Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Every year, we hear of new technologies that will transform the world as we know it, but only a few survive, while others are replaced by recent trends. This creates a constant pressure on those in the tech industry to always be in the know and keep pace with this rate of change. Fortunately, tech-based careers don’t change at the same speed, but these roles do evolve and a skill that paid handsomely five years ago may not even be in demand anymore.
The rapid speed of tech innovation calls for constant upskilling. As we prepare for Industry 4.0, those in the technical domain need to be acquainted with emerging technologies to ensure they stay relevant in the changing times.
A glance at the 2020 Emerging Jobs Report highlights the changing nature of tech-based roles. According to the report, “artificial intelligence and data science roles continue to proliferate across nearly every industry. Robotics, an emerging sector of the $1.2 trillion artificial intelligence industry, has also made its first appearance in this report. Blockchain Developer didn’t return, which may not come as a surprise given the rapid decline in popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”
The same report also mentions that jobs for engineers are rising across the board, with over half of the list made up of roles related to engineering or development, and the emergence of robotics for the first time. As a corollary, engineers who upskill with some of these emerging technologies stand to gain a distinct edge over their peers and boost their career tremendously.
Based on our analysis of ongoing industry trends and reports, here’s a list of top technologies that software engineers stand to gain from:
Robotic Process Automation or RPA has emerged as an essential technology for automating jobs. In layman terms, RPA refers to the use of specialised software to automate repetitive business processes such as replying to emails, handling and interpreting data, and processing various transactions.
According to data, up to 45% of the activities we do can be automated using technology including the work of managers as well as the C-Suite. Consequently, RPA engineers can find employment in multiple industries and roles, such as business analyst, solution architect, test engineer, developer, and consultant. On the salary front, the average earnings of an RPA professional amount to $83,828, with the top 10% earning a whopping $175,187 annually.
2. Data Science
According to the LinkedIn report mentioned in the article, Data Science has topped the Emerging Jobs list for three years in a row, and is a speciality that’s continuing to grow across all industries. Top skills include Machine Learning, programming languages like Python and R, and frameworks like Apache Spark.
Data scientists are in high demand across the globe in every single industry for collecting, processing and drawing actionable insights from growing amounts of data to drive informed business decisions. As enterprises turn more customer-centric, data scientists can empower organisations with accurate insights into customer behaviour for targeted marketing, as well as enable predictive forecasting for streamlining the supply chain from end-to-end.
Top roles include Data Analyst, Research Scientist, Data Engineer, and Data Scientist. Average salary is approximately $122,097, and the top 10% earn $183,042 annually.
In the modern world that is intrinsically interconnected by networks, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the most challenging, evolving and well-paying fields, which is not surprising at all. Across the world, the pace of technology evolution is being matched by malicious hackers, causing immense damage to national security, economy, individual businesses, as well as private users. As long as we have the technology, we are going to need cybersecurity experts to battle the growing number of hackers. Data supports this view with cybersecurity jobs growing at a much faster rate as compared to other tech jobs. Unfortunately, there’s a massive gap in demand and supply with over 3.5 million positions to be open by 2021.
Roles include Cybersecurity Analyst, Security Engineer, Ethical Hacker, and more. The average salary in the field is $82,530, with the top 10% of professionals earning about $170,788 annually.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence or AI has made inroads into several aspects of our lives. From digital home assistants to customer support chatbots, applications of AI surround us and continue to grow. No wonder, AI remains an emerging tech with increasing opportunities for professionals in the field.
For engineers, AI is an exciting field bringing together the concepts of engineering, computer science and cognitive studies. It is, in fact, a branch of computer programming that enables computers to think and act in specific ways to mimic human intelligence. Such intelligent computer programs can be installed into machines to achieve a high degree of automation for various time-consuming tasks.
Unsurprisingly, AI is fast emerging as a business differentiator. The World Economic Forum predicts that AI will generate about 58 million jobs globally. These jobs will be spread across areas like development, programming, testing, support, etc. Fields like Data Science, Machine Learning, Deep Learning and IoT also fall under the broader umbrella of AI, indicating the limitless career opportunities. Top roles in the field include Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, Research Scientist, and Big Data Architect or Engineer. The average salary in the field is $66,488 per annum, while the top 10% earns $156,551 annually.
5. Cloud Engineer
Cloud computing has changed the landscape for companies that no longer need physical servers to store data and develop products. Every year, the cloud market grows bigger with increasing potential for experts in the field. Typically, cloud engineers fall into three key areas, cloud architecture, cloud development and cloud support.
Cloud architecture requires strong business acumen in addition to tech skills to optimise a company’s cloud footprint. Cloud development, on the other head, is a purely tech-based job involving coding and programming skills to deploy and optimise cloud-based applications. The third function, cloud support, is handled by cloud support engineers that work for actual cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services or Google. These individuals are responsible for onboarding, maintaining and trouble-shooting for clients using these computing solutions.
Critical skills for cloud engineers include proficiency in developing software using languages like Java, Python and C++, database experience and comfort in working with SOA applications and various cloud-based services. Besides, cloud-based professionals must also possess good communication skills to collaborate better with multiple teams in an organisation that uses the cloud. The average salary in the field is $119,360, and the top 10% earn approximately $174,728 annually.
Want to Accelerate Your Career?
As a software engineer, you will find yourself already in demand in the job market. Besides, you can further improve your chances of landing that dream job by upskilling yourself with one or more of the emerging technologies listed in this post. However, make sure that you are keenly interested in the field you choose and pursue a certification or training from a recognised university only.
You may also sign up on Talent500 to empower your job search for key roles in Fortune500 companies.