As emerging technologies move into the mainstream, and the age of automation gets underway, new paths for IT professionals are appearing
Roughly 30 years ago, IBM brought the first smartphone, the Simon Personal Communicator, to market. Think of the impact the smartphone has had on the world and the technology industry since then. Now, think about where we are with technology, and what’s yet to come. We’re already deep into the development of AI-powered devices such as the driverless car and the smart home. Imagine where we could be in a few years.
It’s not just technology that’s changing. The workplace and the jobs people can fill have changed dramatically in the past 30 years, and the range of tech-focused positions which don’t exist yet - but might soon - is truly exciting.
What are business leaders saying about the future?
Numerous smart devices and widespread artificial intelligence-enabled products are pushing change in the tech industry. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be more job creation in the future. Raj Mukherjee, senior vice president of product at Indeed.com, believes demand for tech workers will continue to grow at a faster rate than other industries.
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd predicts that, projecting five years out, 60 percent of IT jobs haven’t been invented yet. Moving forward, Mr Hurd sees a future where robots play a big part in the workplace, but he also notes the robots added to the workplace will need a supervisor.
Cathy Engelbert, CEO at Deloitte, backs up Hurd’s thoughts on robots in a LinkedIn post, in which she mentions that humans and bots will coexist. Although manual jobs will become automated, the use of bots will additional positions for humans.
The technology sector will go through a significant change in the following years, but James Stanger, CompTIA chief technology evangelist, believes technology may break out and impact other sectors as well.
He foresees IT skills increasingly breaking out of the sector and moving into other industries. As more places automate or digitise operations, these skills will be in demand for tech-specific jobs for that particular industry.
As technology jobs move beyond their traditional employers and industries, we may see a domino effect in the economy. What sub-sectors and positions will be available in the future? Let’s take a look.
Positions that haven’t been invented/emerging positions
Artificial intelligence – Human to machine user experience specialists and AI-assisted healthcare technicians
AI’s development is a hot topic, but AI will play a role in creating future IT jobs as well. As Mr Hurd pointed out, the more that AI bots take over daily tasks, the more supervision they’ll need.
Jobs such as human-to-machine user experience specialist or AI-assisted healthcare technician will meld technology and customer care. Human-to-machine user experience specialists will have to oversee bots, like Google’s Duplex, to ensure the bots are meeting customers’ needs. People in these new jobs will need to monitor how AI bots manage and adapt to different personalities and dialects, while ensuring a satisfying customer experience.
AI-assisted healthcare technicians will also monitor interactions between bots and humans. This position may also alleviate the current rate of human error, as well as the amount of workload imbalances, in hospitals and other care facilities.
Security – Specialised security management specialists & data professionals
All of this automation will create a lot of data. Securing all this data will be another hurdle the technology sector must face. Security management specialists or data professionals could address this issue.
Security management specialists will need to manage cloud-based data and other important information. Fictional and real-life examples have already shown that data is quickly becoming the new currency throughout the world. Specialised security management personnel will need to take charge of vast amounts of information on which people and businesses will depend.
Data professionals will manage and secure all this information. These individuals will need to manage storage space without crashing systems and causing disruptions.
Engineering – Smart city technology designers and mobile application developers
Beyond the smart home, cities will soon be managed by smart devices as well. In charge of these advancements and overseeing day-to-day activities, smart city design technology designers will manage it all.
These individuals will need to balance technology while communicating their ideas clearly. As more cities look for smarter ways of being environmentally friendly while working to reduce the strain on workers and residents, this position will assume responsibility for handling these concerns and work toward creating better solutions.
Mobile application developers already exist, but the role will soon expand into other industries. Some industries, like agriculture and employee recruitment, already check in via their mobile devices, but there are still many other industries that could make better use of emerging technologies.
There’s only so much storage space on mobile devices, so developers must be able to expand on current capabilities while keeping their apps to a reasonable size. Both positions will have to create solutions to meet current consumer needs while anticipating what’s coming next.
Many IT jobs haven’t been created yet. But in the coming years, consumers and businesses will see a jump in IT-related jobs as technology expands into various sectors outside its normal domain. By bridging this gap and bringing people together and reducing their workloads, the ranks of IT professionals stand to swell in the future.