Tech jobs will see steady growth through 2023

Cybersecurity roles will see the fastest growth, along with data science and machine learning positions, according to an IDC report.

Full-time information and communications technology (ICT) employment will reach 55.3 million worldwide in 2020, an increase of 3.9% over 2019, according to the first Worldwide Technology Employment Impact Guide from IDC. 
 
The research firm expects ICT full-time employment (FTE) to maintain this pace of growth over the 2019-2023 forecast period, reaching more than 62 million jobs in 2023, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8%.

SEE: Tech Predictions For 2020: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

IDC's technology employment job roles are roles that are stable over time. The guide examined FTE in nine regions, 19 industries, and 37 job roles, including cyber/information security engineer/analyst; security management specialist; business intelligence analyst; business intelligence architect/developer; data engineer; and data scientist. 

The largest role groups are the applications group, which contains eight roles related to software development and management; the other IT/technical group, which includes five graphic, multimedia, and web design roles; and the technical support group, with five roles. 

These three groups combined will account for roughly three-quarters of all ICT FTEs throughout the forecast, IDC said.

The cybersecurity role group will see the fastest growth with a five-year CAGR of 9.6% while the other IT/technical role group will remain essentially flat with a 0.1% CAGR, according to IDC.

Of the 40 technology job roles covered in the guide, three will account for nearly one-third of all ICT roles throughout the forecast: software developer/engineer, user support specialist, and systems analyst. 

The fastest-growing roles will be data scientist (13.7% CAGR), machine learning design/development/engineer (13.6% CAGR), and data engineer (12.9% CAGR).

The guide also looks at the impact digital transformation (DX) is having and will have on skills and roles within an organization. DX-related job roles are those that focus on extracting and developing the value and utility of information, making business operations more responsive and effective, accelerating workforce transformation and optimization.

SEE: How to build a successful career in cybersecurity (TechRepublic) 

They are also roles that "apply an omnipresent and multidimensional ecosystem approach to customer experience, and optimizing products, services, and experiences to deliver value to partners, customers, and employees," the firm said.

Today, DX roles make up 40% of technology FTEs, but IDC expects this share to reach 52% by 2023.

"Digital transformation (DX) technology investment is the driving force behind IT investment. The IT skill set needed to deliver DX projects is changing, with some of the fastest growing demand for IT roles centered around data and intelligence," said Craig Simpson, research manager of IDC's Customer Insights & Analysis Group.

"We are moving away from IT employees being focused around basic IT installation and maintenance roles and shifting toward roles that can build database architecture and functionality to derive intelligence and insights from an organization's DX efforts," Simpson said.

As digital transformation is broadly adopted across industries, organizations need new skills and roles to shape technology roadmaps, and support and implement these changes, said Eileen Smith, program vice president of IDC's Customer Insights & Analysis Group.

"Discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing and banking are expected to employ the most FTEs for these digital transformational efforts," Smith said, "as they look to technology roles in areas like applications and technical support to design software and services to enhance the customer experience."

With DX and innovation becoming a larger part of everyday IT operations, the IT organization is going to adjust who it hires, how IT employees are developed, and the career progression of IT professionals, said Cushing Anderson, program vice president, IT Education and Certification at IDC. 

"IT organizational change will be an organizational transformation as critical to the success of the enterprise as DX itself," he said.

The Worldwide Technology Employment Impact Guide represents IDC's best estimates of technology FTE by standardized role group, role, industry, region, technology, and digital transformation type (DX or non-DX). The employment demand estimates are based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data from several primary and secondary sources, which are used to determine an FTE demand forecast for each specific role by industry and by region, IDC said.

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