Demand supply is the basic of all transaction big and small. In the job market, it defines opportunity, pay scales, and so much more. Talking about IT, knowing the trends and ‘the gap’ can be very advantageous in job search and career planning.
The basics of economics and commerce can be summed up and understood through a very basic phenomenon, Demand-Supply Gap. And since we call employment scenarios as 'Job Market,' the same applies to it as well. In an industry such as the IT industry now (and automobile some decades back, and others further back in time), the market is highly unstable for both, the recruiters and the candidates.
The reason is simple; a lot of innovation is going on with no surety of many things to commercialize on large scales. This has led to a trend of a fast-paced and ever-evolving environment. With AI in its infancy being tried with products, no foreseeable future for AR/VR to go mainstream, IoT automation being pushed out, and so much more, the industry is unable to decide what to work on. In a typical job search in the IT-software industry, one has to keep track of a lot of things to be relevant now and ready for future as well.
So here is a little guide to smoothen out the process and also, an (amateurish) analysis of the present scenario:
Go to the basic of it all, software development. To be proficient in at least one of the most basic languages will always keep you relevant irrespective of the trends and needs of the hours. Sound knowledge of programming is always the utmost requirement of the industry, from developing the smallest of websites to biggest security systems. Digital technologies may come and go, tools may become important or obsolete, the knowledge will help you adapt to everything and make your own evolution simpler.
A building can be built only as tall as the foundation is strong enough to build upon.
The variety of developments and innovations for consumer electronics alone in the IT sector is creating enough buzz and confusion over what will come out and when. Everyone is speculating. And when you take into account other industries dependent on digital innovations, the scope becomes tremendous. And many of them will be considered failed experiments too and so a career in them (or at least a professional setback). So it is important to understand the markets and their demands regarding the different technologies they seek. A little research and awareness will go a long way into making calculated decisions and securing a strong career. While expert opinions may look right, a lot of times, the markets decide otherwise. So preparing (on) your own self is important.
While you may already be way beyond college, the evolving coursework is one of the most important signs of the evolving industry. Also, academic institutions are often a little slow with adopting trends. Thus, looking out for supplementary courses, diploma programs, and certification programs is a faster way to catch up with the industrial requirements. And needless to say, opting for one is another plus to evolve yourself. With new fields coming up after thorough R&D, industrial demands often pike and many institutions start these offerings to skill up the current workforce. Thus a lot of opportunities can be directly grabbed through them.
Also, a lot of these technologies come out of academic undertakings (like p2p file transfers with torrents, secure private browsing with tor browser, etc.) making the universities the premier institutes of innovation. So, looking into academic trends in one sure way to keep up with the industry.
IT is one industry that supports a lot of many industries, completely or partially. And the canopy of its umbrella is spreading by the day connecting more industries to itself. Among these industries are demanding that the existing or upcoming technologies can satisfy. Researching on these industries and their trends can help in determining the paths IT sector may take.
As a simple example, Big Data Analytics finds its application most prevalently in Advertising and Digital Marketing apart from Business Intelligence, even though the technology hasn't been fine-tuned yet. Machine learning has changed the face of E-commerce in the last 5 years and is thus growing itself too (leading on to R&D on AIs). The economics is inter-dependent and so is the growth and development.
It is imperative to note that most of the technologies provided by IT have been adopted and used by other industries for the most part. Many technologies have often been developed solely on demand by other industries.
And there can be many such points one can find and keep an eye out for, to understand the passage IT industry will take. This will directly affect the job market and the job requirements of the future. Those who can fulfill them in time and keep pace with them will survive and grow.
As promised, here are some findings based on the current studies and analysis from many experts around us. These findings take into account the (possible) demands of today and future.
Machine learning is at its peak and unwilling to stop. The application is increasing from large scale to smaller scales. The scope may be furthered by the continuous work on AIs and similar systems.
Data science is coming up fast and replacing the old school data analytics end-to-end. Soon, Big Data will spread itself through all scales and industries.
Full stack development is experiencing a continuous increase in demand, and with the short supply, increase in pay scales also.
Back-end development is also seeing a rise in jobs and compensation too.
Blockchain technology-based software systems are high in demand and it will only increase in coming time, especially in security services.
Web development, especially front-end development, is becoming a trend as a starting point for freshers and many others too.
AR/VR are still under development but marketing and advertising industry are continuously experimenting with positive results. In a few years, media adoption of the technology may extend to a variety of industries including gaming and architecture. The current scope of work is in companies working on software to platform the development of its content.
Interactive software development like games and other 3D content is also seeing a rise but lacking proper infrastructure. The software infrastructure has been under further development and will continue to do so creating more jobs.
Every innovation in the IT sector gives rise to more expectations and ideas and needs, and they give rise to more innovations. And in between these, jobs and job profiles rise and fall. The demands are periodic and once they go mainstream, they also often start on the path of going obsolete, if not by becoming irrelevant then by being too competitive i.e. more supply less demand.
Those who take the steps first also go the farthest...