What is an AI Consultant? Explanation of the job description, future prospects, and necessary skills.

2024.01.25

  • Industry Information
AIコンサルタントとは?仕事内容から将来性、必要なスキルまで解説

In recent years, with the rapid progress of AI technology, more and more companies have been promoting the use of AI, and the job of AI consultant has been attracting attention. The market value of AI consultants is considered to be high.

With this change in demand, many people may be interested in a career as an AI consultant.

This article will therefore provide a detailed description of the work of AI consultants, their future prospects, and the skills required to become an AI consultant. At the end of the article, we also introduce qualifications useful for changing careers to become an AI consultant.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

What is an AI consultant?


AIコンサルタントとは?

AI consultants are professionals who use their expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help companies and organizations solve problems. Their main task is to provide strategic advice on how to maximize the potential of AI in various fields, such as improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and developing new services and products.

Here we will explain the background to the recent demand for such AI consultants, their annual salary, and their future prospects.

Background of the demand for AI consultants

AI technology has advanced rapidly in recent years and is now used in a variety of fields. In particular, advances in deep learning technology, a type of machine learning, have broadened the range of AI applications.

Against this backdrop, an increasing number of companies are trying to improve their business operations by utilizing AI technology. On the other hand, introducing and utilizing AI technology in-house requires personnel with specialized knowledge and experience. However, the IT industry is facing a serious shortage of human resources relative to the size of the market, and in particular, there is a significant shortage of personnel who can handle AI.

In fact, according to the "Survey on IT Human Resource Supply and Demand" published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the shortage of traditional IT human resources (IT human resources responsible for contracted development, operation, and maintenance of traditional systems) is expected to be resolved by 2030, while the shortage of advanced IT human resources (IT human resources who will lead new businesses in response to the fourth industrial revolution, including AI, big data, and IoT) is expected to be reduced. However, the shortage of advanced IT personnel (IT personnel who will lead new businesses in the fourth industrial revolution, such as AI, big data, and IoT) is expected to widen further, according to some estimates.

IT人材需給に関する調査

Quoted from: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, "Survey on IT Human Resources Supply and Demand".

As described above, many companies are interested in AI, but have yet to introduce it, due to a lack of personnel capable of handling AI.

As AI technology is expected to develop further in the future, the demand for AI consultants is expected to increase further in order to meet the needs of such companies.

Background of the demand for AI consultants

Although the exact annual salary of AI consultants is unknown due to the absence of statistical data, it seems to be set at a high level in many cases, generally in the range of 6-10 million yen. In fact, a look at job listings on recruitment websites and recruitment agents reveals the following annual salaries.
 

Of course, annual salaries vary depending on skills and experience, but in many cases, especially for AI consultants working for major companies, annual salaries exceed 10 million yen. In addition, experienced senior consultants can expect annual salaries of 20 to 30 million yen.

Thus, the annual income of AI consultants far exceeds the average annual income in Japan, and it is expected to rise further as the demand for AI consultants increases with the development of AI technology in the future.

Prospects for AI Consultants

Advances in AI technology have led to the adoption of AI in many industries. This process has increased the demand for AI consultants, as companies need expertise to effectively utilize AI.

As AI technology advances, AI consultants are one of the jobs that are least likely to be lost to AI.

AI consultants play an important role in identifying the importance of such data and supporting strategic decision making. AI consultants play an important role in identifying the importance of such data and supporting strategic decision making. For this reason, AI consultants are considered less likely to be replaced by AI than other professionals, and demand for AI consultants is expected to grow further in the future.

AI Consultant Workflow


AIコンサルタントの仕事の流れ

The specific duties of an AI consultant vary depending on the client's issues and requests, but the basic work flow is as follows.
 

  • Listening to client issues
  • AI strategy planning
  • Needs analysis and data analysis
  • Proposal and presentation of AI solutions
  • Project management

Each of these duties will now be described in detail.

Hearing the client's issues

To begin, we will carefully interview the client company about its business goals and the challenges it is currently facing. We will find out in detail what problems they are trying to solve with AI and what kind of results they expect from the solution.

In doing so, we also check the client company's existing business processes and the tools it uses. Also, since some clients may have limited knowledge of AI technology, it is important to explain what can be achieved with AI technology according to the client's level of knowledge.

This process is an important step for AI consultants because the information obtained through interviews directly leads to the next strategic planning and solution proposals.

AI Strategy Development

Next, we will consider what AI technologies can be used to achieve or solve the client's business goals and challenges identified in the interviews. At this stage, we also develop a management plan for the human and technical resources and budget required to implement the project.

It will also be important to create a step-by-step roadmap for the implementation of the AI project, defining key milestones and timelines for each phase.

