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Accenture added 13,000 AI specialists, only needs 27,000 more

The times are not good at Accenture, the professional services firm which last year cut 19,000 jobs and last week trimmed its revenue growth forecasts, prompting an 8% drop in its share price. But if you work in artificial intelligence (AI) for Accenture, you are seemingly immune to the hardship.

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In June 2023, Accenture announced plans to invest $3bn over three years in AI and to add 40,000 AI experts, thereby doubling its AI workforce. Speaking last week, Accenture's CEO Julie Sweet, said the company now has "over 53,000 skilled data and AI practitioners" and intends to have 80,000 by 2026.

While other areas of Accenture's business lose momentum, AI is the gift that keeps on giving. Sweet said AI is about more than simply implementing a large language model. "To reinvent using technology, data and AI you must have the right digital core, change your processes and ways of working, reskill and upskill your people and build new capabilities around responsible AI," she said during the investor call. This must be accompanied by "a deep understanding of industry and function in order to unlock the value." Accenture can helpfully bring all of this to the AI table. 

Even better, Sweet suggested that these are early days for the AI revolution. "90% of the opportunities lie ahead," she declared in relation to AI. In cloud migration, she said 80% of the opportunities lie ahead; in security, she deemed that only 65% do. 

As Accenture hurries to hire tens of AI specialists, or maybe just to retrain some existing staff, there are signs that it might be interested in adding finance professionals. It's looking for a "digital finance transformation consultant" in London and various salespeople to sell its AI products in New York. Pay isn't bad, but isn't the best: after eight years as a data science manager, Levelsfyi suggests you can earn $180k working for Accenture in New York.

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Photo by CARTER SAUNDERS on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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