cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Create Post

The future of IT jobs: Where do you think we're headed?

Just looking around at the IT landscape today, there are so many more opportunities than there were just a decade ago.  Whereas workloads used to be confined to a server room, data center or data processing room, today, those same workloads whiz around data centers between hosts while powerful management and monitoring tools keep it all in check.  "Back in the day" the IT profession was also much more pigeonholed, with specific people responsible for specific areas of the infrastructure and others responsible for reporting and what used to be called MIS functions.  Over the past two decades, entire industries have popped up to support what have been two massive paradigm shifts in the IT landscape.  The first was the rise of the Internet and the second has been the adoption of virtualization.

Both have had major positive impacts on the work environment and on the kinds of jobs that we see in IT.  The rise of the Internet gave business new opportunities and new sales channels that enabled worldwide growth.  The rise of virtualization has enabled companies to lower ongoing costs of running business systems, while, at the same time, providing new opportunities for workload availability and disaster recovery.  In addition, virtualization has enabled companies to go to market much more quickly with new products and services.

As I mentioned, both have given rise to new classes of jobs that weren't even envisioned before these changes.  And today, we're seeing another paradigm shift start to occur as organizations eye the cloud as a potential target for running workloads.  In addition, there a job ads for cloud architects and engineers showing up in various places.  During the rise of virtualization, we saw ads for virtualization admins appear and, today, that's a typical role in an organization and carries with it elements of networking, storage and systems administration. Personally, I see a growing need for more business-facing IT staff and this need may be enabled by offloading some parts of the IT infrastructure to the cloud.

As technology continues to forge ahead, what kinds of jobs do you think will be the hot jobs of the future?

Reply to this post to get 50 thwack points and an entry in the April Ambassador Engagement contest. An iPod Nano sits in the balance!

Tags (1)
44 Replies
Level 7

I would say, the future belongs to automation, scripting and even more integration of the tools we use daily.

Manage your devices, environments whether they are on-prem, on-prem at customers locations or in the cloud, from a single pane of glass

0 Kudos
Level 7

To my mind the future belongs to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing industries and businesses generating demand for AI engineers and artificial intelligence solution providers. From virtual personal assistants, face recognition and grammar checkers to smart home devices, smart cars, and robotic servants – AI-based solutions are taking over our personal and business lives.

0 Kudos
Level 7

There are many IT areas, that currently grow, even if there is a pandemic. However, I also think, that the key is to understand how to outsource web development successfully, because it's simpler cheaper and confident to start.

0 Kudos
Level 10

There will always be a job in support desk. R&D and Management. Security and scriptting

0 Kudos
Level 7

The future of IT is in data science, robotics and game development

0 Kudos
Level 7

And for me - future of IT is a development of mixed reality. Virtual and Augmented realities are widely known and used nowadays, but most IT professionals can't even explain what is mixed reality, but it combines all the benefits of both - AR and VR, so I think the future IT jobs are mixed reality developers!

0 Kudos

I'm interested in heading to cool new opportunities, working remotely from home, and eventually retirement.  Not necessarily in that order.

It certainly seems many folks are calling for NAAS, for disposable commodity switches & routers, AP's & firewalls, even Distribution switches and cores.  It sounds like a brand new world--right up until you run into budgets, red tape, problems that don't fit the model, user devices that aren't compatible, network security "solutions" like ISE that don't scale or that aren't universally compatible with end devices (for any number of reasons), etc.

I'm optimistic, but simultaneously realistic.

On the plus side, technology improvements have resulted in real-time sonar displays that show fish paying attention to your bait, and what a nice spin-off from techy advancements that is!

LiveScope Musky Jigging (Garmin Panoptix) - YouTube

0 Kudos
Level 7

Hi!

From my point of view the future of IT is intelligent automation of manual processes and in the nearest future, we will have serious changes related to automation in all branches. Also, a very important thing in the future of IT is the lack of in-house engineering talent and an increase different types of IT outsourcing engagement models, as a dedicated development team model. Here you can read about the benefits of this model and how it works.

0 Kudos

The future of IT is artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, blockchain and other innovative technologies and industries like Biotech, Fintech and so on. In my opinion, almost all jobs would be done by robots/machines and people would only learn how to support machines that do them, but that's not in the nearest future. In the nearest future, remote work would become the most popular and all the technologies I've listed above would open up new opportunities like smart cities and so on.

As per outsourcing, I don't think it would become more popular because there are better models like outstaffing. Here you can read about offshore software development (dedicated development teams) and why it's the best model for remote work at this moment.

0 Kudos
Level 7

Unfortunately, I agree with you. IT Outsourcing is gaining momentum and I think that the future belongs to him.Cloud computing services this is one of the most important and significant parts of outsourcing.But I can't understand the difference between cloud computing and server-client model.

Seems like cloud center is doing all the processing? Or does it just store data? I read this article https://diceus.com/free-report-offshore-software-development-rates-country/ that сloud computing is basically buying storage and CPU cycles from a vendor?

0 Kudos
Level 8

The future of IT jobs is going to be data and security related. Some things, such as data integrity (physical control), and security (both O/S based such as Active Directory, and broader, more network alignment) and cannot be outsourced in most industries due to policies or compliance issues.

You can already see this emerging in the Government Sectors. Private industry is also following suite.

0 Kudos
Level 11

Cobbled together systems of routers, switches, servers and crisscrossed patch cables have become 2U appliances with a GUI interface that have major problems maybe 1 time during its usable lifetime.  If you understand the basic tech of something you can likely get an easy to use appliance and set it up. 

The future of IT workers could end up being one where we are just managing a bunch of pre-programmed appliances.  Monkeys clicking a mouse....

