Engineers in cloud infrastructure, AI, DevOps, machine learning and more will see plenty of job opportunities in 2021, writes Hays’ David Burke.
Throughout 2020, the technology sector once again proved itself to be robust and adaptable, contributing significantly to the Irish economy. It remains an amazing industry for any professional looking to take their career forward and, arguably, engineering is at the centre of it all.
Here are our predictions for the top five hottest tech engineering roles of 2021.
1. Software engineers
A career in software engineering can offer a professional a great deal of range in terms of the technology they work with, products they build and people they impact.
We continue to see high demand for software developers that outweighs the supply of talent available in this space. Software engineering has been at the heart of the growth of the technology industry in Ireland and remains key for the future. While we do have an abundance of hugely talented developers in Ireland, we could always do with more as the demand is, to put it simply, relentless.
There are still massive opportunities for developers with fluency in core languages like Java and .net, but we have also seen a continuation in demand for front-end/UI and UX, as well as in areas like Python, API, Scala, Kotlin, Go, Ruby, TypeScript and more.
2. DevOps and site reliability engineers
The broad DevOps and site reliability engineering field continues to see increased demand, maintaining a trend we have seen over the last few years.
However, as the wall continues to erode between development and operations, organisations are reaping the benefits of better efficiency, higher quality and faster, continuous releases. There is also the knock-on effect of improved engagement and innovation as teams become more connected.
Traditional systems and infrastructure opportunities are blended with a variety of automation, scripting and core software development to offer an interesting and varied career to people in this space.
3. Data and data science engineers
The demand for data engineers, including those with a development, science, analytics or visualisation remit, continues to grow. As the amount of data in the world continues to expand at exponential levels, smart businesses are working to unlock its power.
We’ve seen a corresponding rise in demand for data professionals wanted to sit within business units and departments and focus on understanding the business processes and providing real, actionable insights from the data to enhance performance in a meaningful way.
This field offers the chance for professionals to specialise in either deep technical expertise or blended roles that utilise the right tools and technology, coupled with deep business domain expertise.
4. Cloud infrastructure engineers
Cloud infrastructure, cloud database (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and similar) and specialist cloud software (such as Dynamics 365, SharePoint and Salesforce) are all technologies and skills that have seen increased demand as companies push digital agendas forward.
These agendas are a mix of reactionary activities, as businesses moved to the cloud to reduce the impact of the pandemic, or more proactive, fundamental digital transformation projects as organisations take this opportunity to reset and realign for a post-pandemic world.
Cloud engineers are building the platforms for businesses to thrive in the ever-expanding digital world and so are one of the hottest engineering roles right now.
5. AI and machine learning engineers
What list of hottest engineering roles would be complete without the tech that Hollywood loves most? AI and machine learning technologies are having meaningful impacts on our everyday lives.
The applications are endless. AI and machine learning have the potential to distil and action repetitive, administrative tasks currently completed by humans. These include image processing, business process management and data analysis.
AI and machine learning engineers use machine learning algorithms to build models that allow deep learning neural networks to draw business insights. Generally, these engineers have a foundation in programming, software engineering and data science, blended with natural curiosity and problem solving to process data as well as develop and maintain AI systems.
This is an area that really shows growing demand and professionals here will see exciting new career opportunities for years to come.
With the wide variety of engineering careers available, professionals can be assured of job satisfaction and professional purpose. Balanced with that is a significant opportunity to secure a salary that will continue to grow and improve as you move through your career.
This year, tech engineers with up to one year of experience could expect to earn between €30,000 and €35,000 on average, while those with one to three years could expect between €35,000 and €50,000, and those with nine to 11 years between €70,000 and €90,000. Engineers with more than 11 years of experience could expect an average annual salary between €80,000 and more than €100,000.
Of course, salaries are location, industry and skills-dependent, and so the above is a rough guide to the earning potential. For a more detailed picture about salaries for specific roles, check out the Hays Ireland salary guide or salary checker tool.
By David Burke
David Burke is the director and regional lead for Hays IT and digital technology in Ireland.