As technology becomes baked into the very center of everything from how businesses operate to the most basic ways people live their lives, the term "digital" creeps more toward obsolescence every day. Social computing, business intelligence, cloud computing, mobility, smart computing and the spread of employees bringing their own devices to work are becoming common things. All of this has been written about, a lot. But a number of job seekers don't consider these changes when they think about their career paths. Take smart computing, for example. It brings real-time predictive analytics and business intelligence to the workforce with sensors and awareness devices. Overlapping with SaaS products, they're making inroads fast. The market for smart-process products is growing at twice the rate of the overall software market, says Andrew Bartels, an analyst at Forrester Research.
That's just one example. Research firm Gartner identifies six technology trends that will impact the job market between now and 2021:
Corporate America's thirst for business intelligence and information will have a dramatic impact on the evolution of tech jobs in the coming years. In its report Maverick Research: Jobs 2021,
Gartner describes how one big brand consumer goods company is looking for "knowledge and insights analysts" who can integrate research from a number of sources, then use it to understand customer behavior and take appropriate action. Other implications that Gartner predicts:
- High-end bridging and connecting will be the glue among businesses, government agencies and people in an increasingly hyperconnected world. A new position, the "connecting officers," will appear, orchestrating and negotiating networks of contacts and relationships.
- Information cloud brokers will create industry-specific analysis in an "information as a service" environment. They'll look for people who are intimately familiar with critical information in multiple industries, processes and situations.
Many of the new roles being created may not appeal to die-hard technologists. For example, more roles will be more about overseeing technology than actually getting your hands dirty in the technology itself, say Diane Morello, a managing vice president at Gartner. "For some people it won't suit their DNA."