Words matter: AI can predict salaries based on the text of online job postings

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The job panorama in the US is dramatically shifting: The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined important work and moved employees out of the workplace. New applied sciences are remodeling the character of many occupations. Globalization continues to push jobs to new places. And local weather change considerations are including jobs within the different power sector whereas slicing them from the fossil gas business. 

Amid this office turmoil, employees, in addition to employers and policymakers, may benefit from understanding which job traits result in larger wages and mobility, says Sarah Bana, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Digital Economic system Lab, a part of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Synthetic Intelligence. And, she notes, there now exists a big dataset that may assist present that understanding: the textual content of tens of millions of on-line job postings. 

“On-line information gives us with an amazing alternative to measure what issues,” she says.

Certainly, utilizing synthetic intelligence (AI) and machine studying, Bana lately confirmed that the phrases utilized in a dataset of a couple of million on-line job postings clarify 87% of the variation in salaries throughout an enormous proportion of the labor market. It’s the primary work to make use of such a big dataset of postings and to have a look at the connection between postings and salaries. 

Bana additionally experimented with injecting new textual content – including a talent certificates, for instance – into related job listings to see how these phrases modified the wage prediction.

“It seems that we will use the textual content of job listings to judge the salary-relevant traits of jobs in close-to actual time,” Bana says. “This data may make making use of for jobs extra clear and enhance our strategy to workforce education and coaching.”

An AI dataset of 1 million job postings 

To research how the textual content of on-line job postings pertains to salaries, Bana obtained a couple of million pre-pandemic job postings from Greenwich.HR, which aggregates tens of millions of job postings from on-line job board platforms. 

She then used BERT, one of the crucial superior pure language processing (NLP) fashions out there, to coach an NLP mannequin utilizing the textual content of greater than 800,000 of the job postings and their related wage information. When she examined the mannequin utilizing the remaining 200,000 job listings, it precisely predicted the related salaries 87% of the time. By comparability, utilizing solely the job postings’ job titles and geographic places yielded correct predictions simply 69% of the time.

In follow-up work, Bana will try and characterize the contribution of assorted phrases to the wage prediction. “Ideally, we’ll colour phrases inside postings from pink to inexperienced, the place the darker pink phrases are linked with decrease wage and the darker inexperienced are linked with larger wage,” she says. 

The worth of upskilling: A text-injection experiment

To determine which expertise matter for wage prediction, Bana used a text-injection strategy: To sure related job postings, she added brief phrases indicating the job requires a selected profession certification, corresponding to these listed in Certainly.com’s 10 In-Demand Profession Certifications (And How To Obtain Them). Acquiring these certifications may be expensive, with costs starting from about $225 to about $2,000. However, till now, there was no approach to decide whether or not the funding is worth it from a wage standpoint. 

Bana’s experiment revealed that some certifications (such because the IIBA Agile Evaluation Certification) produce significant wage features rapidly whereas others (such because the Cisco Licensed Internetwork Professional) achieve this extra slowly – worthwhile data for employees who want to have higher details about how an funding in expertise coaching will have an effect on their salaries and prospects, Bana says.

Workers aren’t the one ones to profit from this data, Bana notes. Employers can use these outcomes to raised spend money on human capital, she says. If, for instance, machine studying fashions reveal a gradual shift away from some duties and towards others, employers would have advance warning and will retrain sure staff.

And policymakers contemplating what job coaching packages to advertise would equally profit from understanding which expertise are waxing or waning in financial worth.

To that finish, Bana and her colleagues are presently engaged on a companion paper that identifies what duties are disappearing from job listings over time and what new duties are showing. 

Sooner or later, Bana hopes that textual evaluation of job postings may yield a web-based software the place employees or firms may analysis the worth added by upskilling or by transferring to a brand new geographic location. 

“Presently there’s not a whole lot of readability round a path to larger earnings,” Bana says. “Instruments like these may assist job seekers enhance their job prospects, employers develop their workforces, and policymakers reply to fast adjustments within the economic system.”

Katharine Miller is a contributing author for the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI.

This story initially appeared on Hai.stanford.edu. Copyright 2022

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