The technology sector has become integral to the modern economy, with an increasing number of jobseekers taking an interest in tech roles.
Are you intrigued by artificial intelligence? Do you want to make smartwatches even smarter? Or are you convinced that cryptocurrency is the future of finance? Ahead are four of the most exciting tech roles that will allow you to pursue these emerging technologies.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine learning engineer
The increasing number of AI tools and AI prompt software, such as ChatGPT, indicates the growing adoption and application of AI in various sectors. Machine learning and AI are more than just robots and chess supercomputers. As a machine learning engineer, you’ll create programs and algorithms that enable systems to act even without receiving directions from an operator.
It’s an emerging technology field with an ever-growing impact on people’s lives, powering everything from speech recognition software to digital voice assistants; customised newsfeeds to anti-spam filters.
Demand for AI and machine learning engineers is widespread and growing at a rapid pace. This cutting-edge technology is applied across diverse sectors such as banking, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, melanoma detection, space exploration, translation and more.
An entry-level role might involve designing and deploying a chatbot for an online shopping platform. At the same time, specialists with more professional experience could find themselves working on self-driving cars, AI-powered medical diagnosis software or fraud protection systems.
Top skills and qualifications for AI/machine learning engineers:
- A master’s degree in a relevant discipline
- Deep understanding of maths, statistics, probability and complex algorithms
- Teamwork and communication skills — most machine learning specialists work as part of a larger team
2. Internet of Things specialist
These days, computers and smartphones represent only a fraction of the devices connected to the internet. Physical objects like thermostats, lighting appliances, printers, watches and heart monitors, to name just a few, can also have online functionality.
These devices, along with the dashboards, networks and databases needed to power them, make up a vast ecosystem called the Internet of Things (IoT).
The job of an IoT specialist is to develop and maintain sensors and software that enable these devices to connect quickly and seamlessly with other systems.
Specific IoT specialist tasks vary from industry to industry but may include:
- Analysing user needs and creating appropriate IoT solutions in response
- Designing and deploying software and infrastructure solutions for specific IoT applications
- Using advanced tools to monitor and troubleshoot IoT solutions
With billions of active devices playing critical roles in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and leisure, there is a high demand for IoT specialists. This demand will only increase over the next decade.
Top skills and qualifications for Internet of Things specialists:
- A deep understanding of sensors and wireless communication systems
- Knowledge of mobile operating systems
- Highly developed critical-thinking and problem-solving skills
3. Blockchain developer
The blockchain developer is one of the most in-demand technology roles right now, especially in the banking and finance, and healthcare sectors. These professionals are needed to help create systems that record and store blockchain data to enable secure digital transactions.
The typical duties of a blockchain developer include writing and testing code for applications that interact with the blockchain.
Talented blockchain developers can expect a wealth of opportunities, along with generous salaries. Many employers, mainly in large corporations, have dedicated blockchain teams and expect developers to engage with the global blockchain community to stay up to date with the technologies as they emerge.
Top skills and qualifications for blockchain developers:
- Proficiency in at least one high-level programming language
- Deep knowledge of algorithms and data structures
- Familiarity with cryptography
- Understanding of smart contracts
4. Crypto research analyst
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use encryption and blockchain technology to record transactions via a decentralised system. As more and more cryptocurrencies and related technologies emerge, financial institutions are increasingly challenged to keep track of them.
Enter the crypto research analyst. These professionals analyse trends and prices for different cryptocurrencies so that their clients can make smart investment decisions in their business processes.
In a fast-paced tech environment, crypto research analysts are expected to provide reports on crypto assets in a structured format, and review reports their colleagues created.
Unlike many other emerging tech roles, crypto research analysts don’t need a wide array of technical skills to succeed.
You should have a passion for the crypto industry and a willingness to engage with the many forums and platforms that make up the crypto community in the tech industry.
Top skills and qualifications for crypto research analysts:
- A passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology
- Highly detail-oriented with a problem-solving mindset
- Understanding of protocols, networks and assets
- Strong research and written communication skills
5 reasons why you should consider an emerging tech role
Here are five reasons why pursuing a niche but up-and-coming tech specialisation can add more value to your career as compared to other tech jobs.
1. Less competition for open positions.
Finding your dream job can be challenging, even in a candidate-friendly hiring market. By focusing your skills development within a narrow specialisation, you’ll find it easier to stand out from the crowd.
2. Employers are more likely to hire for potential
Hiring managers in a relatively mature field like web development or cloud maintenance place a premium on tech experience, relevant skills and qualifications.
In a new or niche industry, on the other hand, companies are more likely to favour candidates with raw talent and the determination to learn on the job.
3. Easier to advance quickly
In a niche role, you can quickly become an expert in that field and the go-to person in your organisation for any enquiries. That makes you hard to replace. To encourage you to stick around, your employer may offer you attractive financial incentives and a fast track to promotion.
4. Excellent job satisfaction
Skilled professionals working in emerging technologies often strongly connect with their work. Working in an emerging field can be highly motivating, where even small contributions can make a significant impact.
5. Networking opportunities
If you’re working in a popular field, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when networking, due to the sheer number of potential contacts.
In a role like crypto research analyst, you’ll be part of a smaller but more engaged community of like-minded enthusiasts, many of whom will be eager to offer you help and support.
This article is contributed by Michael Page.