Chief executives of the UKs biggest businesses have identified data scientists as the most important workforce capability for supporting their plans for future growth.
The skill scored the top spot in 69 per cent of answers by UK bosses, followed by experts in emerging markets and emerging technology.
Data compiled by KPMG revealed that the UK is also more forward-looking than its global counterparts, with 61 per cent of UK CEOs hiring for these skills pre-emptively versus the majority of other countries saying theyd rather wait to achieve certain growth targets before hiring new skills.
The UK is also more confident that tech will have a positive impact on the workforce, with 71 per cent thinking artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it eliminates over the next three years.
"UK CEOs are encouragingly bullish on their resourcing requirements and evidently more so than their counterparts elsewhere in the world," said KPMG UK partner Mark Williamson.
"The time to change is now and the scale of change requires business and operating model reinvention. The C-suite cannot delegate change leadership in such circumstances, it is their responsibility."