Honestly, I think there will always be a place for those with specialized skills (Exchange, SQL, Servers, AD, routing and switching...), the big question is whether or not these skills are brought in house or out-sourced/contracted or combined into fewer positions.  I believe that help desks and techs (those that serve the end user) will fade to have a smaller role.

0 Kudos
Level 10

I would say that the future in my humble opinion is monitoring. As most of you I have been in the industry for a while my number is 15 years as a full time employee/contractor/consultant preceeded by a few summers while I was in high school. I have seen a lot of movement with the way that technology has evolved. The one thing that seems to always be the question regardless of hardware or software is that  management wants to know when it will be fixed as well as a root cause of the probelm as soon as possible.

Being familiar with many forms of technology and having working knowledge of monitoring systems will raise your value to any orginization.

Like most have said the main focus for most orginizations lie currently with "Network, Secuirty, Hardware, SAN/Storage, VMWare, Cloud etc..." this will all continue to evolve and be a high priority with specialized needs for technicians that are single threaded in those specific technologies.

I like having a high level of knowledge on all the technologies while having a more in depth level on select few this is what makes my job enjoyable. With monitoring being a common thread across all of the technologies and knowing how it all works will ensure a long career in this industry at least that is what I am betting on.

Hi,

Like Acy, I'm also a "Jack of All Trades"... I've worked with so many different technologies over the years and integrated so many different products. On some of them I can consider myself an expert but on others I focused mainly on getting things working or integrated and not for the details. One thing that was always a plus was to be able to see "the big picture" but that comes with a cost and sometimes it's better to have a cheaper guy that can focus only on that particular product.

Also like Dave said, monitoring might be the future... More and more of my daily basis work is monitoring but my question is: "why should my company pay a guy like me just to monitor?". It might need me to design, to implement solutions, even when there's a major crash on those systems but to monitor after it's all working, I bet a junior can do that and he's less expensive...

Am I geeting old?!?!?

0 Kudos

Well put, Dave. Your last paragraph especially describes the optimal attributes of good technical managers both in the past and moving forward.

Thanks for the feedback...

0 Kudos

Dittoing and echoing.....

Security - the most vital piece of them all as IT and data relate to the rest of the world. The most vital IT security jobs of 2016 through 2020 don't even exist in their current form right now, but black/gray hat types are at unprecedented levels of aggression - and compromises of data security will be the new salvo in the next generations of clandestine private, public and international warfare. Or activism. Depends on where you're standing, I guess.

Whether or not outsourcing takes off again and forces everyone to change, there will increasingly be demand for people who partially fit some of the earlier descriptors in this thread - jack-of-all-trades types. With a difference, of course. These are going to be big-picture types who provide not the manpower but the vested interest in making businesses flourish in increasingly outsourced times. Without folks at the helm of IT who actually have a horse in the race of their company's fate, outsourcing provides subpar to just-good-enough services that are *worth every penny*. Outsourcing done wrong is a cost-saving initiative from start to end - and this is wrong because IT is not at its core a cost-saving opportunity (although most managers will differ with me on that). It's a time-saving opportunity that instead sometimes helps us realize cost savings.

Infrastructure - there will always be a need for infrastructure people. Regardless of SDN adoption, at some level for the foreseeable future we're going to need the ones who will work with transport technologies. 10G/100G/400G/etc. is not the end of something....with nanotech, graphene, and a bunch of other things we haven't even heard of yet there will continue to be breakthrough-level developments in how fast we move data. We'll keep trying to build the ansible until we get as close as we can...

Storage-savvy professionals who stay abreast of technology and can extrapolate out 18-36 months (scope in on the ROI and needs of your organization or customers' shops) will be around for a long time, too. Storage technology morphs directly alongside the world's exponentially increasing data-storage wants and needs, and I think we can all agree that the data footprint of the world today will look like a joke in two years, not to mention ten.

Level 11

I gotta agree with those who have stated about security and joel's comment about jack of all trades. I find that most of the people in my company who are successful has had a hand in different backgrounds from servers, database administration, and networking. People who's skills branch multiple fields will always be able to find a place.

You're right about that, I've never wanted for a job and I'm frequently headhunted by peer companies, but the "Jack of All Trade's" role isn't always as valued as a niche role. I can administer several different phone systems for instance, but I'm no expert with Avaya and if you want someone who is, you can probably get them much cheaper than you can hire me.

I can also write scripts in just about any language, handle face-to-face customer relations, figure out your network problems, help you get your intranet site off the ground, help you with your SQL Server performance issues, handle data collection, trending, and migration projects, manage your IT or other staff, and fix your procedural efficiency issues, getting you to the point where you don't need me but won't let me go.

Sometimes that's not what you're looking for, and you just want someone who can configure a new extension on an Avaya phone switch. So my best advice is to keep yourself marketable. If you're in the same job for years and you haven't grown your knowledge base after the first 6 months, you have zero job security and you are not marketable.

If you are growing and want to keep yourself marketable, you have to keep up with the trends and know what's coming around the corner. For the past few years, I've been focusing my education on two areas: Network Forensics and Database Administration.

Hacking and malicious software have always been a problem, but the problem is getting bigger, not smaller, and the stakes are getting higher. Network security (CCNA Security or CCSP or equivilants) are going to be important.

It's also amazing how many fortune 500 companies just in the last 5 years have opened their eyes to all of the data they have been mindlessly collecting, archiving and purging for the last few decades. Every day these companies add terrabytes worth of newly tracked data to their stockpiles. And two things are happening to that data, it's being trended, and it's being compromised.

That's a trend you can trend.

0 Kudos
Level 8

Lets just all hope that people will always break the physical pieces that need to be replaced... Cant do that over the phone.

0 Kudos