With the world in a state of upheaval, many have been looking for ways of ensuring access to regular income. After all, the damage of the COVID-19 pandemic extends beyond the countless lives that have been lost; millions have also lost their jobs and livelihoods.
These are uncertain times, and will likely continue to be as the century progresses. The pace of technological development is so fast that something as simple as being part of the workforce requires constant upskilling. The workers of today, more than anything, need to be flexible, curious and open to change. The same goes for companies.
The future is tech and remote
To guarantee your employability now and in the future, you must focus on the skills that the market demands, looking particularly at the industries that are growing. Even as the pandemic all but decimated the logistics, hospitality and travel industries, to name a few, the technology sector continued to grow. Tech has proven to be extremely resilient, even in the face of the worst health crisis since the outbreak of Spanish flu in 1918.
Part of this resilience comes from the fact that many tech-related abilities can be deployed remotely. Coding, web development and social media management are career paths in tech with bright futures ahead; the only requirements are a powerful machine and a fast Internet connection.
Remote work is indeed the future of work. The trend will only continue to pick up speed, particularly as more and more professionals around the world demand remote work privileges. COVID-19 gave the world a taste of remote work, and we simply cannot have enough of it. Indeed, a recent study showed that the majority of tech professionals would be willing to take a significant pay cut in exchange for being able to work from home (or the cafe next door).
Tech changing the world
But the remote work trend is not the only thing changing the nature of work. A set of technologies, spearheaded by Artificial Intelligence (AI), is constantly altering the way we work. In essence, AI is a technology based on making machines think more like humans. Its applications are wide-ranging. Virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa are powered by AI, and so are the algorithms that data scientists use to help companies improve their bottom line.
Machine learning, a subset of AI, is a more dynamic technology. Unlike traditional AI, which is based on rules that had to be input by a programmer, machine learning is based on the concept of letting machines teach themselves. In short, the machine learning algorithm is fed a constant supply of data. The more data, the more accurate its predictions, eventually reaching the point where the algorithm can predict scenarios it had never encountered before.
Other tech trends changing the face of business and the workforce are deep learning, the Internet of Things and cloud computing. Investing your time and money in learning the principles behind these technologies is a wise decision, regardless of your industry. AI and Machine Learning Engineers have a bright future ahead of them, and some of the strongest employability out there.
But many other tech-related skills can safeguard your financial future. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Data management or analysis
Getting into data analytics is one of the best career moves you can make in 2020. Our world is flooded by numbers representing consumer preferences in movies, food, books, and music, to name just a few. We need analysts to study this ocean of information and determine what the data says, and how it can be used to drive business decisions.
Data analysts are usually responsible for ingesting data, visualising it, performing statistical analysis, and communicating the results to the client.
Being able to lead a team to get the job done will always be an invaluable skill, and employers will always be happy to reward project managers handsomely. These professionals need outstanding leadership and communication abilities, to name a few soft skills, as well as the most up-to-date knowledge in their field.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for these professionals was USD 146,360 in May 2019.
Computer programmers are the professionals that write the code that makes possible your favourite software and apps. They type the lines of code that comprise software, operating systems, and other computer programs. Programmers working with large teams tend to specialise in certain tasks.
In most work settings, programmers take instructions from designers, engineers, or a lead programmer and turn those instructions into working code. Tasks can be as specific as writing out instructions, or as intricate as turning an entire concept into a complete program.
A cybersecurity engineer is responsible for protecting data and systems against unauthorised use by external parties, such as hackers. These professionals create policies and programs to help protect an organisation’s data from cyber attacks.
According to ZipRecruiter the average salary for a cybersecurity engineer nears USD 120,000 per year. Entry-level cybersecurity engineers usually earn more than USD 50,000, while more senior engineers can earn up to USD 188,000 per year.
Predictive analytics refers to several statistical techniques, including data mining, predictive modelling, and machine learning. The goal is to analyse current and historical facts to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events.
A machine learning engineer will be expected to understand the basics of software engineering, data modelling, and computer programming languages.
Machine learning has a positive job outlook, with a high number of jobs in machine learning earning a salary of nearly USD 121,500, according to Glassdoor. This field is predicted to experience high job growth, making it a lucrative career choice.
More than 34 percent of all websites use WordPress; naturally, the demand for WordPress Developers is massive. WordPress Developers build and maintain WordPress websites and integrations.
The job outlook for these professionals is encouraging, to say the least. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of web development jobs is expected to grow by 13 percent by 2028. The growth is categorised as “much faster than average.”
If you are looking to learn WordPress development, social media management or database administration, or any other tech skill, consider attending a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps train the student in the skills needed to launch a career in tech in less than a year. Compared to a traditional computer science education, coding bootcamps represent a very small time and money investment, but they have a proven track record of producing industry-ready professionals.
Coding bootcamps come in all formats to accommodate every student. Online coding bootcamps, for example, are common, as are self-paced courses, where the student chooses when to study.
One of the best schools out there when it comes to coding bootcamps is General Assembly. With courses in UX/UI design, data science, data analytics, web development and much more, General Assembly is an innovative company that boasts partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft, Google and Conde Nast.
We live in an ever-changing world where flexibility and adaptability are invaluable qualities. Those looking to guarantee their long-term employability must consider investing their time and money in a career in tech, one of the most resilient industries.