As emerging technologies become further entrenched in our day-to-day lives, certain jobs are growing in popularity. James Milligan, IT director at Hays, gives us an overview of some of the jobs set to explode this year.
The next 12 months in technology promise to be exciting ones, as technology that has previously been conceptual, or specific to certain sectors, is about to proliferate and become mainstream. So what jobs will arise from this proliferation, and where might they exist?
Virtual reality developer
Seen until recently as a technology used in gaming, we are beginning to see the application of virtual reality (VR) in other commercial and social pursuits. Construction companies are now hiring VR developers to give their clients a walk through a building before it has been built, the elderly are using headsets as a relaxation tool and higher education institutes are considering the application of VR to create virtual classrooms.
Artificial intelligence developer
Artificial intelligence (AI) is about to become the new user interface. With the rise of virtual assistants in the home – such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant – we will begin to engage with technology in a whole new way.
Will this be the beginning of the end of screens? Probably not immediately. However, it will make technology a lot more accessible to a new demographic and offer up a different way to engage existing users.
Internet of things developer
With the smart home becoming a reality, and smart cities firmly on government agendas, there will be a significant opportunity to create new applications for this emerging and exponentially growing market.
Internet of things engineer
Not only will we need to create the applications, we also need to develop the hardware that will provide the data for the internet of things (IoT).
This hardware will range from smart fridges to smart cars, to smart street lamps and smart bins, and to a whole world beyond.
With the explosion of IoT, and sensors becoming part of everyday life, we will be creating data at an even faster rate. However, data without insight is of no value, so you can expect to see greater demand and maturity in the world of data science and advanced analytics.
While there is currently a high demand for these skills, this will grow exponentially, as technology such as AI assistants will not understand every spoken word of every user. This data needs to be tagged and processed in order to facilitate effective machine learning.
Data is everywhere, and with this comes risk of a breach. For example, wearable health tech provides huge opportunities in preventative healthcare. However, can you imagine the consequence of a data breach with someone’s personal medical information?
More sensitive personal data being captured, along with new legislation in the form of the General Data Protection Regulation, means that organisations are investing heavily to secure data for fear of reputational and financial consequences.
Augmented reality developer
I am on the fence with this one. Last year was a breakthrough year in augmented reality (AR) gaming, with the launch and subsequent success of Pokémon Go. However, Google Glass didn’t capture the public’s imagination. I suspect that VR might overtake AR as the preferred platform – but I may be wrong!
James Milligan is the director for Hays IT, with responsibility for leading the UK and Ireland IT business to ensure supply of the best talent in a rapidly evolving IT market.