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. They might watch a TV drama about start-ups in Silicon Valley, for example, or have seen cybersecurity experts interviewed on the news.

But the tech field has been evolving fast, and certain newer roles are less well-known. For example, not many people can describe the responsibilities of an Internet of Things specialist or a blockchain developer. But these exciting roles are growing in importance, and if you’re considering a new specialisation path in technology, understanding the emerging job landscape will be critical to making a good career decision.

Here, we discuss some of the most exciting technology jobs emerging in 2022 and what they could offer you as a professional in the sector.

4 emerging tech roles

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 those and other passions.

AI/Machine learning engineer

In 2022, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are about much more than robots and chess supercomputers. As a machine learning engineer, you’ll create programs and algorithms that enable systems to take actions without receiving directions from an operator. It’s an emerging tech field with an ever-growing impact on people’s lives, powering everything from speech recognition software to customised newsfeeds and anti-spam filters.

Demand for AI and machine learning engineers is widespread and growing. This technology is being applied in sectors as diverse as banking, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and translation. An entry-level role might involve designing and deploying a chatbot for an online shopping platform, while specialists with more 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 algorithms
  • Fluency in programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, or the C-family
  • Teamwork and communication skill, as most machine learning specialists work as part of a larger team

Internet of Things specialist

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).

Put simply, 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 key roles in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and leisure, demand for IoT specialists 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

Blockchain developer

Blockchain developer is one of the most in-demand technology roles right now. Companies in industries such as 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 a generous salary. Read through our most recent article for an in-depth look at blockchain’s impact and the opportunities it is presenting to tech professionals.

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 to 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 all.

Enter the crypto research analyst. These professionals analyse trends and prices for different cryptocurrencies so that their clients can make smart investment decisions. Working in a fast-paced environment, crypto research analysts are expected to provide reports on crypto assets in a structured format and to review reports created by their colleagues.

Unlike many other emerging tech roles, crypto research analysts don’t need a wide array of technical skills to succeed. What you must have are a passion for the crypto industry and a willingness to engage with the many forums and platforms that make up the crypto community.

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

Why choose a role in emerging technologies?

So, what are the advantages of pursuing a career in a niche but up-and-coming area of technology? Here are five reasons why this type of specialisation could be a good option for you:

Less competition for open positions - Even in this candidate-friendly hiring market, finding your dream job can be tough. 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 - In a relatively mature field like web development or cloud maintenance, hiring managers place a premium on experience and qualifications. In a new or niche industry, on the other hand, employers are more likely to favour candidates with raw talent and the determination to learn on the job.

Easier to advance quickly - In an emerging industry, you can quickly become an expert in that field and the go-to person in your organisation for any enquiries relating to it. That makes you hard to replace. To encourage you to stick around, your employer may offer you tempting financial incentives and a fast track to promotion.

Excellent job satisfaction - Professionals in emerging industries often feel a strong connection with their work. A career in an emerging field can be highly motivating, as 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 an emerging tech field, however, 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.

Technology is transforming the economy and wider world at an amazing pace – if you are a tech professional, there has never been a better time to enter the exciting world of emerging technology.

At Michael Page Technology, we place candidates into a range of roles, from established job types to emerging technology positions. If you are interested in exploring new opportunities, get in touch with one of our expert consultants today.

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