Needs and data analysis

Once we have considered what AI technologies can be utilized, the next step is to analyze the client's needs in more depth and move on to collecting and analyzing available data. By conducting needs and data analysis and gathering the information necessary to design an AI-based solution, we can propose the best AI solution to solve the client's business issues.

Here, we will evaluate the quality and quantity of data, available technologies and tools, and consider the feasibility of the project.

AI solution proposals and presentations

Based on the analysis results, we select the most appropriate AI solution and make a proposal and presentation to the client. We explain in detail whether AI technology is necessary to solve the client company's problems in the first place, and if so, why it is the most appropriate technology.

At this time, the project implementation plan should also be mentioned, explaining what steps will be taken to implement the solution, as well as the resources, budget, and timeframe required. It is also important to mention the risks and concerns of the project and provide controls and mitigations for them.

Through this process, the AI consultant aims to convince the client of the effectiveness of the AI solution and gain buy-in for the project.

Project Management

After the decision to implement AI has been made, another important task of the AI consultant is to manage the progress of the project. They manage schedules, costs, human resources, and quality, and plan meticulously to ensure that the project is completed by the deadline.

During the execution phase of the project, they effectively manage the work of team members and track project progress on a regular basis. If there are any deviations from the plan, they must be addressed promptly. It is also important to have a risk assessment and response plan in place in advance in order to respond quickly when unexpected problems arise.

Five leading leading AI consultancies


代表的な大手AIコンサルタント会社5選

The following five companies are representative of the leading AI consulting firms.
 

  • PwC Consulting LLC
  • Accenture Japan Ltd
  • ABeam Consulting Ltd.
  • Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
  • IBM Japan, Ltd.

Let's take a closer look at one company at a time.

PwC Consulting LLC

PwC Consulting LLC is a London-based consulting firm with operations in 157 countries.

The company opened a new organization, the AI and Software Robotics Center, in 2017 to strengthen its system for helping companies improve their operations and productivity by bringing together internal resources related to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technologies. The Center provides AI solutions that maximize the use of AI and RPA technology expertise to companies seeking to transform their businesses.

Official Site

Accenture Japan Ltd

Accenture, Inc. is one of the world's largest consulting firms, helping companies utilize and implement AI with its unparalleled technological and consulting capabilities.

The company has attracted global attention with its announcement (June 13, 2023) that it will invest $3 billion over the next three years in data and AI (Artificial Intelligence) related businesses. This investment is expected to further strengthen the company's more than decade-long knowledge and track record in the field of AI.

Official Site

ABeam Consulting Ltd.

ABeam Consulting Ltd. is a Japan-based, Asia-based, full-service consulting firm. The company provides comprehensive support for AI implementation and data analysis required in the era of digital transformation (DX) to help companies make appropriate decisions.

The company has a large number of AI professionals with extensive knowledge and experience in analysis, statistics, and machine learning technologies, and specializes in a three-pronged approach to data analysis, strategic planning, and AI system construction and implementation.

Official Site

Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.

Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI) is Japan's largest integrated think tank with a wide range of businesses including consulting, systems development, IT services, and research and development.

The company is unique in that it provides problem-solving AI solutions that are not "AI-oriented. Based on a solid understanding of the client's business issues, the company contributes to solving the management challenges of various companies and government agencies by integrating data science, AI technology, and IT technology.

In addition, the company has a global network with offices in 15 countries and regions overseas as well as in Japan, providing AI technology-based solutions to companies not only in Japan but also overseas.

Official Site

IBM Japan, Ltd.

IBM Japan, founded in 1937, is the Japanese subsidiary of IBM, a U.S.-based IT company that today has a broad range of businesses, including IT infrastructure, cloud computing, software, consulting, and security.

The company has a global IBM team of over 20,000 AI experts helping to design and scale AI and automation quickly and reliably across multiple business domains and industries.

Official Site

How to become an AI consultant?


AIコンサルタントになるには?

AI consulting is a profession that requires a high level of skill and extensive experience. Although no special qualifications or licenses are required, to become an AI consultant, it is common to start one's career as an assistant at a consulting firm, SIer, or other company to gain practical experience.

Although some companies will hire inexperienced people based on their potential, they tend to basically seek experienced people, since experience in analysis and development is often required for technical positions.

In order to increase your value as an AI consultant, it is important that you are always willing to learn. It is essential to keep up with the latest trends in the industry and brush up your knowledge and skills.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an AI consultant, make sure you understand the above and focus on acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as an AI consultant. You can learn these skills by self-study or by taking online courses.

Skills Required for AI Consultants


AIコンサルタントに必要なスキル

There are five main skills required of an AI consultant
 

  • Extensive knowledge of AI and machine learning
  • Strong business skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Logical thinking skills
  • Presentation skills

Let us explain one by one.

