Skip to main content

How to stay competitive in an AI world

Are you curious about using artificial intelligence (AI) in your work? Has your organization already adopted AI tools? Does the idea of AI make you more confused than confident about your professional future?


Many companies are using or planning to use AI tools to automate workflows, analyze large amounts of data, and engage with customers. This advanced technology doesn’t just have the potential to enhance business outcomes. It can also function as an extension of the existing workforce by performing routine tasks and enabling complex activities that were previously difficult, costly, or impossible to achieve.

It’s important to remember that AI and humans are not at odds. Developing, maintaining, and advancing AI tools requires human skill and innovation. Understanding the AI landscape and staying on top of trends can help you prepare for an AI-assisted future, regardless of your industry.

AI and the future of work

In a 2023 report, McKinsey identified 63 unique use cases for AI in the workplace . These spanned 16 different business functions totaling more than $4 trillion in potential revenue across industries. While high tech and banking institutions may seem like obvious industries ripe for AI disruption, education, consumer packaged goods, and retail also stand to benefit from AI applications.

When AI is used to automate routine tasks, it can save employees time, which saves businesses money. In fact, the McKinsey report noted that current AI technologies can take on activities that professionals may spend up to 70% of their workday performing.

Artificial intelligence also expands employee opportunities to pursue new, advanced skills, or even explore careers that contribute to the creation of artificial intelligence. Staying adaptable to these advancements can help you stay competitive as you advance in your career.

Future-proof your career with AI skills

As you consider your own career path, think about how AI may impact your current business or industry. Are there any personal tasks or responsibilities you may be able to delegate to an AI tool? Can you see a broader opportunity for your organization to adopt advanced AI capabilities?

Whether you want to create new AI or simply keep your career on a steady track toward the future, there are a variety of skills you’ll need to reach your full potential when using advanced technologies.

Human skills needed for working with AI

The concept of artificial intelligence may evoke images of robots, code, and digital interfaces, but AI starts with people. Beyond their general importance in the workplace, soft skills are critical to ensuring that AI tools are developed with the goal of improving human life.


Critical thinking

In simple terms, AI is used to solve business problems. However, because AI is still relatively new, it may require rounds of testing and iteration before teams get it right. Being able to think creatively and critically can help you overcome challenges and develop innovative, AI-driven solutions that meet organizational goals.


As pointed out by Our World in Data , AI systems have advanced at a rapid rate. Even in the last 10 years, the tech has gained capabilities in language and image recognition at a human level. Working with AI means evolving alongside it, honing new skills, and gaining new knowledge. Stay curious and commit to lifelong learning as a means of staying competitive.


Humans instruct AI on what they want it to do, not the other way around. Businesses that work with AI tools still need to be able to communicate strategic goals, train AI with relevant prompts and data, and facilitate collaboration across teams. Communication skills are also highly important for professionals responsible for training the wider workforce on working with AI tools.

Bias detection

In order to perform tasks as intended, AI requires inputs. These involve writing simple rule-based instructions, or it may require thousands of unique data points for training. The less bias present in the inputs, the more accurate the tool’s outputs. Understanding how bias can skew results will help your business develop inclusive processes when implementing AI.

Advance your AI abilities with edX

AI tools are meant to enhance human work, not take it over. The more you learn what you can do with artificial intelligence, the less intimidating it will seem. With the right mindset and willingness to learn, you can prepare for an exciting future working with AI.

Learn the skills you need to take the next step in your professional journey. Unlock more career resources by registering for edX today.