Remember when you saw the iPad launched? It looked like something from an episode of Star Trek – the data pads everyone was walking around with. It only took 30 years for them to become a reality.
More recently, an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror got even closer. Just a few years after it predicted an app to track your social currency, the Chinese government introduced just such an app nationwide.
With new devices and systems come new jobs, too. And with the tech industry speeding to an exciting, innovative and impactful future, we can expect roles to match. So, which should you be keeping an eye out for? Which are the most competitive or will produce the highest earnings? Which are a real vision of the future (and which are just science fiction)?
Let’s take a look at some of the most preposterous, promising and provocative job roles that we can expect to see now and in the not-too-distant future.
Artificial Intelligence Expert or Machine Learning Engineer
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) were originally founded in the 1950s as an academic discipline. Of course, today, increased funding has made them seem more like something that’s been brought back from the future. Both are currently popular roles in technology – and as the world embraces automation and its benefits, it’s no wonder corporations are looking to employ more experts in these disciplines.
These roles are among the best paying tech jobs – and don’t be surprised if they stay that way for the foreseeable future. This field has a high projected growth rate. Engineers working on AI or ML projects will be spending their time using huge amounts of data to train models for the likes of image recognition, economic forecasting, natural language processing, Internet of Things (IoT) technology and even personalisation on services such as Spotify and Netflix.
AI and ML are very futuristic technology roles – but ones that organisations are recruiting for right now. Expect to see more and more of these roles in all aspects of business over the coming years.
It’s taken a while, but it’s safe to say most people now understand what the cloud is. Understanding how it works? That’s a different matter – and a reason that consultants, engineers and architects are in high demand. Companies need the knowledge and skills to migrate processes to the necessary infrastructure, operate seamlessly and without any disasters causing a service outage. The role of the future will be deploying, managing and overseeing cloud applications like Microsoft Office 365, Slack and Google Cloud.
The perfect candidate will have a vigorous understanding of a variety of operating systems, as well as a vast knowledge of programming languages, network protocols and cybersecurity. As with many tech roles today, a postgraduate degree is required – in data science, robotics, computer science or similar.
In the same area, businesses will also look for candidates who are competent with cloud services like Amazon Web Services – as well as those experienced with Information Governance (IG), IT Infrastructure and Operations (I&O), IT Service Management (ITSM) and Automation and Vendor Management.
Virtual or Augmented Reality Developer
Forget this reality – there are other realities with their own equally exciting futures. Both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are on the rise.
For VR developers, the main goal is to create completely immersive digital experiences that people can see through specialist headgear like the Oculus Rift or Microsoft Hololens. The growing demand for developers in VR is huge – gaming companies and training organisations are two examples of businesses that are on the lookout for those skilled in this profession.
Meanwhile, AR developers will be empowered to create a layer of digital experiences on top of our own reality. Think of mobile applications such as Pokemon Go and Jurassic World Alive, which enhances the users’ physical world with CGI creatures. An AR developer will work closely with clients to design an augmented reality of their choosing. A people-focused individual with experience with AR applications and social media will thrive in this role.
Holograms have been about for decades, with the technology behind it dating back to the 1920s. It’s the act of turning a photograph into light that’s scattered from an object and then displayed in 3D. But hologram design is a role that exists in today's world, too – and it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Making a hologram involves creating an interference pattern that occurs when light from a stabilized laser meets its own light bouncing back from whatever it is illuminating. The key is to set up the laser, the object, and the recording film in a way that captures the interference pattern. And if you know all that, you’re what plenty of businesses are looking for.
The main tasks for a hologram designer are to prepare sketches of ideas, drawings, illustrations or artwork, modify and refine designs and confer with engineering, marketing and production. If you think three dimensionally and have experience creating beautiful pictures with spatial computing, then this is a role for you.
A robotics engineer is responsible for creating robots and robotic systems that can perform tasks humans are either incapable of or would prefer not to perform. This is more everyday than people might think – consider the Roomba, invented to help humans avoid the relentless chore of hoovering floors.
As technology advances rapidly, roles in robotics are becoming more important and are in higher demand. Engineers are having to constantly analyse, re-evaluate, configure, test and maintain robot prototypes for industries like manufacturing, mining and automotive. It is a high paying and highly technical job that requires patience and rational thinking.
In the future, robotics may even branch out to other societal and business functions like healthcare and retail. For a role in robotics a master’s degree in computer science or robotics is required, alongside experience, skills and knowledge in computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.
Found your future role?
As you can see, the onward march of technology is creating new roles every day. If any of the above has piqued your interest, consider taking a deeper dive by searching for companies looking for these roles – and, as always, you can reach out to Industrious Code for help if you need it. See you in the future!