Organizations today are undergoing technological transformation and are aggressively looking for talent to fill in the gaps. Technology today is on the cusp of moving augmentation beyond human capabilities to provide super-jobs.
The rise of AI and excessive reliance on data-driven culture has disrupted traditional organizational L&D models. Businesses today are forced to embrace technology to provide services to the customers in advanced but simpler ways without compromising on the meaningfulness of the work by those who provide those services. While more than 65% of all the respondents surveyed by Deloitte agree that AI has a disruptive power, less than 26% are willing to adapt to the changes
This reliance on data has pushed human augmentation beyond routine transactional work and helped create jobs that machines can’t replicate – curiosity, creativity, emotional and social intelligence, strategy, and intuition. Delving into these super-jobs requires honing specific skills. Those, as architects humanize technological interaction, promise to stay for at least a decade
AI/ML and Neural Networks:
Even though software app developers were the most hired professionals, businesses struggled to fill positions for data architects and security analysts.
The sudden rise of artificial intelligence has brought to fore its ability to perform human-like transactions in processing data faster than humans and recognizing patterns better than humans. AI relies heavily on machine learning and building neural networks. These neural networks mimic the brain’s information processing. While chatbots, predictive analysis, virtual assistants, and self-driving cars are a few examples of how neural networks are used, its possibilities can be leveraged across all industries.
McKinsey estimates the value of AI-driven industry to generate 3-6 trillion dollars annually. This revenue generation is spread across all sectors almost evenly without any bias. Indeed research states an annual increase of 119% year-on-year for AI-skilled workers. In contrast, only 26% of developers currently have experience with AI or are skilled in machine learning applications. This shortage is expected to carry forward, keeping the demand for AI/ML experts high.
Automation uses technology to remove obsolete tasks once required humans. Apart from streamlining tasks better and adhering to processes strictly, automation also helps in preventing human hazards. Hyper-automation makes use of advanced technology – including AI/ML – not only to automate tasks but to perform the inherent sophistication of automation (discover, analyze, design, asses, monitor, and restructure).
It also creates a DTO that allows businesses to visualize how functions, processes, and KPIs generate value in the services, thus providing continuous intelligence about the organization and the business opportunities. This process helps convert user experience from technology-literate people to people-literate technology
Hyper-automation provides for an ambient experience that will improve AR, VR, human-machine interfacing, and sensory technologies. In fact, in 2020, more than 50% of the jobs have centered around engineering and development roles. So as a job that requires assistance from data scientists, robotics engineers, and AI specialists, hyper-automation is scheduled to grow at an average rate of 40%.
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Data Science and Analytics:
Though touched upon in the previous skill, data science and analytics as skills have garnered immense focus due to their vast applicability. LinkedIn research points out that millennials require job flexibility and opportunities to work remotely.
With data becoming widespread, communication abilities and strategizing skills are coming to the fore, improving the need for data, scientists, engineers, architects, and analysts. This is evident, as the study estimates a 37% increase in talent requirements. Overall, the industry is poised to grow at 300% over the decade. Case in point, Glassdoor suggests data analytics as to the third-best job in America in 2019 with other forms of data roles taking various spots in the top 20.
As businesses strive to stay ahead of the competition by offering more personalized and uniquely tailored services, the reliance on data management will only increase. Data analysis’s ability to recognize patterns and drive business means professionals with a deep-learning experience in data engineering will be required. And as the reliability of patterns generated by systems increases, the importance of data analysis will only continue to rise.
Cybersecurity as a form of IT investment is projected to be one of the fastest-growing trends to look out for in 2020, with an annual increase in demand for specialists and technicians growing over 30%. Organizations’ reliance on data, centralization of information, and cloud computing required robust infrastructure in place for ensuring the confidentiality and safety of their IP.
With increased instances of data breaches (50% increase just in 2019), businesses realize the need for practices and infrastructure that guarantee the safety of their clients’ information.
