The increasing importance of the Internet of Things (IoT), the rapid growth of devices connected to the network, automation – all this means that the labour market is constantly expanding with completely new, previously unknown professions and specializations. An even though employment in such industries as production or agriculture is on a decline, every cloud has a silver lining. In place of professions that will soon disappear, opportunities for specialists with completely new competences are constantly opening up. The progress of these changes is best seen in the dynamic evolution of IT professions.
IoT – Internet of Things is a concept created by Kevin Ashton. It is an ecosystem in which sensor-equipped devices can directly or indirectly collect, process or exchange data through a computer network.
According to IHS Markit, specializing in market analysis, globally there are already over 31 billion devices connected to the network. And this is just the beginning. It is estimated that this number will increase to more than 50 billion devices by 2020.
The Internet of Things is an ongoing process associated with the continuous development of technology and changes in people’s habits. IoT does not appear suddenly; it is not changing our world and point of view in the blink of an eye. It is more of a small-step system, with new facilities and new technologies emerging from time to time, or new questions how to solve problems bothering us. Such small steps systematically bring people into the era of the Internet of Things. From computers, smartphones, and smartwatches, through cars, toys and even home appliances, to smart cities and buildings. The Internet of Things is one of the fastest growing branches in the IT industry, and therefore the market needs highly qualified specialists in this area. Who are the people employed in these positions and what do they do? What role do they play in the world of the Internet of Things?
Special Task Force
IT Security Analyst, Embedded System Developer, Network Analyst, Network Engineer, Business Intelligence Architect, Beacon Solutions Implementation Specialists – these are just some of the professions that are currently at the top of the list sought by companies and recruitment agencies. The more investments companies make in IoT, the greater the demand for additional experts.
No doubt security specialists are in the highest demand. It is estimated that by 2025 the number of devices connected to the network will be up to one million per minute. The huge amount of data processed, millions of connected users and devices – this is why companies put more and more emphasis on security. IT Security Analysts or IT Security Engineers are among the hottest positions in today’s job market. With growing investments in IoT and its rapid growth, it will be necessary to employ qualified staff involved in development of security policies and procedures for both existing and newly established infrastructure, applications and technologies.
In addition, cyberspace is a tasty morsel for all types of fraudsters who can make use of even the smallest security gaps. Many companies are investing in their own Security Operations Centres (SOC), where such solutions as databases, data centres, servers, networks, applications, etc. are monitored and protected. We live in an era where not only our phones or computers are connected to the Internet but also entire companies, with the most powerful industry leaders at the forefront. This is why specialists in the area of IT security, network security, analysts and engineers are have become the number one priority on corporate recruitment lists and will lose that position for a long time.
Devices, networks, systems and us
Computers, telephones, watches, wristbands monitoring the status of our bodies, cars, homes – due to the growing number of devices connected to the Internet, the demand for specialists in the management and maintenance of billions of connections will gradually increase. They will closely cooperate with people involved in networks. The market needs specialists who will work on the installation and configuration of network equipment. Already today, millions of devices connected to the Internet require constant integration and connection with IT systems. For companies, the most important thing is to find specialists who will not only have extensive technical knowledge, but will also be able to demonstrate skills in analysis, design, installation, administration or knowledge in the field of solving problems directly related to network systems.
In the world of the Matrix
The number of connections and automated machines is constantly increasing, and thus the amount of data processed. This concerns both the machines and devices, as well as their users. For the Internet of Things to work properly, and for our applications and equipment actually improve our lives, correct processing and analysis of emerging data is crucial. It will be important to be able to quickly and correctly analyze and use the acquired knowledge for business purposes. This is why companies will continue to invest heavily in Business Intelligence Analysts or Data Scientists, in order to oversee the processing of huge amounts of data flowing from the network on a daily basis. People with analytical knowledge who are able to carry out statistical analysis, but also people with practical knowledge in the field of programming are sought for the position of Data Scientists. The main tasks within this position include creating processes based on Machine Learning – particularly important in the context of Artificial Intelligence – and creating automatic systems that can improve themselves by using accumulated experiences.
The number of intelligent machines is growing rapidly, hence the natural need for experts ready to design and test IoT solutions. Professions requiring creativity will continue to be in high demand. When presenting the iPhone, Steve Jobs said that the phone is one thing, but what gives the soul to this small device are dedicated applications. Applications that are created every hour, in every corner of the world. They make the phone a multi-functional device – a camera, car navigation system, music player, notebook, recorder or a device collecting our biometric data. Architects of the Internet of Things are the ones to deal with this task. However, candidates for this position will no longer be expected only to be highly competent in technical skills – like app design for example – but they must also be knowledgeable in business and marketing.
Machines want to learn
Another profession of the future is Machine Learning Specialist – a person who creates systems that can or will be able to improve themselves by using large volumes of collected data. Machine learning is all about acquiring knowledge by systems through interacting with the environment or formulating knowledge understandable to human beings. Observers and analysts of the IT market agree that solutions based on machine learning will become more common and will generate demand for highly qualified specialists. In addition to extensive competence in programming and engineering, experts in the field of Machine Learning must demonstrate advanced knowledge of mathematics, primarily applied mathematics and statistical analysis.
We can always use a good seller
New technologies do not always lead to people being replaced. At the moment it is still about cooperation between man and machine. Technology is in high demand, but in order to implement it, you need an idea that will translate into technological development. That is why the human factor will always be indispensable. IT companies often employ programmers and testers who are introverts by nature, and need IT solution sellers who can „translate” the functionality of a given solution into a product – one that will be desired by potential customers. Presumably, with such dynamic market, a well-qualified salesperson will have as many job offers as a programmer. This excess number of services and products will have to be cashed.
Autonomous cars are almost here
Cars with parking assistance or semi-automatic driving systems are not really considered technologically advanced anymore. Automotive companies are currently trying to outdo one another in a technological enhancement race. Enthusiasts of new technologies are paying close attention especially to Elon Musk and his Tesla company. Currently, the autopilot function in Tesla vehicles only supports human beings, not allowing fully autonomous driving. However, it is a matter of time before the driver is completely replaced by intelligent devices. The problem is not 50 test cars on the roads, but if the forecasts provided by BI Intelligence prove true, in 2020 there will be ca. 10 million autonomous cars in the streets. Before this happens, a data transfer infrastructure must be created for such a flood of information. Therefore the market will need more and more IT specialists who not only know how to develop and modernize autonomous cars, but also can build ancillary infrastructure. Such challenges as designing intelligent parking lots that will pass information about free spaces directly to the car, intelligent charging stations that will preventively handle auto charging before such necessity arrives, and many more will need to be resolved quickly. All this and many more will result in new, unknown professions for IT specialists.
Adaptation is the key
In times of such rapid change in the IT sector, innovation and non-standard approach can really make an impactful difference. Companies do adapt to constant change, but in order for their business to survive and thrive, they need to make additional improvements. This will include employing managers who will help with difficult transitions and adjustments by overseeing the retraining of employees to new professions. This is where adaptational HR specialists come in. They must not only be knowledgeable about the company’s sector, history and culture of both the organization and its employees. Above all, they must be up-to-date with and passionate about new technologies. They should also be able to see the potential of employees and help them develop their qualifications for emerging positions, for example by selecting appropriate trainings.
Senior IT Recruitment Consultant, Devire
Executive Manager IT Outsourcing, Devire
Original material was published by: Outsourcing Magazine, June 2018, Nr 2(44)/2018