Looking to change fields and get into tech, but don’t know what skills you need to launch your career? Maximize your marketability by pursuing tech skills in demand for the future!
Tech is a broad field, and there are a lot of interesting directions you can go in. In this article, we’ll look at the various areas of tech, how much demand exists for each skill, and where to go to start your learning journey.
- Machine Learning
Machine learning is one of the most innovative and exciting fields moving into the future, making it one of the most profitable skills you can learn. From Siri and Alexa to chatbots to predictive analysis to self-driving cars, there are a ton of uses for this futuristic tech.
Those who begin taking online courses in machine learning now will still be getting in relatively early, as demand is only increasing from here. “61% of organizations insist that Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence will be among their top data initiatives in 2018 and 2019,” reports Shilpa Kulkarni.
Machine learning can be applied to every industry, including healthcare, education, finance, etc. Translation? The possibilities are endless, and you can apply your machine learning skills to a role that suits your personality and interests.
Learn more about the difference between AI and machine learning and what to do if you want a career in machine learning in this interview with CTO Allan Leinwand.
Quick facts about machine learning as a career:
- Mobile Development
In 2018, it’s estimated that there will be over 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world. This means that companies who want to stay relevant don’t just need websites; they need apps. Having mobile development skills also comes with the perk that if you can build apps for others, you can build and sell your own as well–so it’s an ideal career path for aspiring entrepreneurs.
One interesting direction that mobile apps are headed in is augmented reality. Apps like Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game engage with the real world, blending technology and reality.
If you want to start learning mobile development without committing to the Team Treehouse tech degree spotlighted below, check out these 21 mobile app development courses.
Quick facts about mobile development as a career:
- Average salary: $101K (with starting salaries as high as $75K)
- At the time of writing there are 51,181 mobile developer jobs posted on Glassdoor.
- The global app economy is predicted to be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion in 2016.
- The future of mobile development goes beyond phones: wearable technologies, the Internet of Things, beacon technology, increase in use of VR/AR, and more.
- SEO/SEM Marketing
Employers are looking for people with digital marketing skills to improve their company’s web presence and visibility. This is one of the tech skills in demand for obvious reasons: more site visits mean more conversions, customers, and revenue.
If you’re data-minded, SEO/SEM may be a great fit, since the role involves constant testing, measuring, and experimenting to see what works and make changes based on observations/metrics/KPIs.
Digital marketing is another skill that can benefit you if you decide to start your own business in the future. You can leverage SEO skills to market yourself, find freelancing clients, start a tech/personal blog, and build a brand.
Quick facts about SEO/SEM as a career:
- Data Visualization
Data visualization is a way to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context (turn spreadsheets or reports into charts and graphs that can be easily understood).
Think of this career as a bridge between technical and non-technical roles. You’re taking the data collected by analysts and transforming it into a form anyone can understand.
Quick facts about data visualization as a career:
- Average salary: $98,264 per year for Data Visualization Engineers
- It’s in demand because employers can make sense of large amounts of data to drive real business results. For example, predict sales volume, understand what factors influence human behavior, identify areas in the business that can be improved, identify trends, relationships, patterns, etc.
- It’s a blend of science and art: raw information meeting visually appealing mediums.
- Data visualization is the key to “bringing the power of Big Data to the mainstream.“
- Data Engineering
Data engineering is separate from data science, but the former is what enables the latter to exist. Data engineers build the infrastructure and tools that data scientists rely on to conduct their own work.
There’s no better time for U.S. citizens to enter the field, due to changes in immigration laws. “Following recent government policy changes in the H1-B Visa application process, demand for US citizen data engineers has increased drastically and shows no signs of easing,” writes Sam Brown.
Quick facts about data engineering as a career:
6. Network and Information Security (Cybersecurity)
For any company that collects customer information or deals with sensitive data of their own, keeping networks secure is paramount.