Extensive knowledge of AI and machine learning

Extensive knowledge of AI, such as machine learning and natural language processing, is essential in order to provide optimal AI solutions that meet the challenges and needs of client companies.

Although AI consultants are rarely involved in the development of AI systems themselves, they need to understand programming languages such as "Python" and "Java" in order to accurately convey client requirements to engineers. It is also useful to improve one's skill level by acquiring certifications that test one's knowledge of AI, such as the Basic Information Technology Engineer Examination and the Statistics Certification Examination.

In addition, since AI technology is evolving on a daily basis, it is important to keep up with the latest technology and broaden the scope of your proposals to clients.

High business skills

AI consultants are expected to have not only extensive knowledge of AI, but also the following business skills
 

  • Documentation skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Project management skills

These business skills will enable us to provide the best AI solutions to meet our clients' challenges.

communication skills

Communication skills are essential for AI consultants, as they communicate closely with clients to promote the implementation and utilization of AI.

Communication skills can be broadly divided into the three categories of "conveying," "listening," and "reading and understanding," and consultants must possess all of these abilities. In general, a person who can communicate in this way is said to have good communication skills: listening carefully to the client's opinions and ideas, inferring the intentions and feelings behind what is said, and expressing one's own ideas while respecting the client's feelings.

Also, the level of knowledge about AI varies from client to client. Therefore, in order to make sure that your proposals are well understood, you need to change the way you communicate according to each client's level of understanding and reaction.

Thus, how well you can use words and expressions that are easy for others to understand is a very important skill in consulting.

ability to think logically

Logical thinking skills are also essential to analyze the complex problems of client companies and derive effective AI solutions. ai consultants' job is to solve the problems faced by client companies using ai technology.

Naturally, the challenges differ from company to company, and therefore the path to solutions will also vary. Therefore, AI consultants must always accurately interpret data and draw reasonable conclusions based on it.

Analytical thinking is also required to compare various AI technologies and select the most effective strategy. The ability to think logically is not limited to AI consultants, but is an essential skill for any consultancy, so be sure to acquire it.

presentation skills

AI consultants must also have presentation skills. Presentation skills are the ability to convey one's ideas and information in an easy-to-understand and persuasive manner.

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating materials, they are meaningless unless you can convince the client. Therefore, it is necessary to improve your presentation skills.

In order to improve your presentation skills, we recommend that you pay attention to the following points when preparing your materials.
 

  • Be aware of the order in which you communicate
  • Use diagrams, graphs, and tables for visual clarity
  • Clarify the goal of the presentation

With these in mind, make your presentation unforgettable for your audience.

Qualifications for a career change to an AI consultant


AIコンサルタントへ転職する際に役立つ資格

When considering a career change to an AI consultant, no specific certification is required. However, having AI-related certifications can provide a means of proving your level of knowledge and can be useful when changing jobs, so you should actively try to acquire them.

Qualifications that are likely to give you an advantage when changing jobs to become an AI consultant include the following

 

QualificationsTest ContentsAdvantages of Acquisition
Python 3 Certified Engineer Practical ExaminationBasic knowledge of Python and practical skillsDemonstrate Python-related skills
AICBasic knowledge and practical skills in AI, consulting skillsProven skills as an AI and IoT consultant
Japan Statistical Society Certificate.Basic knowledge and practical skills in statistics, data scienceDemonstrate skills in statistics
JDLA Deep Learning for ENGINEERBasic knowledge and practical skills in AI, deep learningProve your skills as an AI engineer.
JDLA Deep Learning for GENERALBasic knowledge of AI and its application to businessCan demonstrate knowledge of AI
AI Implement Examination OrganizationBasic knowledge of AI, ability to implement deep learningProve your skills as an AI engineer.
Fundamental Information Technology Engineer ExaminationBasic knowledge of information processingCan demonstrate basic skills as an IT engineer.
Data Scientist CertificationBasic knowledge and practical skills in data scienceDemonstrate your skills as a data scientist

Summary: Demand for AI consultants is growing.


AIコンサルタントの需要は高まっている

In this issue, we have detailed the job description and future prospects of AI consultants, as well as the skills required to be active as an AI consultant.

AI is being used in a variety of fields, and the demand for AI consultants to assist in its implementation and utilization is increasing year by year.

If you are considering becoming an AI consultant, it is important to have a clear understanding of what skills you currently lack and work hard to improve your skill level.

At United World Inc., our dedicated career advisors work closely with each individual to support their job search. After carefully listening to your detailed requirements and career plans, we will introduce you to the best job opportunities that suit you best, so please feel free to contact us if you want to conduct your job search in an efficient manner.

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