RIYADH: Japan is expected to have 270,000 artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) job vacancies in 2030 with no one to fill them, Nikkei Asia reported.
Japan’s shortage of speciality IT workers is predicted to be 13 times more acute by then than it was in 2018, according to the newspaper.
Companies are trying to take up the slack by educating cutting-edge IT engineers themselves.
Japanese multinational air conditioning manufacturing company Daikin Industries will set up an in-house university in cooperation with Osaka University to produce 1,500 AI and IoT professionals by 2023.
Z Holdings, the parent company of Yahoo Japan, will increase its workforce of AI engineers by 5,000 or so through 2025.
However, demand for talent is expected to swell so fast that teaching conventional IT workers digital transformation skills won’t make much of a difference.
Japan is already behind other countries in nurturing the IT professionals indispensable to a digital transformation, with few graduates holding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees, but it now sees gloom in its future and the need to invest more in human resources.
As many as 29,000 Japanese graduates had majored in natural science, mathematics and statistics in 2018. That same year, the US had 10 times as many, Nikkei said, based on data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in cooperation with staffing company Human Resocia.
Japan’s Information and Communication Industry had 1.22 million engineers in 2020, according to a survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications- the fourth-most in the world, but the country needs specific IT skills.
Conventional IT workers, those who develop websites and apps, in 2018 accounted for 90 percent of all IT workers in Japan, while the cutting-edge IT workers, specialized in artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT smart devices made up 10 percent, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.