Technology is now evolving at such a rapid pace that annual predictions of trends can seem out-of-date before they even go live as a published blog post or article. As technology evolves, it enables even faster change and progress, causing an acceleration of the rate of change, until eventually, it will become exponential.
Technology based careers don’t change at the same speed, but they do evolve, and the savvy IT professional recognizes that his or her role will not stay the same. And an IT worker of the 21st century will constantly be learning (out of necessity if not desire).
What does this mean for you? It means staying current with technology trends. And it means keeping your eyes on the future, to know which skills you’ll need to know and what types of jobs you want to be qualified to do. Here are eight technology trends you should watch for in 2020, and some of the jobs that will be created by these trends.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has already received a lot of buzz in recent years, but it continues to be a trend to watch because its effects on how we live, work and play are only in the early stages. In addition, other branches of AI have developed, including Machine Learning, which we will go into below. AI refers to computer systems built to mimic human intelligence and perform tasks such as recognition of images, speech or patterns, and decision making. AI can do these tasks faster and more accurately than humans.
Five out of six Americans use AI services in one form or another every day, including navigation apps, streaming services, smartphone personal assistants, ride-sharing apps, home personal assistants, and smart home devices. In addition to consumer use, AI is used to schedule trains, assess business risk, predict maintenance, and improve energy efficiency, among many other money-saving tasks.
AI is one part of what we refer to broadly as automation, and automation is a hot topic because of potential job loss. Experts say automation will eliminate 73 million more jobs by 2030. However, automation is creating jobs as well as eliminating them, especially in the field of AI: Pundits predict that jobs in AI will number 23 million by 2020. Jobs will be created in development, programming, testing, support, and maintenance, to name a few. Artificial Intelligence architect is one such job. Some say it will soon rival data scientist in need for skilled professionals. To learn more about potential jobs in AI, read about building a career in AI or why you should earn an AI certification.
2. Machine Learning
Machine Learning is a subset of AI. With Machine Learning, computers are programmed to learn to do something they are not programmed to do: they learn by discovering patterns and insights from data. In general, we have two types of learning, supervised and unsupervised.
While Machine Learning is a subset of AI, we also have subsets within the domain of Machine Learning, including neural networks, natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning. Each of these subsets offers an opportunity for specializing in a career field that will only grow.
Machine Learning is rapidly being deployed in all kinds of industries, creating a huge demand for skilled professionals. The Machine Learning market is expected to grow to $8.81 billion by 2022. Machine Learning applications are used for data analytics, data mining and pattern recognition. On the consumer end, Machine Learning powers web search results, real-time ads, and network intrusion detection, to name only a few of the many tasks it can do.
3. Robotic Process Automation or RPA
Like AI and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is another technology that is automating jobs. 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 people used to do. These are not just the menial tasks of a low-paid worker: 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 is also creating new jobs while altering existing jobs. McKinsey finds that less than 5 percent of occupations can be totally automated, but about 60 percent can be partially automated.
For you as an IT professional looking to the future and trying to understand technology trends, RPA offers plenty of career opportunities, including developer, project manager, business analyst, solution architect, and consultant. And these jobs pay well.
4. Edge Computing
Formerly a technology trend to watch, cloud computing has become mainstream, with major players AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud dominating the market. The adoption of cloud computing is still growing, as more and more businesses migrate to a cloud solution. But it’s no longer the emerging technology.
As the quantity of data we’re dealing with continues to increase, we’ve realized the shortcomings of cloud computing in some situations. Edge computing is designed to help solve some of those problems as a way to bypass the latency caused by cloud computing and getting data to a data center for processing.
It can exist “on the edge,” if you will, closer to where computing needs to happen. For this reason, edge computing can be used to process time-sensitive data in remote locations with limited or no connectivity to a centralized location. In those situations, edge computing can act like mini datacenters. Edge computing will increase as the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices
5. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) immerses the user in an environment while Augment Reality (AR) enhances their environment. Although VR has primarily been used for gaming thus far, it has also been used for training, as with VirtualShip, a simulation software used to train U.S. Navy, Army and Coast Guard ship captains. The popular Pokemon Go is an example of AR.
Both VR and AR have enormous potential in training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury. Either could be used to train doctors to do surgery, offer museum-goers a deeper experience, enhance theme parks, or even enhance marketing, as with this Pepsi Max bus shelter.
