One of the most popular global paranoia is “what if robots replace us all”. In terms of employment, there is a reason to think that – technological revolutions always bring certain changes to workplaces.
When the steam power appeared, people thought it would replace everyone who performed drudge work. They imagined huge steam machines control entire plants, and steam-powered robots that replace everyone from the carpenter to the seamstress. This industrial revolution killed a significant amount of routine jobs, indeed, but it also created an equivalent amount of new ones.
Now IoT is revolutionizing the way we work, and as always it will destroy some jobs, but also create alternative job opportunities.
What Jobs IoT Will Kill
Let’s take a look at the jobs IoT will replace:
Manual labor. Tasks that require only simple physical activities can be easily performed by IoT-enabled robots: household work, janitorial activities, garbage cleaning, and similar.
Customer service and administrative work. Devices can easily answer custom questions and give voice advice to explain directions. IoT-enabled gadgets can also help customers with their orders and replace operators and shop consultants.
Market and financial advisory. Technical appliances are already better at investment decisions and financial analysis than human specialists due to the capability for precise computing.
Management, even C-level. The data analysis and further recommendations can be brought to a new level – IoT-powered management decisions can outbid ones that humans give.
In addition, one of the most significant changes IoT brings is that it eliminates human factor. Small appliances and interconnected sensors collect, share, and analyze data faster and with fewer mistakes than humans. The human factor is to blame for corporate security too. People who manually create passwords may sometimes, due to their negligence, use the same ones for different authentication steps. Eliminating people from this process enhances the overall IoT network security.
The Internet of Things growth will kill a huge amount of repetitive work. Everything that does not require critical thinking can be automated by smart appliances. They perform faster and can learn from experience, thus providing people with more time for creative activities.
AI-powered smart IoT gadgets incorporate both immersive data collection capabilities and the most powerful analysis tools. With such abilities at hand, the AI – IoT symbiosis can replace a number of jobs where people work with data manually.
What Opportunities IoT Creates
The Internet of Things growth opportunities lie among already known domains and skillsets. New technologies always drive the development of hybrid specializations, and in particular, the Internet of Things development would bring the following:
Familiar jobs redefined. New job opportunities will appear on the edge of IoT plus healthcare, engineering, automotive, and so on. There will be professionals we already recognize but will possess new IoT-dependent skills: hardware designers, UX architects, data scientists, and developers. Also, the jobs that require exclusively human attributes will be kept afloat, yet will demand a deep understanding of IoT peculiarities: tech-savvy account managers and marketing specialists, business managers with strong critical thinking skills.
Completely new jobs. These new Internet of Things job opportunities will be closely related to the technology itself and require both hard and soft skills. Designers of wearables and equipment, mesh network engineers, grid monetization specialists – these people need to understand the industry and be able to perform both, for example, software development and business analysis.
Cybersecurity jobs. The number of interconnected devices rises along with the number of threats they are vulnerable to. More cybersecurity and namely cloud security specialists are required in the IoT domain to ensure the safety of data and connected devices.
And let’s examine some specific jobs in demand, both now and prospectively.
Chief Internet of Things Officer. Businesses that want to implement IoT need a skilled person capable of IoT-deliberate decision making. CIoTOs will be responsible for managing the development course of the company in terms of IoT adoption, insights extraction, and effective internal communication.
“Extra full stack” developer. Full stack developers now merge the skills in front- and back-end development along with database design, infrastructure engineering, and more. The IoT future will demand to add extra skills related to connected systems: firmware engineering, hardware design, and other.
Having this information at hand current IT specialists can open the way of innovative IoT future in their careers.
Skills and personal qualities in demand
To follow new trends in employment and rearrange how careers develop, future workers should better gain new skills and develop valuable personal qualities. The competition within a flooded labor market will be heavier than ever, and to retain own positions or find a new job, keep the following list in mind:
- Cloud computing. In the future, IoT devices are likely to transition to cloud platforms to gain a wider range of service. Cloud computing specialists are supposed to develop and maintain such platforms, ensure interoperability and robust platform performance, prepare data for analysis and transmit a relevant feedback back to the device.
- Data security. IoT infrastructures are complex, and may not always be 100% reliable. They are supposed to transmit and store enormous volumes of data which is often business-sensitive. Data security experts will prevent data from loss and corruption, secure IoT appliances from being hacked, ensure adequate end-to-end security, and test it.
- Hardware design. This skill is about building a variety of devices, including sensors, actuators, communicative chips, and so on. The designers need to know how to follow design modularity and create devices that will be able to receive hardware and firmware updates effortlessly. Proper hardware design also takes into account cloud integration ability and compliance with industry or security certificates.
- Effective conversational skills. The ability to effectively communicate with future IoT specialists depends on what knowledge you possess about the industry, namely technical peculiarities. Talking about team management, it depends on the same skill – understanding of what your team members do.
- Associative thinking. This type of thinking greatly helps to connect abstract ideas with real experience and combine knowledge from different domains. In terms of IoT, which is also a combination of software, hardware, networking, and design, associative thinkers will deliver much value.
- Independent learning. New knowledge appears faster that people master it and teach the others, so the ability to gain knowledge independently is a valuable quality.
- All-around development. The more you understand in different facets of IoT, the better. This quality can provide the basis for the development of both hard and soft skills.
To sum up, people as always need to develop their skills and knowledge to keep up with the dramatically changing digital world. The process of obtaining new skills, or upskilling, can help retain employment or assist in a transition. In 5-10 years technical vendors will continuously search for talent that would handle the changes of the world evolving because of the IoT.