Technology today is evolving at such a rapid pace, enabling faster change and progress, causing an acceleration of the rate of change, until eventually it will become exponential. However, it is not only technology trends and top technologies that are evolving, a lot more has changed this year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 making IT professionals realize that their role will not stay the same in the contactless world tomorrow. And an IT professional in 2020-21 will constantly be learning, unlearning and relearning (out of necessity if not desire).
What does this mean for you? It means staying current with new technology trends. And it means keeping your eyes on the future to know which skills you’ll need to know to secure a safe job tomorrow and even learn how to get there. All bows to the worldwide pandemic, most of the global IT population is sitting back, working from home. And if you wish to make the most of your time at home, here are top 10 new technology trends you should watch for and make an attempt at in 2021, and possibly secure one of the jobs that will be created by these new technology trends.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has already received a lot of buzz in the past decade, but it continues to be one of the new technology trends because of its notable effects on how we live, work and play are only in the early stages. AI is already known for its superiority in image and speech recognition, navigation apps, smartphone personal assistants, ride-sharing apps and so much more.
Other than that AI will be used further to analyze interactions to determine underlying connections and insights, to help predict demand for services like hospitals enabling authorities to make better decisions about resource utilization, and to detect the changing patterns of customer behaviour by analyzing data in near real-time, driving revenues and enhancing personalized experiences.
The AI market will grow to a $190 billion industry by 2025 with global spending on cognitive and AI systems reaching over $57 billion in 2021. With AI spreading its wings across sectors, new jobs will be created in development, programming, testing, support and maintenance, to name a few. On the other hand AI also offers some of the highest salaries today ranging from over $1,25,000 per year (machine learning engineer) to $145,000 per year (AI architect) – making it the top new technology trend you must watch out for!
Machine Learning the subset of AI, is also being deployed in all kinds of industries, creating a huge demand for skilled professionals. Forrester predicts AI, machine learning, and automation will create 9 percent of new U.S. jobs by 2025, jobs including robot monitoring professionals, data scientists, automation specialists, and content curators, making it another new technology trend you must keep in mind too!
2. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Like AI and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is another technology that is automating jobs. RPA is the use of software to automate business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, dealing with data, and even replying to emails. RPA automates repetitive tasks that people used to do.
Although Forrester Research estimates RPA automation will threaten the livelihood of 230 million or more knowledge workers, or approximately 9 percent of the global workforce, RPA is also creating new jobs while altering existing jobs. McKinsey finds that less than 5 percent of occupations can be totally automated, but about 60 percent can be partially automated.
For you as an IT professional looking to the future and trying to understand new technology trends, RPA offers plenty of career opportunities, including developer, project manager, business analyst, solution architect and consultant. And these jobs pay well. An RPA developer can earn over ₹534K per year – making it the next technology trend you must keep a watch on!
3. Quantum Computing
Next remarkable technology trend is quantum computing, which is a form of computing that takes advantage of quantum phenomena like superposition and quantum entanglement. This amazing technology trend is also involved in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and to develop potential vaccines, thanks to its ability to easily query, monitor, analyze and act on data, regardless of the source. Another field where quantum computing is finding applications is banking and finance, to manage credit risk, for high frequency trading and fraud detection.
Quantum computers are now a multitude times faster than regular computers and huge brands like Splunk, Honeywell, Microsoft, AWS, Google and many others are now involved in making innovations in the field of Quantum Computing. The revenues for the global quantum computing market are projected to surpass $2.5 billion by 2029. And to make a mark in this new trending technology, you need to have experience with quantum mechanics, linear algebra, probability, information theory, and machine learning.
4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
The next exceptional technology trend – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality (ER). VR immerses the user in an environment while AR enhances their environment. Although this technology trend has primarily been used for gaming thus far, it has also been used for training, as with VirtualShip, a simulation software used to train U.S. Navy, Army and Coast Guard ship captains.
In 2021, we can expect these forms of technologies being further integrated into our lives. Usually working in tandem with some of the other new technologies we’ve mentioned in this list, AR and VR have enormous potential in training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even rehabilitation after an injury. Either could be used to train doctors to do surgery, offer museum goers a deeper experience, enhance theme parks, or even enhance marketing, as with this Pepsi Max bus shelter.
Fun fact: 14 million AR and VR devices were sold in 2019. The global AR and VR market is expected to grow to $209.2 billion by 2022, only creating more opportunities in the trending technology, and welcoming more professionals ready for this game-changing field.
While some employers might look for optics as a skill-set, note that getting started in VR doesn’t require a lot of specialized knowledge – basic programming skills and a forward-thinking mindset can land a job; another reason why this new technology trend should make up to your list of lookouts!
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
Another promising new technology trend is IoT. Many “things” are now being built with WiFi connectivity, meaning they can be connected to the Internet—and to each other. Hence, the Internet of Things, or IoT. The Internet of Things is the future, and has already enabled devices, home appliances, cars and much more to be connected to and exchange data over the Internet.
As consumers, we’re already using and benefitting from IoT. We can lock our doors remotely if we forget to when we leave for work and preheat our ovens on our way home from work, all while tracking our fitness on our Fitbits. However, businesses also have much to gain now and in the near future. The IoT can enable better safety, efficiency and decision making for businesses as data is collected and analyzed. It can enable predictive maintenance, speed up medical care, improve customer service, and offer benefits we haven’t even imagined yet.
And we’re only in the beginning stages of this new technology trend: Forecasts suggest that by 2030 around 50 billion of these IoT devices will be in use around the world, creating a massive web of interconnected devices spanning everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances. The global spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to reach 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. New technologies such as 5G is expected to drive market growth in the coming years.
And if you wish to step foot in this trending technology, you will have to learn about Information security, AI and machine learning fundamentals, networking, hardware interfacing, data analytics, automation, understanding of embedded systems, and must have device and design knowledge.