Corporates are now paying an annual salary of 800,000 yuan (US$115,304) for a fresh graduate with a doctoral degree in the artificial intelligence sector, compared to that of 500,000 yuan last year, Yicai.com reported.

Liu Song, HR at a Shenzhen-based laser radar research firm, said doctoral students are much more popular than masters students amid the backdrop of a lack of experienced talent. Most of them have some experience in doing AI projects following their tutors.

Liu said the annual salary for masters students has not changed much from last years’ 300,000 yuan. While the treatment for doctoral students has jumped to 800,000 yuan, 300,000 yuan higher than that of last year.

As of last year, there have been tens of thousands of graduates in the AI field in China. However, the demand is far greater than supply, and the market’s talent gap is still in the scale of millions, according to Yu Dian, an AI researcher at Tencent Research Institute.