We’re far enough into 2019 that most of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions. Why not? It’s an annual tradition to make, and then break, resolutions.
Another annual tradition is for IT experts to list the trends we can expect to see in the IT industry. So what do the experts predict for this year? In no particular order, here are the top five.
Expect a big year for all things Artificial Intelligence. Experts predict that jobs in AI will number 23 million by 2020, and those jobs will be created in development, programming, testing, support and maintenance, to name a few.
One expert suggests that as companies look to gain real business impact from AI tools, the sector will make big leaps and “go mainstream” instead of being an esoteric topic. Top skills for AI include such programming languages as Java, C++, Python, SQL, Perl, R, Linux, along with skills in Advanced mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, computer science, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), physics, fluid dynamics and materials science.
Last year was obviously a big one for cybersecurity specialists, and there are no signs that this year will be any smaller.
That’s in part because cyber threats are constant. The malevolent hackers who are trying to illegally access data are not going to give up any time soon, and they will continue to find ways to get through even the toughest security measures. The number of cybersecurity jobs is growing three times faster than other tech jobs.
Finding qualified people to fill those jobs, however, is a challenge. As a result, it’s predicted that the US will have 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021.
Now that cloud has become the de facto way that companies build and deploy applications, businesses are on the lookout for individuals who can implement and manage cloud infrastructure -- with as little disruption as possible. Specifically, enterprises are on the hunt for cloud architects and engineers with at least five years of deep technical expertise.
Cloud architects tend to look at cloud deployments from the 20,000-foot level. They develop company standards so that different applications work in a consistent manner, and also interface with other business departments to ensure compliance. Cloud engineers, on the other hand, do more work "under the hood" of a cloud deployment, such as identifying and building connectors to bridge different application components.
Looking ahead to 2019, cloud architects and engineers who can help enterprises navigate complex multi-cloud deployments will be especially valuable.
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is the use of software to automate business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, and even replying to emails. RPA automates repetitive tasks that were formerly performed by people. Not just menial tasks: up to 45 percent of the activities we do can be automated, including the work of financial managers, doctors, and CEOs.
Although Forrester Research estimates RPA automation will threaten the livelihood of 230 million or more knowledge workers, or approximately 9 percent of the global workforce, RPA also offers plenty of career opportunities, including developer, project manager, business analyst, solution architect and consultant.
The experts say 2019 is the year blockchain technology will begin to enter a new era, driven by adoption in mainstream companies, financial organizations, healthcare organizations, and even not-for-profits. While many people think of blockchain technology only in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain offers security that is useful in many other ways.
As the use of blockchain technology increases, so does the demand for skilled professionals. In fact, blockchain-related jobs are among the fastest growing categories, with 14 job openings for every blockchain developer. Along with developers, employers are also looking for software engineers, consultants and project managers. Jobs are available at financial institutions, but also in retail and healthcare, and soon probably manufacturing as well.
So there they are, the top 5 trends according to the experts: AI, cybersecurity, cloud, RPA, and blockchain. Which means 2019 should be a very interesting year.