If you’re like most people in the tech industry, then you’re probably excited that the Internet of Things is finally becoming reality. There’s still a long way to go, of course, but the number of IoT devices that are now connected is getting larger all the time. Worldwide, the IoT market is expected to grow from $157 billion to $457 billion in 2020.

IoT is impacting all kinds of industries already, especially manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation. Transportation is a growing issue that due to increased urbanization, and smart public transportation will be key to easing congestion in cities and ensuring everyone can catch a ride—ridership grew by 37.2% from 1995 to 2013. IoT devices will be instrumental in managing population concentration as urbanization grows further.

With these kinds of challenges facing our world, it’s essential that IoT advances to help overcome them in the next few years. If you want to make an impact in these industry, these 5 key careers are the driving force behind IoT advancement.

 

  1. Web Development Engineer

The line between a web developer and a web development engineer can be a fine one, and typically depends on education level. Web development engineers build web applications, writing the code that allows IoT devices to run.

Generally, web development engineers can get by with a bachelor’s degree. However, some positions require more education. A typical salary is around $108,877 annually.

 

  1. Software Engineer

IoT devices require both hardware and software to run, and software engineers are the architects behind this new software. They apply creativity and logic to develop underlying systems or applications for computers and devices.

Software engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, with many employers preferring a master’s degree. Median pay is $103,560.

 

  1. Computer Network Architect

The IoT relies on strong networks, and the demand for computer network architects to design and maintain these systems will only grow. In this position, architects are always looking for ways to make networks faster and more secure.

One of the perks of becoming a computer network architect is that most positions only require a bachelor’s degree. However, many companies are also looking for a number of years of experience in another computer-related field. The average salary for this position is $101,210.

 

  1. Chief IoT Officer

As we’ve seen with big data, the largest companies will be leading the charge in IoT, as they have the budgets to hire specialized staff and keep new departments running. Chief IoT Officer is a new role that could potentially become the next data scientist—lots of companies are thinking of hiring one in the coming years. These professionals oversee IoT operations, create strategy, and monitor the company’s efforts.

Because the role is so new, there aren’t many guidelines for education requirements or salary. However, based on what we know from data scientists, most Chief IoT Officers will need a strong background in IoT and programming, and will likely need a master’s degree. Salary ranges will probably be similar to data scientists—from the low to mid $100,000s.

 

  1. IoT Business Designer

What we’re coming up against now in the world is need for IoT solutions without the tech. That’s the role of an IoT business designer: discovering a company’s IoT needs, and coming up with the right solution for the development and engineering departments to create. These professionals need to be able to anticipate future needs and have a pragmatic outlook on what the company’s needs really are.

As another new position, education requirements and salary are not clear yet, as there are few positions to reference. However, this important career will almost certainly require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, plus relevant experience. Salary range might be in the low to mid 100,000s.

 

Companies are Preparing—And You Should Too

If you’re thinking about going back to school to prepare for a career in IoT advancement, now is the time. About 94% of businesses polled are looking ahead to the future and investing in assets they’ll need when more widespread IoT use is the norm.

Getting the skills you need now will mean that when companies start hiring, you’ll be ready to come right in and get to work on the next big thing in IoT.