As the Internet of Things becomes more important for companies of all sizes, Information Technology professionals are beginning to seek out roles related to this growing niche. The Internet of Things is built on many of the technologies that professionals are already familiar with. Internet Protocol (IP) experts, hardware engineers, and even GUI designers could find themselves working on IoT projects in companies ranging from startups, to the technology giants that are driving the industry.
If one were to ask; “what kind of field do I need to be in to land a job in IoT?”, the answer would not be simple. IoT works on many layers. Software plays a key role in usability and functionality. Network layers are key to infrastructure, and hardware layers define the capabilities and development opportunities involved in any IoT system. Perhaps a better way to find out what is required of IoT professionals, would be to take information from some of the opportunities that are available in the job market right now.
Take Amazon as an example. Amazon AWS is the online retail giant’s cloud services arm. Cloud systems like Amazon S3 power some of the most widely adopted cloud computing systems in use today. To be considered for a role on a team working within AWS, the qualifications are no different to most IT development roles. A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, professional experience (4+ years is a must), fundamentals in object design, and programming proficiency in a contemporary programming language will at least ensure a candidate’s resume is looked at.
But this doesn’t paint the full picture. Businesses who engage in IoT technologies are businesses who are invested in the future. This means that they’re seeking forward thinking professionals. Meeting the requirements where it comes to academic achievement is only part of what it takes to make it in IoT.
Last year, Forbes published a number of articles on what it would take to make it in the growing IoT industry. According to Forbes, the necessary qualities go beyond academia, and incorporate more soft skills and innovative thought.
High on the list was associative thinking. Collaborators who can integrate varying strategies and concepts were also tipped to be in demand. Finally, professionals who can communicate complex ideas easily through speech, written word, and abstract methods were considered more likely to be successful in the IoT niche than those who were only proficient in their technical field.
Take a look at the job market on any given day, and you will find dozens of IoT related jobs advertised by high profile tech companies. The second quarter of 2015 has seen positions opening at Dell and IBM (Software Development), Verizon (IoT Product Management), and Accenture (IoT Delivery Consultants), to name just a few.
The reason these companies are hiring in IoT is simple; it is the next big thing. Technology firms like Dell and IBM have a vested interest. Their core products and services are built around delivering and facilitating IoT. With companies like Verizon and Accenture, it is more about preparing for the future. IoT will allow Verizon to better deliver the services that they already have. Customer billing and customer experience can be improved by incorporating IoT into the ways that customers can interact with the company, but there’s also the fact that Verizon is a cellular network leader. Their consumer and business devices (i.e. smartphones) are key to incorporating IoT into daily consumer life. Wireless payments, mobile banking, home automation, and sensor interaction can be achieved through smart devices from Verizon. The talent that these companies recruit will be actively involved in designing, maintaining, and delivering IoT in the immediate future.
Although IoT hasn’t completely changed the face of Information Technology, it has created new opportunities for jobseekers in the market. Existing professionals with transferable skills will find new challenges and progression opportunities within the Iot Job Market, and also in smaller companies that are incorporating IoT concepts into manufacturing, packing, logistics, and even medical.
International Data Corporation has predicted that IoT will be a $7 trillion industry by 2020. With growth as fast as it currently is, IoT job market is the perfect platform from where jobseekers can showcase their skills, and where companies can form relationships with the talented professionals who will take them into the future.