The year 2020 had valuable lessons for all professionals globally, just like it did during the economic upheaval in 2008 or the dot-com bust in 2001. Future-proofing one’s career is high on the agenda, especially for those in the technology space. Staying invested in upskilling through the career lifecycle has become a necessity rather than being optional or desirable.
If one checks out the trends driving the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, clearly, five areas will form the nuts and bolts of all technology solutions. Working in one of these tech jobs listed below is a sure-fire way to remain relevant in the times to come.
- Cloud Architect
- Blockchain Engineer
- IoT Solution Architect
- Data Scientist
- AI/ML Programmer
Many CIOs already have them in their tech roadmap in varying degrees of scale across their enterprises. These technologies will not only transform businesses but touch human lives directly or directly. So they are expected to undoubtedly remain exciting areas to be in the next 8-10 years.
I will briefly touch on why these technologies will remain trends with great potential and list down the must-have technical skills. Needless to say, in addition to technical skills, your ability to understand the business context, design solutions that get everybody’s consensus, work in a team setting, ability to professionally network, and the craving to explore uncharted areas will be critical success factors for your career growth.
With the global Cloud Services industry expected to be valued at $927 billion by 2027, this career track will form the backbone of all other emerging technologies. CIOs of large enterprises have strong business cases to lift and shift their data center workloads to Cloud. Small and medium businesses, who need to tread the digital path for competitive advantages are becoming cloud-born.
This career stream involves a broad ecosystem of applications, compute & storage. Essential skills for a Cloud Architect include superior knowledge of programming (C#, Java, Python), networking, data storage, security, infrastructure, and of course related certifications from industry leaders.
Named among the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020 by Gartner, more than 60% CIOs globally are expected to adopt Blockchain. It can reshape an entire industry vertical by enabling trust, providing transparency, and enabling value exchange across businesses. Additional benefits include a reduction in transaction costs, settlement times, and improved cash flow. Banking & Financial Services organizations are the early adopters of this technology.
A Blockchain Engineer should have a strong mix of web development skills, data structures, smart contract development, cryptography, and blockchain architecture. Domain knowledge of the industry vertical is a huge plus considering the deep business processes that this technology solution impacts.
IoT Solution Architect
The ubiquitous nature of the Internet in today’s life and related technologies have a point of maturity. Connected devices for automated monitoring, security, early fault detections, personalized retail experiences, remote fleet management, etc. are becoming common by the day. The potential of IoT to transform lives in several spheres is immense. According to Fortune Business Insights, the IoT market size globally is projected to hit USD 1,463.19 billion by 2027.
An IoT architect needs to stay up to date on IoT enabled businesses, data governance, and good data practice. The required technical skills required are varied. Proficiency in programming; data management; programming languages such as Java and Python, embedded systems, network topologies, transport protocols, cloud computing, analytics, and application development.
Data and Analytics technologies form the foundational element on which all modern-day solutions reside. With data getting generated in many applications, the end to end gamut of sciences involving its storage, retrieval, security, meaningful interpretation, and fuelling AI/ML is what makes this science interesting and critical.
A Data Scientist’s core role is to extract knowledge from massive data pools to answer particular questions or extrapolate trends. Data scientists usually have a Master’s degree or Ph.D. and train on a special skill like how to use Hadoop or Big Data querying. Must have skills for data scientists are data visualization, Statistics & Probability, programming with Python, R, Java, SQL, Data Management (retrieve, transform, store).
AI / ML Programmer
This technology trend is a no-brainer for anybody in the technology space. The potential of AI to redefine businesses, provide real-time personalization experiences, and the ability to touch all spheres of human life is making this area promising for a long time to come. The convergence of all enabling technologies like data, compute, and the elastic cloud will only accelerate these tools’ usage. AI/ML is prominently featured as one of Gartner’s biggest impact creators in the Top 10 Strategic Tech Trends in 2020.
To make it as an AI & ML Programmer, you will need skills in Programming Languages like Python/C++/R/Java, Probability and Statistics, Data Modeling & Evaluation, Machine Learning Algorithms, and Distributed Computing.
You may observe that most of these job roles didn’t exist in the commercial domain as late as 2010. The rate at which technology is changing will probably have something totally new emerge by the time we touch 2030. However, for most of the next decade, it will be safe to assume that people with these skills will have a great career to look forward to. All the best!