There’s no doubt that some tech pros could see their jobs eliminated over the next few years as companies adopt emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning. But don’t worry: there are plenty of exciting options on the horizon that require a mix of analytics, computer science, entrepreneurialism and other non-technical skills—all things that many tech pros possess.
Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Here are some of the tech jobs that experts predict will be in high demand in 2020 (and beyond).
AR/VR Object Designer
Whether or not you believe augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) will constitute most of our interactions with mobile devices, there’s going to be rising demand for object designers skilled in AR and VR frameworks, explained Steve Brown, technology futurist and CEO of Possibility and Purpose.
You don’t necessarily need to be an object designer to join the movement, Brown added. For instance, your work could involve UX design, developing AR interfaces, or building backend connections to smart objects.
Smart Sensor Engineer
If the movie “The Graduate” were remade today, the career advice Benjamin Braddock receives from a family friend wouldn’t be “plastics”; it would likely be “sensors.”
“Smart sensors will be used extensively to build bridges between our physical and digital worlds in every industry,” Brown said. For programmers, advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) and A.I. will create opportunities to write applications that extract data, connect multiple components, and transform “dumb” products into Internet-enabled devices.
Behavior Analytics Specialist
What will consumers want to buy tomorrow, or even next year? A behavior analytics specialist combines data analytics with cognitive computing and machine learning to gain insights into consumer behavior and predict where markets are headed. Behavior analytics can also be applied to other fields such as cybersecurity.
Emotional Intelligence Designer
One thing that currently separates robots or A.I. devices from humans is their inability to interpret and react to human emotions. But that’s about to change, according to Dr. James Canton, CEO and chairman of the Institute for Global Futures.
Professionals with a background in computer science, or programmers with a deep understanding of psychology, will be needed to create algorithms that turn human emotions into code. How high is your EQ?
3D Printing Expert
“3D printing is getting ready to explode,” explained Daniel Burrus, CEO of Burrus Research and bestselling author.
For example, the evolution of 3D printing will disrupt the manufacturing of consumer products, defense equipment and parts, prosthetics, and even human organs and blood vessels. In the process, it will create new opportunities for mechanical, industrial or software engineers, as well as cross-platform software developers and modelers.
Big Data Auditor
This role integrates traditional auditing skills with data analytics techniques. In a nutshell, these pros will use A.I. learning, algorithms and analytical insights to separate relevant data from the irrelevant, and conduct “next generation audits” either on their own or as part of a team.
Space Habitat Developer
If you have experience creating, deploying or supporting the high-tech infrastructure and systems in a modern megacity, your next career could be out-of-this-world. The private space industry is experiencing rapid growth, leading to the development of space stations and habitats on the moon and, eventually, Mars. Planning is already underway, and Canton expects to see the deployment of additional pilot programs and models by 2025.
Quantum Computing Product Manager
Product managers will work independently or as part of a team to solve challenging business and science problems using quantum computing. The solutions they develop could help improve food safety in global supply chains, for instance, or accelerate cancer research. It’s the perfect job for professionals who want to use their skills to make a difference in the world.
(If you don’t see a position above that fits your skills and interests, don’t worry there are lots of options. Here is a list of 162 future jobs compiled by futurist, Thomas Frey.)