The Internet of Things is growing and with it comes a heightened demand for skilled professionals that can usher in a new generation of network-capable devices. As businesses of all different types are looking for new ways to put IoT technologies to good use, the need for additional workforce to create and facilitate the implementation of these new technologies is high.
There are many different ways the growing Internet of Things is providing new opportunities for skilled workers to find gainful employment.
Higher demand among expanding brands
There are several new opportunities for workforces to move in and fill gaps created by the growing demand for IoT technologies. Traditionally non-tech companies including Under Armour, which long operated exclusively in the clothing space, have adopted the Internet of Things into their business models as a way to expand their brand into an all-in-one solution for health and fitness.
This expansion enabled Under Armour to create a new Connected Fitness business unit, employing software engineers and other technology professionals.
Home appliances are a big area for growth with the introduction of IoT technologies. Companies like Whirlpool which make a variety of appliances for home and commercial customers has numerous positions for managers and engineers with IoT experience as a core job responsibility.
Industrial and healthcare sectors are integrating IoT
Industry is a big sector for IoT. In fact, most IoT applications right now are happening in the areas of industry and healthcare, two areas where monitoring and autonomous operation are especially well suited.
Being able to monitor patients in a hospital is critical. Lives depend on accurate and accessible monitoring to provide information that will help healthcare professionals determine the best course of treatment for a patient. IoT technology has enabled innovators to create more accurate and portable monitoring devices that track everything from a person’s heartbeat and activity levels to the amount of alcohol in your blood.
The opens the door for a whole host of skilled professionals to create solutions that are sophisticated enough to provide ample information, yet simple enough for healthcare professionals and their patients to understand.
In industry, automation is white hot. It enables manufacturers to produce more product around the clock with less paid workers. This brings profits up, which companies love. The workforce on the ground level isn’t being eliminated without some human replacement. Systems architects, data scientists, and other jobs are being created to build these complex industrial applications.
A new generation of jobs for a new generation of technology
The Internet has been around for about two decades, and during that time the demand for web-specific skills has increased consistently. In fact, even now as the browsable Internet becomes more mature, the demand for web developers continues to grow. It’s expected that the amount of jobs available for web developers will increase by 27% between 2014 and 2024 according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Data scientists are in huge demand. These individuals take the extensive amount of data, much of it being provided by IoT technologies, and analyzing it to find the important insights it contains. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a data scientist in the United States is $117,000 per year.
An IoT solutions architect is an individual that controls the general business strategy of a company that works in the IoT space. They coordinate the research and development teams, make high-level project decisions, and champions IoT strategies within the company. According to Indeed.com, these professionals make an average of $178,000 per year.
On the engineering level, software and hardware engineers are increasingly in demand, especially in the area of IoT solutions development.
A quick search for engineering positions specifically mentioning IoT in the title revealed a giant bump in salary expectations for the position over the past 18 months. This indicates an increase in demand for skilled employees in this sector. The average salary for these positions according to Indeed.com is $102,000. A recent study found that 45% of developers believed IoT development is critical to their overall business strategy.
These are just a few of a giant list of new and growing employment opportunities being created in companies from virtually all areas of product and systems development due to the rapidly-expanding Internet of Things.
This isn’t even scratching the surface on increased demand for data security professionals as these IoT devices start appearing on corporate and government networks in greater numbers. As more devices become connected to the Internet, the ability for security applications to adopt and facilitate these connections also increases. This translates to more opportunities for companies that focus on security to thrive, as well as for network security professionals to find gainful employment.
Of course, we can’t talk about data analysis without mentioning the increased industry focus on developing artificial intelligence capable of parsing these huge caches of data being created. Artificial intelligence will empower companies to make use of complex, unorganized data streams that would otherwise be impossible for a human to accurately review and analyze.
Skilled professionals needed at startups
For skilled professionals with an entrepreneurial spirit, this is an appealing time to start a new company with the explicit purpose of developing for the IoT.
The Internet of Things is a huge change in how the world thinks about connected devices. This means existing companies are actively seeking new and interesting ways to incorporate the IoT into their own business models. As we touched on before, it’s becoming standard practice for brands to expand beyond their original product strategy into a more tech-forward one, often including connected versions of their products.
One easy way to build these product lines and skilled teams is to acquire them, and IoT startups are white hot for acquisition right now.
Another great opportunity for startups is in partnering with complementary businesses. Notion, a startup that created small sensors that detect broken windows, water leaks, and other areas of risk received substantial funding from Liberty Mutual, an insurance company that would benefit from this type of technology as it would enable its customers to catch problems early before they become more costly insurance claims.
With new sensors and other technologies making connecting otherwise “dumb” products to the Internet more practical, the opportunity for innovation is certainly there. The Internet of Things enables innovators to think outside the box and literally reinvent the wheel, profiting massively from doing so.