There are major players in the VR market, like Google, Samsung, and Oculus, but plenty of startups are forming and they will be hiring, and the demand for professionals with VR and AR skills will only increase. Getting started in VR doesn’t require a lot of specialized knowledge. Basic programming skills and a forward-thinking mindset can land a job, although other employers will be looking for optics as a skill-set and hardware engineers as well.
Although most people think of blockchain technology in relation to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain offers security that is useful in many other ways. In the simplest of terms, blockchain can be described as data you can only add to, not take away from or change. Hence the term “chain” because you’re making a chain of data.
Not being able to change the previous blocks is what makes it so secure. In addition, blockchains are consensus-driven, so no one entity can take control of the data. With blockchain, you don’t need a trusted third-party to oversee or validate transactions.
7. Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things (IOT) brings with it a wide range of IT security headaches, along with compliance nightmares and turf wars
IOT has continuously advanced into the everyday existences of the two people and organizations. From autos to espresso creators to shrewd industrial facilities, the gadgets that encompass us are getting progressively associated.
The advantages of bringing IOT into our homes and workplaces are various. We have expanded proficiency, improved correspondence, and more prominent profitability, to refer to however a couple yet it accompanies a considerable amount of dangers. Here is the means by which IOT can put your information in danger.
An ongoing report uncovered that over 90% of information exchanges on IOT gadgets are decoded. Besides, there is expanding worry about the job IOT could play in giving companies inordinate access to people’s very own information.
Recognizable data and information is all the all the more concerning when you consider the way that the quantity of IOT gadgets is set to surpass 50 billion inside the following two years.
In light of this, what are the primary dangers IOT stances to you and your clients’ information, and what are the means you can take to ensure it?
WHY IOT DEVICES CAN POSE A SECURITY PROBLEM
One term we hear a great deal when discussing cyber security is “assault surface” the quantity of potential ways an aggressor can access a gadget or system so as to reap information or disturb execution.
A key hazard with IOT is the sheer number of endpoints, which means the quantity of gadgets associated with the Internet that can offer aggressors a state of passage and open your system to chance.
To stay away from the security dangers there’s a need to completely comprehend the potential security dangers presented by IOT.
This perspective is a specific danger to business, as while the possibility of a solitary gadget being broken is moderately little, that hazard increments exponentially when a system contains countless them.
Two years prior, programmers accessed a club database in a way that wouldn’t appear to be strange in a James Bond film: through the organizations’ cutting edge fish tank, empowering them to exfiltrate 10 gigabytes of information.
The brilliant gadgets that are regularly found in close to home homes are additionally defenseless against hacking and over the top information gathering. Associated apparatuses, reconnaissance cameras and brilliant toys all offer potential passage focuses to programmers, while savvy TVs were as of late saw as releasing information,
for example, areas and IP addresses, to companies, for example, Google, Facebook, and Netflix in any event, when the proprietor didn’t really have a Netflix account. Even more worryingly, information was being shared in any event, when the gadgets were inactive.
Cybersecurity might not seem like emerging technology, given that it has been around for a while, but it is evolving just as other technologies are. That’s in part because threats are constantly new. 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. It’s also in part because new technology is being adapted to enhance security.
What Is Cyber Protection?
Before we jump into the 2020 cybersecurity predictions, we should discuss what cyber protection is. This is a broad term encompassing the protection of networks and electronic devices, like computers and mobile devices, from cyber attacks. Those without sufficient protection for their systems and devices could be at risk for security breaches, malware and other dangerous invasions of Internet privacy.
The concept of cybersecurity is hardly new — but over the last 20 years or so, agencies have heavily pushed its significance on network users. In 2004, the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security launched National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the U.S. Since then, cybersecurity has become more and more challenging to maintain with the rise of social media, cloud technology and more.
As amazing as it is that people and businesses are more connected than ever in today’s world, these lowered barriers mean that we have to keep developing new methods of cyber protection that can compete with the cybersecurity threats of 2020. It may take more than virus software and basic password protection to keep your technology safe in the current environment.
So, What’s Next?
Although technologies are emerging and evolving all around us, these eight technologies offer promising career potential now and for the foreseeable future. And all eight are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, meaning the time is right for you to choose one, get trained, and get on board at the early stages of the technology, positioning you for success now and in the future.