Applications like neural networks need to be labeled processing of 10 million transactions to exceed normal human performance. This means organizations need to collect data from every transaction to improve customer engagement. Any data breach puts clients’ confidential information at risk, damaging businesses’ credibility.
Once again, the role of AI becomes prominent here. With sufficient information, AI can learn to recognize patterns of a coincidence that indicate a possible data breach. This defense and offense abilities require individuals with experience in cybersecurity and AI to help systems develop beyond human capabilities.
Rather than rendering jobs obsolete, cybersecurity can create super-jobs. Companies like Amex today have dedicated forensics teams aimed at bettering systems to recognize patterns and supervise the results. This mad dash for cybersecurity professionals is not likely to diminish any time soon because the average shortfall keeps increasing by 200% annually. With security being increasingly integrated with data science, the number of niches that open keeps opening avenues for various professionals.
Organizations are shifting from traditional server-intensive infrastructure to cloud-based computing networks. Gartner forecasts a 17% increase in the cloud solutions business, contributing to $226B to the overall IT industry. While blockchain remained as one of the most preferred operations in 2018-19, 2020 say diminished importance for it.
While SaaS will remain the largest market segment, Internet as a Service (IaaS) is poised to be on par with it, with an estimated revenue of $50B. Cloud computing infrastructure as a whole, promises to keep increasing in the long run as organizations try to integrate their systems with on-premises technology by centralizing data.
The challenges that CIOs face are looming disruptions in the face of economic uncertainty, data breaches, and changing technology landscape. Most global CIOs surveyed as part of a study stated an increased commitment to various forms of cloud computing in 2020.
The ability of an organization to deal with future uncertainty can be gauged by how it fared during the last turn. Keeping an eye out for changing trends and becoming ‘fit’ is the way forward. An essential step in becoming ‘fit’ is to ensure the protection of data and enhancing cloud computing sophistication. So all tech wiz experts agree that cloud computing solutions will not fizzle out throughout the decade.
Apart from these skills, there are other skills that have gained prominence in the latter half of this decade and promise to stay that for at least the latter part of the next decade as well. Some of them are
Internet of Things (IoT)
Simply put, IoT refers to a system of devices that ‘talk’ to each other. It includes all applications, sensors, equipment, and other systems that are connected together for enhanced performance. McKinsey predicts a market value of 4-11 trillion dollars by 2025. When you combine cybersecurity or AI with IoT, you get a skill set that organizations calmer to hire.
This is a skill that will never go obsolete. No matter what technology companies hire, they need specialists to present their products to the world in a simple way. User Interface (UI) specialists focus on enhancing the interface that the users interact with — to make it flow smoothly.
User Experience (UX) specialists, on the other hand, are concerned with analysis into how users will interact with various elements of the company’s products and the websites. Without either service, no matter how sophisticated your applications are, you won’t be able to attract customers. This demand, with the advent of hyper-automation, is not just restricted to mobile platforms. It is seeping into AR, VR, and other wearables.
With firms transitioning to agile structures, the role of product owners becomes increasingly important. While there isn’t a fixed JD, a product owner generally does a market survey, performs user tests, acting as liaisons between Project managers, developers, and the clients. Glassdoor quotes the jobs of product owners as the 4th best in America for 2020.
People with technical skills work behind the scenes. To interact with people, you need a lot of soft skills — skills that AI can’t replicate. Some of them are strategy, marketing, client interaction, sales, customer-handling and effective communication (both written and oral).
Global leaders are decreasing reliance on college degrees and certifications, instead choosing to opt for hands-on experience. There have been several instances where community college students performed better than ivy league schools because of the expertise they garner.
Several premier institutions have created programs that bring in talent irrespective of their background to mitigate the gap between demand and supply. With the increased number of online platforms available, learning skills have become more accessible. (1) Perseverance, in updating oneself about industry trends, even if learned through online platforms, shows immense promise for a bright career.