The evolving nature of technology has created many new roles which did not exist a few years ago.
The vast growth of innovation and technology uptake has meant that companies are crying out for employees with the skills needed to push the industry further than before.
Which sectors have the most potential in the next few years? And how can you position yourself to not only be a part of this, but to become a strong player in these fields? We take a look at both the emerging tech sectors and the areas at the forefront of the future.
The fog is lifting from cloud computing and many businesses are beginning to see the benefits. According to a Centre for Economics and Business Research report, commissioned by EMC, €177.3bn can be generated per year if Europe’s top 5 economies take up the cloud as expected.
In Ireland alone, 30pc of ICT companies sell products and services through the cloud already and in less than three years, this will grow to almost 50pc. Not only that, but an economic impact study has shown that Ireland has a chance to build €9.5bn a year in revenue thanks to cloud, potentially delivering 8,600 technology jobs.
It’s hard to ignore this impact and, as the need for cloud grows, companies will be looking to IT professionals to point the way.
Sonya Curley, managing director of recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash, has noted that virtualisation skills are in high demand, thanks to the need for systems scalability and reducing costs. Employers are looking for people with skills in products such as VMWare and Hyper-V.
Mobile apps have impacted consumer technology in a huge way – 8.2bn apps have been downloaded in 2010 and, according to Gartner research, it’s expected that this will more than double to 17.7bn downloads this year, making the app business a US$15bn industry.
The astonishing statistics haven’t been overlooked by businesses and many are keen to access this market. As such, mobile software developers are high in demand.
Not only that, but considering the nature of this market, developers can flex their entrepreneurial muscle, as well. A developer can design their own app and put it for sale on an app store, potentially helping them set up their own business.
“It’s important that a software engineer in this day and age understands how the entire life cycle (of an app) works,” said Dr Waseem Akhtar, head of Faculty of Computing Science at Griffith College Dublin.
“You need to think about the problem and design the solution for that problem. Then, using that solution, you develop a program.
“But then you should know where you should sell that program, how you should sell it and you need to understand the business model surrounding that app.
“You may have to hire more people, see where the money will come from and once it is ready, where the revenue is generated, as well,” he said.
The gaming industry has seen quite a stir, thanks to the increasing number of mobile and social gaming experiences. The accessibility and low cost has attracted fans by the bucket load.
According to eMarketer, the social gaming market is set to become a US$1bn industry and companies in Ireland are seeing the benefits. PopCap Games are set to hire 110 new staff in Dublin over the next three years.
Console gaming is still maintaining momentum, with 1.2m homes in Ireland owning games consoles. Irish companies, such as Havok and Demonware, have found global success with their software development and many international companies, such as Activision and Blizzard, have come to Ireland, too.
It’s understandably a very popular industry to work in, but it holds a lot of opportunity. A study has shown that in Ireland, there was a 400pc increase in employment in this area from 2002 and 2009 and, considering its growth, plenty more opportunities will open up for this decade, as well.
While research isn’t a new field in and of itself, working within it gives IT professionals a chance to be at the forefront in discovering and producing new technologies. The importance of the area is essential in order to make Ireland an innovative force globally, and many companies are recognising this.
Recently, numerous research positions have opened up. HP is creating 105 new jobs in Galway. Valeo is creating 100 new jobs as part of a major R&D investment. Accenture will create 100 research jobs in Dublin over the next four years. Intel also signed a US$1.5m research collaboration deal with Tyndall National Institute in UCC.
With such opportunities, IT professionals have the chance to tie academia with the industry and be a driving force in technological innovation in the future.