When data breaches do happen, they can be big, newsworthy, and costly for the company to recover from. 2017 had its fair share of cybersecurity disasters, and companies famously hacked in the past include Sony, LinkedIn, Chipotle, and others.
These situations underscore just how critical it is for companies to keep their network security up to par, and make cybersecurity one of the most-needed jobs and one of the tech skills in demand in 2019. Unfortunately for those companies, right now there is a shortage of people trained in network security. Fortunately for you, that means there’s a gap in the market you can fill.
If you’re curious about filling that gap, read my ultimate guide to starting a career in cybersecurity.
Quick facts about cybersecurity as a career:
7. Cloud Computing/AWS
Cloud computing jobs are on the rise because more and more companies are switching from the classical server infrastructure to cloud solutions. According to Gartner, the market for public cloud services is projected to grow by 17.3 3% in 2019.
Amazon Web Services is one of these cloud platforms, featuring content delivery, database storage, networking, and more–over 50 services in total. Since it is currently the biggest platform, we’ll highlight some specific facts about AWS in this section (and give an extra course recommendation for it!).
AWS specialists are usually engineers, cloud architects, or system administrators. IT professionals who are AWS-certified earn more than their non-certified counterparts. It’s one of the most profitable skills an IT employee can learn to level up their tech career, as AWS specialists earn an average of $113,000 (the highest of all certifications in the United States and Canada)
Quick facts about cloud computing as a career:
- Median salary: $146,350 for cloud computing professionals
- The most in-demand cloud computing skills are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Java, Linux, software development, DevOps, Docker and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are the most in-demand skills.
- Big companies using AWS include Intuit, Netflix, GE Oil & Gas, and Time, Inc.
- AWS has the dominant market share of the cloud computing industry worldwide, with an active customer base in 190+ countries.
Originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin, blockchain has evolved. The tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology, such as peer-to-peer payments, crowdfunding, file storage, identity management, digital voting, etc. Learn more about blockchain/cryptocurrency jobs in this article.
“With platforms like Ethereum taking the lead, more and more companies need developers who understand the blockchain, smart contracts, and can build decentralized applications,” writes Anna Belaya.
Quick facts about blockchain as a career:
- Average salary: between $150,000 and $175,000
- According to Gartner, the business value of blockchain will be $3.1 trillion in by 2030.
- Between late 2017-late 2018, demand for blockchain engineers increased by 400 percent
- Tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft are working on blockchain
9. IoT(Internet of Things)
In the broadest sense, the term IoT encompasses everything connected to the internet, but it is increasingly being used to define objects that “talk” to each other.
“Simply, the Internet of Things is made up of devices—from simple sensors to smartphones and wearables—connected together,” says Matthew Evans, the IoT program head at techUK.
Everything that’s connected to the internet can be hacked, which is why security is one top concern with these devices. A report from Samsung says the need to secure every connected device by 2020 is “critical” and that more than 7.3 billion devices will need to be made secure by their manufacturers before 2020. Cybersecurity professionals who specialize in IoT will likely be highly sought after for this reason.
Quick facts about IoT as a career:
10.Data Science & Analytics
Rounding off our collection of data careers are two more mainstays of Big Data: science and analytics. Revenue from Big Data applications and analytics is projected to grow from $5.3B in 2018 to $19.4B in 2026.
84% of enterprises have launched advanced analytics and Big Data initiatives to accelerate their decision-making and bring greater accuracy.
Data analysis is the more entry-level skill, whereas data science gets more advanced, but the careers are still cousins.
Quick facts about data analysis as a career:
11. Artificial Intelligence
AI is rapidly changing the landscape of work, making it an exciting time for programmers looking for something new.
There is crossover with machine learning here, but the key difference is that AI is a broader concept pertaining to machines designed to act intelligently like humans, whereas machine learning relies on devices making sense of a specific set of data.
In 2018, 31% of businesses said implementing AI was on their agenda for the next 12 months. Their top use cases are incorporating AI in data analysis and user experience.
Quick facts about artificial intelligence as a career: