The future of IT and choosing your career focus

Wherever you are in your career in tech, the future of IT should be at the forefront of your mind.

You might be a new graduate or switching your career to IT while there’s a serious skills shortage. You may be long into your career and considering a change.

Either way, while few of these technological trends will come as a big surprise to anyone with half an eye on the tech news space, it’s worth bearing them in mind when developing your skills or tuning your CV.

The future of IT and tech trends

1) XaaS

XaaS is the acronym used to describe the “Everything as a Service” model that most tech trend monitors say is the future of how most products and tools will be delivered.

Today, a large and swiftly-growing portion of the market is made up of Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and other technologies delivered online. Soon though, it’s estimated that around 98% of all business data will be stored in the cloud rather than on in-office servers.

This makes anything to do with cloud computing a good field to go into, with a focus on skills like:

  • Relevant programming languages like JavaScript, SQL, and Python
  • API (Application Programming Interface) skills
  • Those needed for network engineer jobs and database management

2) IoT

The Internet of Things is perhaps the defining technology of the contemporary world. It’s likely to remain so for the foreseeable future, hugely aided by the spread of underlying 5G technology and the incredibly high bandwidths and low latency it provides.

Many organisations already employ the IoT, embedding sensors in devices and products. This enables them to collect data, analyse it, and even act without human intervention.

The number of businesses using IoT is likely to grow rapidly in future, especially in fields like healthcare and retail. Key skills here will include, among many others:

  • Anything related to mobile app development
  • API automation and testing
  • UI or UX design

3) AI and analytics

Not many organisations are currently using AI. Yet the potential applications of the technology are vast.

They include everything from machine and deep learning to intelligent digital assistants like Alexa and Cortana. AI-enabled predictive analytics, with data obtained from a huge range of sources, will become the norm in business decision-making.

The adoption of AI is likely to be particularly widespread in industries like healthcare and professional services, where data science jobs and automation are going to be a big part of the way organisations work. This will call for skills like:

  • Relevant programming languages like Python, Java, and R
  • Knowledge of neural network architecture
  • Linear algebra and statistics

4) AR and VR

AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies are also currently in use by a relatively small proportion of businesses. Yet, despite scepticism in some sectors, their use is growing fast.

At time of writing, AR and VR are creating a revolution in employee training, especially in scenarios too dangerous or expensive to replicate in reality. They also offer exciting advances in data visualisation and design creativity.

If AR and VR interest you, there is likely to be a growing demand for skills related to them in the coming years, including:

  • Relevant programming languages like C++, Java, and C#
  • 3D tools like Autodesk 3D and 3D Max
  • Video and sound production skills

5) Data and cybersecurity

Advances in many of the IT trends here intertwine and rely on advances in the others. A need for better data and cybersecurity runs through them all.

Cybercriminals are only getting more sophisticated as the years pass. The possible dangers of a data breach also grow ever higher. Imagine the damage that could be caused if heavy machinery controlled by IoT technology was compromised, for example.

This will make data security and overall cybersecurity a priority for all organisations, necessitating the hiring of IT professionals with skills in:

  • Controls and frameworks, including network security controls
  • Intrusion detection and incident response
  • Cloud computing, AI, and IoT technologies

Choosing your IT career focus

This is far from all of the skills or technologies that are likely to grow and transform the way businesses in many sectors operate in years to come.

The future of IT evolves rapidly. If you’re choosing your career focus, it’s always good to do your research and develop a skill-set that will unlock IT jobs in a field that interests you and also stand you in good stead in years to come.

In search of a job in IT that looks toward the future?

Let’s chat. Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering and IT recruitment company. Our proven, honest, and transparent recruitment process lets us find the role that’s right for you.

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