National Techies Day Underlines Demand for Data-Related Job Skills
This year's National Techies Day, held annually since 1998, just wrapped up. The celebration of technologists may seem a bit whimsical, but it comes with a mission: to raise awareness about the multitude of tech-related careers available for younger generations.
At a time when organizations are doubling down on their digital transformation — and parallel move to a global, remote workforce — nearly all sectors are left scrambling for staff. This makes the event all the more important, well beyond the tech world, because it lets business leaders know where talent is headed next. In turn, this gives us a good glimpse into what innovation may be coming down the pipeline for business.
Here's a roundup of the principal areas that are in high demand.
Data from Fortune Business Insights shows the global machine learning (ML) market is expected to grow from $21.17 billion in 2022 to $209.91 billion by 2029, and Rishabh Misra, a senior machine learning engineer at Twitter, expects it to continue trending up for some time still.
According to Misra, ML is one of the top technologies need in the enterprise now, having a major impact on decision-making and planning. He cited an IBM survey that shows 35% of companies are already using ML in their business, with an additional 42% exploring ML applications.
The number of start-ups focusing on just ML services is also on the rise, seeing a fourteen-time rate of increase since 2000. Advancements in software is also fueling the projected growth of $120 billion in global sales of AI-powered hardware by the end of 2025.
“Owing to these reasons, machine learning-related jobs are currently the most important in the tech industry, and their importance is only going to increase in the future," Misra said.
Some of the job titles related to this field are machine learning engineer, AI engineer, data scientist, applied scientist and research scientist.
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There are a number of other disciplines that often run in tandem with ML that are also in high demand now, according to Giancarlo Hirsch, managing director of Glocomms, a recruitment agency that focuses on business-critical tech talent.
His company has identified a number of disciplines as mission- and business-critical in the current climate. They include:
- Data and analytics
- Cloud and infrastructure
- Enterprise solutions
- Commercial services
Hirsch said cutting-edge industries like blockchain and crypto don't see as many openings because they are so nascent that it’s nearly impossible to find an employee with significant experience in the field. But, he said, having the skills needed to succeed in these industries — e.g., statistical modeling, computer science fundamentals and product management — are still key for young techies eyeing these areas.
Big Data Jobs
Lukasz Koczwara, VP of engineering at Poland-based STX Next, said over the years, technologies that include components of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analytics and cloud computing have expanded quickly, and many disciplines, including ML engineering, data science and data engineering are all dependent on the work of those working with Big Data.
These require sophisticated algorithms that will eventually be used to program a machine (such a self-driving car or digital voice assistant) to carry out and complete activities like a human.
“With such tremendous impetus behind these technological advancements, there is an exponential increase in demand for both employment and people with the knowledge and abilities to satisfy the demands of the digitally transformed businesses and sectors,” he said. “In respect of data scientists, they are still any company's secret weapon and always will be. The need for qualified professionals has increased dramatically, as companies and organizations continue to gather and use more data each day."
In his view, the future for tech jobs is bountiful. He expects to see an increasing number of tech employment opportunities as the industry changes and adapts, though he believes that experience, education and hard skills will remain the most important considerations when selecting new candidates for any new position.
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Dragos Badea, CEO at Yarooms, said another important role that is seeing increasing demand is data visualization. Data visualization, he explained, is the bridge between the incredibly useful raw data and insights created by data analysts and the people that will need to be able to act on that data.
Data that has been properly visualized is incredibly powerful for moving businesses and consumers. It is also a field that is growing extremely quickly, both in demand and supply, but demand is outpacing supply of skilled workers by a significant margin.
“I foresee that experts in programs like Tableau will be able to be incredibly comfortable, as they are fought over by major companies for the next few years at the very least,” Badea said.
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Of course, with anything to do with data, security is also going to be an issue.
Antoine Boquen, CEO and co-founder of recruitment company Horizons, said no other tech sector is growing as fast as cybersecurity. Over the next decade, the industry is expected to expand by 33% — significantly higher than the national average and any other profession on this list.
Information security engineers are mid- to senior-level cybersecurity professionals who construct and design solutions that provide network and software security for an organization. They typically have numerous years of expertise in cybersecurity and earn an average of $118,000 per year. Most of them also have expertise in Linux, UNIX and Java systems, as well as software authoring, SSL, SSH and SIEM systems.
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Traditional Digital Workplace Roles
There are many other tech roles that continue to be in high demand, particularly in the cloud and infrastructure development, and even more so with the emergence of edge computing.
While cloud has been around for years now, many companies are only just now tapping into the realm of possibilities, and there's a growing sense of urgency to do so on their part. This race to digital transformation is sustaining demand for those roles.
Then, there are also more traditional digital roles that remain key to enabling all of this at the enterprise level. For example, web developers, mobile developers and UX designers, all of whom create that connection between software, website and applications and consumer habits, motivations and behaviors — all of which are key to driving growth for business.