Like it or not, nearly every company is now a tech company in some regard. And that means that IT jobs are in high demand, but some are more significant than others.
According to a Thursday research report from IDC (sponsored by Cisco), specific roles will rise above the rest as the best means for an IT pro to advance their career potential. After surveying IT hiring managers and examining roughly 2 million IT job postings for certain skills, IDC compiled a list of roles that will have the biggest future impact.
Here are the 20 most significant IT roles, worldwide, for the future:
SEE: The future of IT jobs: A business leader's guide (Tech Pro Research)
- Security Management Specialist
- Network Engineer/Architect
- Cyber/Information Security Engineer/Analyst
- IoT Designer/Developer/Engineer
- Business Intelligence Architect/Developer
- Software Developer/Engineer
- Machine Learning Designer/Developer/Engineer
- Data Engineer
- Transformation Consultant
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Change Management
- Mobile Applications Developer
- Web Developer
- Network/Systems Administrator
- Systems Analyst
- Database Architect
- Data Scientist
- Computer Support Specialist
- Social Media Tech Manager/Administrator
- UI/UX Designer/Developer
In the report, IDC also orders them by significance in North America, Latin America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific.
So, what's driving the growth of these particular roles? According to the report, it's digital transformation. Technologies like the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving digital transformation; and security and networking expertise is needed to support it. For IT professionals, that means there are many opportunities to remain in-demand in the job market for years to come.
"For many of these roles, there are skill shortages, but IT hiring managers won't wait," the report said. "They will fill those positions with the best skilled IT professionals they can find. To be ready for these roles, IT professionals should drive their own careers by getting certified in areas organizations are looking for."
For many roles, CXOs may choose to train internal employees to fill them if they cannot find a proper candidate. For those looking to get hired, however, consider seeking out certifications, as 71% of hiring managers "believe certifications increase confidence that candidate has skills/knowledge," the report said.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Security Management Specialist, Network Engineer/Architect, and Cyber/Information Security Engineer/Analyst are the three most significant IT jobs of the future.
- The growth of digital transformation is changing the desired skill sets in IT, and IT professionals should be paying attention.
- Special report: IT jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Where the tech jobs are — and will be in the future (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: How to become a data scientist (TechRepublic)
- Tech jobs: How to recruit and retain the best IT workers (ZDNet)
- Report: 32% of IT pros plan to switch jobs in 2018, most for better pay and training (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.