Recruiters are keenly aware of how quickly the tech industry evolves. Skills considered “hot” just a few years ago have been eclipsed by new ones. Companies pivot quickly from one thing to the next, driven by visions of dominating a future market.
Given the rapid pace of change, it behooves recruiters and hiring managers to not only keep an eye on what companies want from talent today, but what they might need a few years from now. With that in mind, 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 tools and frameworks, explained Steve Brown, technology futurist and CEO of Possibility and Purpose. (Virtual reality is exactly what you’ve seen in sci-fi movies—a headset that places the user in a virtual environment—while augmented reality layers holograms over your real-world environment.)
Although developers have largely concentrated on AR and VR as gaming mediums, that’s sure to change as more companies explore how these technologies can enhance productivity apps. In addition, tech firms such as Apple and Google are publishing more tools that will bring AR and VR skills into the hands of tech pros. Stay aware that recruiting for those skilled in AR/VR could very well pick up sooner rather than later.
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. And recruiters will surely end up sourcing talent who can build and maintain the hardware and software behind such 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 cyber-security.
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. That’s a challenge from a recruitment perspective—how do you evaluate a tech pro’s ability to make a machine “empathize”? This is a situation where recruiters researching candidates beforehand—and looking at their completed projects specifically—may end up an invaluable part of the sourcing process.
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. When sourcing for those roles, recruiters should look for candidates with very specific 3D printing experience over a long period of time; such candidates will be well-versed in what works (and doesn’t work) when it comes to printing.
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.
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.