Employers are significantly more likely to offer job interviews and higher salaries to graduates with artificial intelligence (AI) experience, according to new research released by Anglia Ruskin University and published in the journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Researchers from ARU conducted an experiment by submitting CVs for job vacancies from British 21-year-old applicants who held a 2:1 degree. Some of the applicants had studied an “AI in business” module, and this was mentioned in their cover letter for the application.

“Job applicants with AI capital might possess the knowledge, skills and capabilities related to data analysis, data-driven decision-making, creativity, innovation and effective communication, among other factors,” said lead author Nick Drydakis, professor of Economics at ARU. “These skills can enhance business operations, making them more efficient and potentially contributing to increased productivity within a firm.”

A matched pair of male applicants, one with AI capital and the other without, submitted applications, resulting in a total of 1,360 applications from male applicants to 680 UK companies.

A total of 1,316 similarly matched applications from female applicants were sent to 658 firms.

Male applicants with AI knowledge received an interview request in 54 percent of cases, whereas male applicants without AI capital were invited to interview in 28 percent of cases.

Female applicants with AI capital received an interview request in 50 percent of cases, whereas female applicants without AI capital received one in 32 percent of cases.

In large firms, applicants with AI capital were 36 percentage points more likely to be invited to an interview than in small-medium sized firms.

“Larger firms particularly valued AI capital, possibly because they tend to undergo more AI-based structural technological transformations and have greater capacity for innovation,” Drydakis said.

Male applicants with AI qualifications were shortlisted for jobs offering wages that were, on average, 12 percent higher than those for male applicants without AI capital, while female applicants with AI qualifications were offered interviews for jobs offering wages that were, on average, 13 percent higher than without AI capital.

“In the UK, AI is causing dramatic shifts in the workforce, and firms need to respond to these demands by upgrading their workforces through enhancing their AI skill levels,” Drydakis said. “Our study clearly indicates that employers value AI knowledge and skills among job applicants. Those applicants with AI capital were significantly more likely to be invited to interview and were also more likely to have access to better paid jobs.