, China could see a top-tier tech-talent gap of more than four million.

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A line graph shows projected demand and supply for top-tier talent in China. By 2030, the demand for top-tier talent will be about 6 million, while the supply will be less than 2 million—a shortfall of almost 4 million eligible candidates. Sources for supply estimates include the National Bureau of Statistics of China and McKinsey analysis. Sources for demand estimates include iSoftStone and iResearch, LinkedIn, Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China, OS World Universities Rankings 2023, and UNESCO.

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To read the article, see “How businesses can close China’s AI talent gap,” May 5, 2023.