For technophobes and technophiles alike, most people in the developed world engage with technology on a level far deeper than they realize. We continue to interact with evermore intelligent technologies to an extent that digital is now inextricably embedded in our lives. This presents a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional advancement; and by keeping an eye on the trends, it is possible to predict which tech jobs are here to stay, and which career paths are less impactful.
Say “goodbye” to the internet as we know it and say “hello” to the internet of the future: metaverse. The days of the internet as we know it will soon be ancient history, as we slowly immerse ourselves in an entirely digital world. We are not currently sure exactly how the landscape of this world will look, but in fewer than ten years’ time it will be our new norm. Mark Zuckerberg is so convinced that the metaverse of the future will include Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (A/R and V/R) that he has staked his future on it. Others, such as Sandbox, believe that the metaverse, or decentralized web, will involve individual beings in charge of their own virtual kingdom. Both concepts include user avatars, but whereas Zuckerberg’s version includes one world, Sandbox’s sees the avatars able to wander through myriad worlds.
There is no reason why both options can’t exist in some form. What is clear, is that the development of such realms, and the necessary testing and data gathering, will result in a continued uprise in tech jobs. From smart glasses to virtual worlds, every technological norm of the late ‘20s and early ‘30s is being pioneered now and will be refined in the future, by tech talent. So, when it comes to tech jobs, the opportunities are almost as limitless as the realms they will be creating.
AI (artificial intelligence) has been part of our lives in some shape or form for some time. While those in tech understand the overarching presence, and use, of AI in most aspects of our life, it hasn’t quite touched the consumers yet; at least, not in a way that they would realize. The use of “background” AI, such as facial recognition, online shopping, and travel navigation, will become increasingly pervasive (and, potentially, particularly in the case of facial recognition, controversial). According to Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, AI is “more profound than fire or electricity” in terms of its impact on humanity.
However, AI’s presence in modern day life doesn’t stop there. It is expected that 2023 will see the rise of AI as a way to increase worker impact. Whilst this may lead to concerns of “computers stealing our jobs”, as some jobs gradually become obsolete, new tech jobs will inevitably be recreated, offering a natural redress of the balance.
Aside from the natural, steady progression of AI which interacts with the real world, there is a new and exciting opportunity on the horizon in the form of synthetic content. Just as technology is evolving, so are we. As digital capabilities have increased, it is no coincidence that our ability to read and absorb information in large quantities has gradually diminished. Where once, we could read an ad or news article, or browse through a website, people spend significantly more time on a website if it has a video. What’s more, nearly twice as much information is retained from a snappy video than a lengthy piece of content. Enter synthetic content. Enabled by AI, synthetic content is entirely computer generated without the need of any “real” material. This offers huge opportunities in terms of creativity, without cost limitations.
Whilst synthetic content may only just be hitting the mainstream, it has been used in various arenas for some time. Modelling and simulation programs for defense, game development, engineering and product prototyping, and visual effects have been dabbling for years. However, now that synthetic content is set to be part of our everyday lives, the opportunities, both as a consumer and as someone in the tech world, are huge.
What these trends mean for tech jobs
With changing needs come changing job roles, and things are as exciting and fast-moving as ever for those in the tech world. But what does it mean for those considering a new career in tech, or those in tech who are weighing up future options? Future proof roles include:
Security engineer- as long as we are using data, there will be increasing demands for security engineers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 33% increase in security engineer roles by the end of the decade.
VR developer – offering the opportunity to engage customers in a completely immersive digital experience, there will be a space for VR for the foreseeable future. Therefore, there will be opportunities for more VR developers.
Synthetic data engineer – when creating compelling synthetic data, the problem is, who is at the helm of synthetic – or deep fake- content? Game developers? Data engineers? Graphic designers? Enter the synthetic data engineer. One of the newer tech job opportunities in the industry, the synthetic data engineer has a mix of skills and experience that allow them to design as well as create entirely new videographic images. From programming to 3D modelling, those people who work in tech and haven’t managed to find their dream job because they are driven by data as well as design are about to strike it lucky.
Chief Digital Officer – a role normally only used in organizations whose entire purpose is based around digital, the rising digital expectations of all companies means that CDO role will become more commonplace in order to ensure the steady, compliant growth of digital operations.
AI developer – the continually growing need for AI developers goes without saying. We use AI more and more; we are going to need more experts to develop it.
This digital age means that there is a wealth of tech opportunities available, without having to spend much time looking or researching. Those in the tech industry should proceed with caution; rather than rushing to the job cornucopia and claiming the first one they see, a more considered approach is more likely to enable them to secure an opportunity that will grow with them and serve them well into the future.