One of the most incredible things about IT employment is that you can look at the latest list of in-demand jobs at any given time and see that they would have been meaningless a mere few years ago. Augmented Reality Designer? Cloud Expert? Cognitive Computer Engineer? In such a fast developing field, the creation of entirely new careers is constant. Often, technologies emerge faster than businesses have a chance to define the roles and positions which will help shape them. Even those undertaking traditional IT jobs will have to continuously adapt to the new technologies just doing their everyday job.
Employers are very much aware that IT is developing faster than the workforce can keep up, resulting in an IT skill gap. While that’s bad news for many, it means that the most ambitious of the lot can rise to the top by acquiring the right skillsets and staying ahead of the game. Below are the most in-demand IT careers right now. As has always been the case amidst the ever-growing technological flux – some positions will be short-term as the popularity of an over-hyped technology fades. Others technologies and IT positions are here for the long-run.
GPU Cluster Engineer
The performance of certain applications can be improved by transferring compute-intensive portions from a CPU (central processing unit) to the GPU (graphics processing unit). The rest of the code is still run on the CPU, but enormous data is easier to handle through having effectively unburdened the CPU with the GPU. Apparently, this system is twice as fast as the now old-fashioned solution of having everything run on a CPU. Facebook uses an artificially intelligent server ‘Big Sur’ to run the social network, which is extremely reliant upon GPU clusters.
Since this is a fairly new technology, finding specialized engineers with relevant experience is difficult. While it may be easy enough to maintain the clusters or outsource the task, writing code to run it is a whole different ball game – but the more desirable option for businesses. One field in which GPU cluster engineers are fast becoming needed is the emerging era of driverless cars.
Virtual Reality Engineer
With VR headsets on the verge of becoming the norm console through which to play games (or even watch movies and experience lifelike simulations), there is of course a growing need for professionals familiar and skilled with the technology behind virtual reality. Considering that every major gaming studio will need to recruit such specialists quite promptly if they are to stay ahead of the game (no pun intended), there will be an explosion of VR Engineer vacancies in the near future.
This is also an especially lucrative career options considering he soon-to-be-legalized US igaming industry, in which a number of popular and profitable poker sites will be looking to have their online card rooms adapted for VR technology. Online poker was a multi-billion dollar industry in the early 00s, and its return to American soil will reintroduce a lot of jobs in the near future – VR Engineer included.
The requirements for this job are unsurprisingly rather varied. Whether working for an exciting startup or established big brand, employers will expect a range of computer graphics and mobile application development experience, along with a talent in digital image processing and advanced coding.
Companies are currently recruiting engineers and developers specialized in the technologies behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. They are looking for professionals with experience in cryptography, hash algorithms and distributed systems. Ever since Bitcoin popularised blockchains, hundreds of startups and open source projects are looking to implement the same technology to their own trading platforms, secure identification cards and financial service applications. Yet cryptography experts are hard to come, simply because the technology is new and – according to some – more like advanced math than traditional programming. The salary for someone with experience in Bitcoin and distributed systems could be up to $150,000 per year.
Computer Security Incident Reporter
Cybersecurity experts have been in demand since the early days of computing, but the role of a ‘computer security incident reporter’ is a little more specific. Not only is this a person who needs to deal with the effects of a cyberattack – he or she also needs to have a good comprehension of SIEM (security information and event management).
SIEM refers to software products and services that centralizes several different events logs and other security information within one single system with real-time interpretation of these logs. To truly take advantage of SIEM in safeguarding against cybersecurity breaches requires extensive knowledge and skill. It is a management tool with which few IT professionals are sufficiently familiar. To combat increasingly complex and dangerous cyberattacks, the world needs increasingly talented cybersecurity experts, and in the current day that means someone who can utilize SIEM amongst other sources.
Internet of Things Architect
The ‘internet of things’ is a term used to describe the way in which we no longer solely utilize computers in accessing the internet, nor is the net exclusive only to mobile phones and tablet devices. In the era of Bluetooth and the cloud, network interconnectivity is everywhere and allowing for communication between everything from our speakers to our lamps to our watches to our security alarms.
More and more frequently you will see jobs such as ‘IoT solutions architect’ advertised. This person will need to understand machine-to-machine communications, as well as have experience working with the cloud, cybersecurity and SaaS (software as a service).
As evidenced from the above careers, it has never been a more exciting time to work within the field of IT. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cybersecurity will only continue to become an increasingly integral part of our everyday lives. Competitive businesses will pay handsomely for someone who can help them stay relevant, while governments are equally interested in having the best IT experts on their side.