Emerging Tech Roles in 2022

The technology sector is so integral to today’s culture and the modern economy that most people have become familiar with the most common tech jobs. For instance, they might follow a TV drama about start-ups in Silicon Valley or have seen cyber security experts talk about hacking on cable news.

But the tech field never stops evolving, and with emerging technologies, some newer IT roles are more obscure. For example, few people can describe the responsibilities of an Internet of Things specialist or a blockchain developer.

But these exciting roles are growing in importance. Understanding the emerging job landscape will be critical to making a good career decision if you're considering a new specialisation path in technology.

Related: #BecomingTechies: How I became a pioneer cybersecurity strategist in Asia

Ahead are some of the most exciting technology jobs emerging in 2022 and what the tech industry could offer you as a tech professional in the sector.

4 emerging technology roles in 2022

Are you intrigued by artificial intelligence? Want to make smartwatches even smarter? Convinced crypto is the future of finance? Here are four emerging tech roles that will allow you to pursue these emerging technologies. 

Artificial Intelligence AI/Machine learning engineer 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are much more than robots and chess supercomputers.

As a machine learning engineer, you’ll create programs and algorithms that enable systems to take action without receiving directions from an operator.

It’s an emerging technology field with an ever-growing impact on people’s lives, powering everything from speech recognition software to digital voice assistants to customised newsfeeds to anti-spam filters.

Demand for AI and machine learning engineers is widespread and growing at a rapid pace. This cutting-edge technology is applied in sectors as diverse as banking, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, melanoma detection, space exploration and translation.

An entry-level role might involve designing and deploying a chatbot for an online shopping platform. At the same time, specialists with more professional experience could find themselves working on self-driving cars, AI-powered medical diagnosis software or fraud protection systems. 

Top skills and qualifications for AI/machine learning engineers: 

  • A master’s degree in a relevant discipline 
  • Deep understanding of maths, statistics, probability and complex algorithms 
  • Fluency in programming languages such as Python, JavaScript or the C-family 
  • Teamwork and communication skills — most machine learning specialists work as part of a larger team 

Internet of Things specialist

These days, computers and smartphones represent only a fraction of the devices connected to the internet. Physical objects like thermostats, lighting appliances, printers, watches and heart monitors, to name just a few, can also have online functionality.

These devices, along with the dashboards, networks and databases needed to power them, make up a vast ecosystem called the Internet of Things (IoT).

The job of an IoT specialist is to develop and maintain sensors and software that enable these devices to connect quickly and seamlessly with other systems.

Specific IoT specialist tasks vary from industry to industry but may include:

  • Analysing user needs and creating appropriate IoT solutions in response 
  • Designing and deploying software and infrastructure solutions for specific IoT applications 
  • Using advanced tools to monitor and troubleshoot IoT solutions

With billions of active devices playing critical roles in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and leisure, there is a high demand for IoT specialists. This demand will only increase over the next decade.  

Top skills and qualifications for Internet of Things specialists: 

  • A deep understanding of sensors and wireless communication systems 
  • Familiarity with programming languages like Python and JavaScript 
  • Knowledge of mobile operating systems 
  • Highly developed critical-thinking and problem-solving skills 

Related: 7 software engineer interview questions and tips to ace your interview

Blockchain developer 

The blockchain developer is one of the most in-demand technology roles right now. Companies in financial services, healthcare and cryptocurrency need these professionals to create systems that record and store blockchain data to enable secure digital transactions.

Many large corporations now have specialised blockchain divisions, and talented blockchain developers can expect to receive multiple job offers and generous salaries.

The typical duties of a blockchain developer include writing and testing code for applications that interact with the blockchain.

Many employers also expect developers to engage with the global blockchain community and evaluate new tools and technologies as they emerge.  

Top skills and qualifications for blockchain developers: 

  • Proficiency in at least one high-level programming language 
  • Deep knowledge of algorithms and data structures 
  • Familiarity with cryptography 
  • Understanding of smart contracts 

Crypto research analyst 

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use encryption and blockchain technology to record transactions via a decentralised system.

As more and more cryptocurrencies and related technologies emerge, financial institutions are increasingly challenged to keep track of them.

Enter the crypto research analyst. These professionals analyse trends and prices for different cryptocurrencies so that their clients can make smart investment decisions in their business processes.

In a fast-paced tech environment, crypto research analysts are expected to provide reports on crypto assets in a structured format and review reports their colleagues created.

Unlike many other emerging tech roles, crypto research analysts don’t need a wide array of technical skills to succeed.

You should have a passion for the crypto industry and a willingness to engage with the many forums and platforms that make up the crypto community in the tech industry.

Top skills and qualifications for crypto research analysts: 

  • A passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology 
  • Highly detail-oriented with a problem-solving mindset 
  • Understanding of protocols, networks and assets 
  • Strong research and written communication skills 

Related: 5 most in-demand tech roles for 2022

Why you should consider an emerging tech role

So, what are the advantages of pursuing a niche but up-and-coming technology career? Here are five reasons why specialisation can add value to your tech career over other tech jobs.

Less competition for open positions.

Finding your dream job can be challenging, even in this candidate-friendly hiring market. By focusing your skills development within a narrow specialisation, you’ll find it easier to stand out from the crowd. 

Employers are more likely to hire for potential

Hiring managers in a relatively mature field like web development or cloud maintenance place a premium on tech experience, relevant skills and qualifications.

In a new or niche industry, on the other hand, companies are more likely to favour candidates with raw talent and the determination to learn on the job. 

Easier to advance quickly

In a niche or emerging industry, you can quickly become an expert in that field and the go-to person in your organisation for any enquiries.

That makes you hard to replace. To encourage you to stick around, your employer may offer you attractive financial incentives and a fast track to promotion.

Excellent job satisfaction

Skilled professionals working in emerging technologies often strongly connect with their work. Working in an emerging field can be highly motivating, where even small contributions can make a significant impact.

Networking opportunities

Networking is a critical skill for ambitious tech professionals, but if you’re working in a popular field, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential contacts.

In a role like crypto research analyst, you’ll be part of a less populous but highly engaged community of like-minded enthusiasts, many of whom will be eager to offer you help and support.

Ready for a tech role? Browse current tech job opportunities or submit your CV with us.

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