It is unlikely that in this era of rapidly changing technology, the role of Information Technology (IT) professionals will remain the same. This means IT professionals have to keep up with current technology trends and know what skills would be required for IT jobs of the future. Below are five top technology trends for 2019, the requisite skills they require and the jobs they create.
1. Artificial Intelligence
These are computers built to mimic human intelligence and execute tasks such as decision making and the recognition of images, but at a much faster pace. The tasks could be anything from scheduling trains, to predicting maintenance and improving energy efficiency. Generally referred to as automation, it is expected that by 2020, AI would have created about 23 million jobs. Careers created by this trending technology include machine learning, programming, data mining and analysis, artificial intelligence architect. These jobs require proficiency in programming languages like Java, coding, and robotics.
2. Robotic Process Automation
This is another technology that is automating jobs. This means using software to automate repetitive business processes such as processing transactions and replying e-mails. RPA takes its root from AI, in the sense that the software records the human workflow and then adapts it to repeat same in a more efficient manner. There is an array of career opportunities in RPA; project manager, developer and solution architect. But one would require skills in process analysis, design and implementation, systems testing including UAT and Bugfixes, SQL and relational database.
3. Virtual and Augmented Reality
More popular for its gaming applications, Virtual Reality (VR), immerses the user in an environment while Augmented Reality (AR), enhances the user’s environment. Both have enormous possibilities for use in surgery, marketing, entertainment, education and military trainings. Career opportunities here include hardware engineers and programmers while some of the requisite skills are UX user experience design and hardware, programming language and cloud computing.
4. Cyber Security
Although it has been around for a while, cyber security is still a trending technology because cyber threats constantly evolve. There will be always illegal attempts to extract data from even the most secure website. Cyber security must evolve to combat these new threats. Curiously, there is a huge deficit of cyber security professionals. It is expected that by 2021, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs. The career roles here include ethical hacker, security engineer, security architect and security software developer. However, these jobs require a proficiency in cloud security, malware analysis and testing, and network security.
5. Internet of Things
This is no longer a buzzword; it is the future. Many home appliances and other devices are being designed with WiFi connectivity. This means they can also be connected to each other via the internet. Even with the potential of IoT to build smarter cities, the world is still in the beginning stages of this technology.
As at 2017, the amount of IoT devices in the world was put at 8.4 billion and is expected to increase to thirty billion devices by 2020. Like cyber security, many IT professionals are not getting skills for IoT. Skills such as IP networking, UI/UX design, and mobile development are necessary for a career in IoT.