A long-held fear of the general public about new technology is that it will replace human jobs. The truth is, even as the latest tech tools and techniques edge out certain kinds of positions, emerging science is creating new tech jobs in the technology arena.
According to Michael Jones, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Cincinnati, research bears out this assertion, as well as recent history. “[A] focus on technology’s substitutionary (or replacement) role fails to appreciate how it can also be complementary,” writes Jones in The Washington Post. “Job loss in some occupations will certainly continue, but it will be accompanied by gains in different fields, just as in the past.”
From the Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables to 3D printing and self-driving cars, the most recent innovations in science and technology are leading to a plethora of new opportunities. Whether you’re a job candidate conducting your own search for an IT position or a hiring manager on the lookout for top talent, here is a roundup of 10 of the hottest new types of IT jobs being created — or to be created — that will shape the industry’s future.
The Internet of Things — in which everyday objects have network connectivity that gives them the ability to both send and receive data — has already caused significant disruption of the job market on a worldwide scale. As related technologies continue to evolve and mature, new skill sets will be in demand as older jobs morph into high-tech gigs. Just a few of the possibilities for new and expanding roles in IoT include:
1. Head of IoT. A senior-level leader who manages the transition to IT initiatives and then oversees subsequent corporate IoT initiatives
2. IoT software engineer. A professional engineer with a background in software development and expertise in cutting-edge IoT offerings, eco-systems and protocols, as well as messaging systems and cloud/web technologies
3. E-discovery investigators. A specialized investigator who can uncover, collect and analyze data from electronic devices in the world of IoT, where connected devices are all uniquely identifiable
Additionally, millions of developers in IoT will be needed by 2020, creating expanded opportunities for tech jobs for developers who innovate on products from asthma inhalers to basketballs, and on services from counting pests to measuring radiation.
Wearable technology jobs
Wearables are poised to transform the growth and development of tech jobs. Researchers are exploring a wide range of practical uses for wearable technology, from improving customer relationships and productivity to solving problems in food safety and seeking a cure for cancer. As wearables grow in popularity and the IoT continues to expand across sectors, fresh new job titles may include:
4. Wearable technology implementation manager. A tech-savvy IT project manager specializing in wearables implementation who focuses on implementing wearables information systems into business environments, and overseeing wearables projects to ensure that they stay on budget and meet timing guidelines.
5. Wearable technology/IoT trainer. An IT trainer who ideally has firsthand experience developing products and services in wearables and IoT and specializes in training and certification in this emerging field
6. Wearable technology/IoT-specific engineer. A credentialed engineer wit additional expertise in the areas most likely to affect a wearable product (sensors, signal processing, etc)
Healthcare also presents ample opportunity for new IT jobs to emerge in this space — for example experts on certain health conditions who additionally understand wearable technology will be in a better position to create digital devices and services tailored to help patients with those conditions.
3D printing jobs
While the explosive growth of 3D printing has led to job losses in the retail and manufacturing sectors, this wave of innovation is also creating many entirely new job categories including:
7. 3D modeling artist. A new type of computer graphics artist who specializes in 3D modeling to develop mathematical representations of 3D surfaces of objects
8. CAD technical writer. A programmer or technical writer who develops the scripts needed as the CAD software market heats up from the expansion of 3D printing
Self-driving car jobs
A look at Google’s recent job ads for its new self-driving car company gives a hint of the wave of future IT jobs in this market segment:
9. Robotics software engineer. A Masters-level researcher/software engineer with a background in hands-on robotics research, data structures and advanced algorithms who uses these skills to transform mobility in the field of autonomous vehicles
10. Manufacturing process engineer. A skilled engineer who is involved in designing factory assembly stations and automating manufacturing processes for the self-driving car
When it comes to new tech jobs, these 10 new job titles are just the tip of the iceberg. The maker movement (independent designers and inventors), robotics, battery technology and other scientific advances are adding other new IT positions into the mix.
The bottom line is that emerging science is transforming jobs, not replacing them. Andrew Moore, Carnegie Mellon’s dean of the school of computer science, told WIRED that he “has seen no evidence that this technology is stealing jobs — and that, as time goes on, it will likely create an enormous number of jobs.” To accommodate these technical advances and stay current, smart candidates and companies alike will take note as early in the game as possible by gearing up to take full advantage of these emerging career opportunities.