ITs the future
With the world getting more and more digitised, job opportunities in the IT are expanding in key sectors like infrastructure, development and data, says James Stanger
As the world becomes more digitalised, companies are transforming to use technology more intelligently and more strategically. This is leading to the creation of new jobs in the IT sector. When we talk of jobs of the future in the IT sector, the terms evolution and transformation are critical. Many of the names of future job roles already exist. Yet the responsibilities and tasks within those job roles will morph and change over time.
The following are a few key job roles of the future in four different spheres of the IT sector — Infrastructure, Development, Security and Data. But they will morph over time.
Technical support/help desk/service desk worker: The technical support role is increasingly described under Information Technology Service Manager (ITSM). An ITSM’s job has moved beyond break fix support, for over ten years, now. It has evolved from PC support to network troubleshooting, mobile phone device support, login and authentication support, and sophisticated troubleshooting. This is a fast-growing job role, and is more vital to companies than ever before. This job role can be fulfilled by internal IT workers, or by workers who are part of a Managed Service Provider (MSP).
- Cloud: A chronic shortage of cloud-savvy workers continues. Surveys show that more companies wish to move to the cloud, but are hindered by the lack of skilled, knowledgeable workers. Automation, orchestration, and more sophisticated uses of virtual machines lead the way for cloud-based implementations. The job role has morphed over time. New requirements include more knowledge about security, containerisation, how to use cloud technologies to control costs, and conduct migrations. Migrations, interestingly, can be from enterprise (installed systems) to the cloud, and vice versa. In the future, migrations from one vendor’s cloud solution to another will be increasingly common.
- Systems Engineer/Cloud virtualisation engineer: A person who creates and manages virtualised platforms. Sometimes also called a cloud and computing service manager.
- Linux Administrator: An individual who knows Linux, but who also knows how to use these systems to virtualise various solutions (including Windows severs) on Linux.
- Cloud Architect: He creates business solutions which include security solutions, and sophisticated Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) and Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) implementations.
Data programmer: Regardless of language, programmers will be asked to work with data more and more. This means that instead of just creating sequential programmes, programmers will also need to analyse data, consider business problems, and then interpret data and turn it into information. A programmer, then, must become more business-savvy than ever before.
Automation developer: Programmers will be expected to automate various repetitive skills in the workplace. Therefore, the job role of automation engineer will become increasingly important.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Developer: Programmers will increasingly be asked to either help create the AI of tomorrow, or leverage AI services for business purposes. Workers will also be asked to create applications that self-improve. Key concepts will include deep learning. The languages of the AI programmer/developer will include Python, C++, Java, Prolog, and LISP.
Cloud developer: Responsible for using existing cloud technologies (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Azure, and Software as a Service) and create new solutions.
Security analyst: This is an increasingly vital and fast-moving job role. It will continue to morph over time. This person is very much the “blue team” worker who protects systems from hackers.
Vulnerability assessor: Also known as the penetration tester. This individual will increasingly be asked to work alongside security analysts. These assessors help to penetrate systems, and do threat modeling. They are the “red team” worker, in many cases, who helps do test incursions into systems to see where defenses have failed.
Business continuity/disaster recovery: This job role, or skill is vital in helping companies plan against man-made or natural disasters and events. Individuals currently focus on creating plans to recover from ransomware or terrorist attacks, as well as events such as floods, hurricanes, or events that cause any sort of major business interruption.
Analytics: The world of the Internet of Things (IoT) brings us a tremendous amount of data. Companies are moving fast to learn invaluable lessons from this data.
Big data jobs: Big data means data that is seemingly random, variable, and comes in at a tremendous volume. Such data is not pre-organised. Examples include the ability to sift through thousands of web requests or e-mails in a day to find patterns. There will be a greater demand for Big Data Engineers, Big Data Developers and Data Architects.
Small data jobs: Small data means data that is organised, repetitive, and yet very useful. It may come in at a very fast pace, or slowly. An example of small data would be organized information coming in from an IoT device that is organized under an XML structure. Such data can be easily compiled and interpreted. For that the system will need more Trend Analysts, Focus Group Facilitators/Consultants who use technologies to help process focused feedback from groups of people. Instead of looking through random, unstructured, and unorganized data, this individual helps draw critical conclusions by working with key groups of people to essential job roles, regardless of IT function
This is a key job role of the future. Tomorrow’s project manager will apply ever-more refined ways to initiate, track, and evaluate projects. This is because companies are fast learning that they can apply project management concepts to help speed time to market. More importantly, project managers will be able to help improve processes so that resulting products (e.g., software, IoT devices) will have far higher of quality once they reach the market.
As managed service providers take hold, it will be very important for workers in MSP companies to know many different technologies. They will also need to learn how to listen very well to business requirements.
The writer is senior director, products, CompTIA
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