5 Tech-Related Career Opportunities to Watch Out for in 2018

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"Automation threatens 800 million jobs..."

"Report finds 38 percent of US jobs will be lost to robots..."

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"Robots could steal 40 percent of U.S. jobs..."

"Technology is killing jobs..."

These are all excerpts from titles of articles published in major publications like TechCrunch, Fortune and Daily Mail. You'll agree that they don't exactly paint an optimistic future about the role of technology in our lives, and they explain the increasing fear of technology (especially when it has to do with robotics, IoT, and automation) in some quarters. However, it is not all bad news: experts and researchers have found that increasing technology will lead to better economic development for nations and improved compensation for employers — that is, for those who are able to key in. Alexander Borodich, the creator of Universa, a new blockchain protocol, believes that tech innovation is bound to happen and that automation and robotics are part of the future — instead of being afraid, it is better to key in to them. Asked what are his top five tech-related career opportunities to watch out for in 2018, here are opportunities he suggests paying attention to.

1. Blockchain-Related Jobs

Does the term "blockchain" sound familiar? If you are like most people, you likely associate the term with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to Borodich, "It can have serious negative long-term career ramifications to assume blockchain is only limited to cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is much more. It is bigger than the cryptocurrencies. A blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that record and verifies transactions between two parties in an efficient and permanent way. In other words, blockchains are by nature practically impossible to modify."

Without getting into the technicalities of what blockchain is, the career opportunities lie in the fact that blockchain is now being widely adopted; banks across the world are starting to use blockchain to ensure that cross-border payments get processed in minutes instead of days and at a reduced fee, and governments are not left behind. A recent IBM study of 200 government leaders in 16 countries found that nine in 10 government organizations plan to use blockchain technology by 2018.

So what are some blockchain-related career opportunities for 2018?

  • Blockchain developer: As banks, governments, and other public and private organizations start to implement blockchain for keeping, recording, and securing transactions, more career opportunities will open up for blockchain developers.
  • Support specialists: As with any new technology, relatively little is known by the general public about blockchain technology at the moment. This will create opportunities for support specialists who can troubleshoot and educate people on blockchain-related issues.

2. VR-Related Jobs

Virtual reality, computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment that people can interact with in a seemingly real way when wearing special electronic equipment, is another area Borodich is bullish on: "In 2018, virtual reality will be bigger than we've ever seen in in the past, and lots of new career opportunities will open up." He believes careers that will open up will include:

  • Graphic designers will be in huge demand to create the visual stimuli for VR simulations.
  • Programmers will continue to be in huge demand as many VR jobs will require candidates to have programming experience.
  • Psychologists will also be in demand to help ensure that people using VR technology are finding the whole experience real enough to keep them "hooked."

3. Driverless Cars-Related Career Opportunities

Borodich is also betting big on driverless cars. Driverless cars have been in the news a lot lately, not because of the heavy development efforts some of the world's leading companies have been putting into them, or their ability to reduce road hazards, but because their emergence will result in a huge loss of jobs. In fact, driverless cars are estimated to be on the road in certain U.S. states as early as 2018.

While jobs will be lost, driverless cars will create the following opportunities:

  • Quality assurance engineers: Companies like Tesla are currently on the lookout for quality assurance engineers. If you have a background in computer science, information systems or electrical engineering, you'll be a good fit for these jobs.
  • Computer science and artificial intelligence experts.
  • Software developers are also in high demand to help develop software that powers these autonomous cars.

4. IoT-Related Career Opportunities

While IoT is still relatively new, you can watch out for some interesting trends and developments in 2018. The IoT industry isn't to be underestimated. Here are some quick facts from recent research:

  • General Electric predicts investment in Industrial Internet of Things to exceed $60 trillion within the next 15 years.
  • IHS predicts that installed IoT devices will increase from 15.4 billion in 2015 to 30.7 billion 2020.
  • According to Gartner, over 5.5 million new IoT devices are connected every day.

Once you carefully consider the above statistics, something becomes clear: IoT is an industry waiting to explode, and cultivating skills required to serve this massive industry can have a great impact on your career. Here are some IoT-related career opportunities to watch out for in 2018:

  • Wearable tech designer: Wearable tech is a huge part of the growing IoT industry, and you can expect more job opportunities for wearable tech designers and engineers in 2018.
  • Node.js developer: Due to its low resource overhead, Node.js is the platform of choice for most companies to manage connected devices. You can expect more career opportunities for Node.js developers in 2018.
  • Cloud computing specialist: IoT will create lots of career opportunities for cloud computing specialists in 2018.

5. Data Security Administrator

Another career that has a great outlook in 2018 is that of data security administration. "If 2017 is anything, it is the year of the hackers. Major sites, networks, and governments are hacked, and, naturally, steps will be taken to make systems more secure in 2018," says Borodich.

As companies and government bodies scramble to make their systems more secure, to protect against the projected increase in hacking attempts, Borodich believes data security admins will be in great demand in 2018.

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor.com.

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