Tech Job Market Insights: Trends, Opportunities, and In-Demand Skills for 2024
Generative AI may have dominated 2023, but it’s not the only tech-related opportunity we’re tracking for the months ahead. As the year winds down and another begins, we’re looking at the tech trends reshaping our industry, the emerging opportunities ahead, and the in-demand skills your team needs to stay competitive within the ever-changing technology sector.
Tech Industry Trends to Watch
In the fast-evolving world of AI, innovative technology is constantly reshaping business. Here are three big tech trends to keep an eye on in the year ahead.
1. Continued Growth in Artificial Intelligence
This may seem like an obvious place to start, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the transformative potential of AI and machine learning. While generative AI made a splash in 2023 with the launch of now ubiquitous tools like ChatGPT, we’ve only just begun to see all that AI can do.
Building on existing technologies like applied AI and industrializing machine learning, generative AI can unlock significant economic value for businesses across industries. Generative AI can also serve as a catalyst for businesses to consider how they might incorporate other artificial intelligence and machine learning tech into their operations.
2. Edge Computing Expands Across Industries
An emerging computing model, edge computing refers to the range of networks and devices processing data at or near the end user. By processing data closer to where it’s being generated, edge computing enables greater speed and volume of processing, meaning more real-time results for businesses.
Edge computing also has important applications for the continued growth of AI and ML. For example, because most AI models require large-scale computing infrastructure, AI is still being trained in centralized data centers. Expanded edge computing, however, will allow AI models to be closer to the end users, supporting even faster queries and responses.
3. Scaling Up with Digital-Trust Technology
As businesses rely more on the use of data and technology, ensuring and maintaining stakeholder trust is essential to success. With digital-trust technologies such as zero-trust architectures and digital identity systems, organizations can manage risks and protect digital assets while increasing innovation. Building trust in data and tech governance through the use of transparency, security, and bias minimization principles can also improve organizational performance and customer relationships.
With these key tech trends in mind, let’s look at the emerging opportunities they offer across industries and consider how your business should respond to stay ahead of the curve.
The Human Side of AI
While much of the focus this past year has been on new AI tools and applications, an important but overlooked component of successful AI integration is the workforce. As AI and ML technologies continue to grow and become more widely adopted, it’s crucial your employees understand the technology and have the skills to keep up. Start by clearly communicating your company’s AI strategy across the organization. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page with how these new technologies are being used and why.
Next, prioritize workforce success and well-being by investing in skills development and upskilling to help your teams work more efficiently alongside AI. This will reassure employees that AI isn’t coming for their jobs, reduce workplace anxiety and conflict, and help you retain your tech talent. Ultimately, AI isn’t going anywhere, but without the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with AI your workforce might.
A Recommitment to DEI
While diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) never went away, DEI initiatives are likely to see a major shift in the year ahead. Given recent legal actions, such as the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action, organizations have an important opportunity to adjust their DEI programs to respond in meaningful ways and improve equity and inclusion.
By creating equitable hiring processes, for example, companies can increase representation and attract talented candidates who value a diverse workforce. At the same time, it can be tempting to add on new DEI initiatives without considering whether your company culture is built to support them. In the end, diversity can’t be forced and efforts to implement DEI for the sake of DEI are likely to cost you in the long run.
Scalability Takes the Lead
Technology is always changing, and it can be tempting for businesses to constantly look for new ways to grow and innovate. However, sometimes, the best way to achieve long-term, sustainable growth is to slow down and focus on scalability. Be deliberate with your technology investments and consider the ROI of any new project carefully. Develop a roadmap if you haven’t already and work closely with business stakeholders across the organization to ensure your processes are scalable and support your specific needs. By prioritizing repeatability and planning for leaner times, your business will have the resources it needs to grow and innovate with purpose.
Top Tech Skills for 2024
Despite the Big Tech layoffs that affected many IT professionals in 2023, the need for tech workers hasn’t slowed down and certain skills are more in-demand than ever. These are the tech skills your business needs now to stay competitive in the years ahead.
- Data Management – One of the biggest challenges for companies taking a holistic approach to generative AI is the use of data. To realize the full potential of AI tools, training models need real-time data from across business functions. While many organizations have piloted new uses of generative AI, few have done the data governance and migration work necessary for long-term success. Hiring a data scientist or engineer able to transform raw data into actionable insights will allow your business to expand its use of AI while optimizing operations and improving customer experience.
- Cybersecurity – Data is key to so many new technologies and business processes. As a result, ensuring your data is secure and protected is critical not only to business operations but also consumer trust and confidence. Increasing cybersecurity threats will require action on the smallest level, and a focus on identity management is necessary to protect proprietary data. With the continued growth of AI, security is likely to be a major concern and a key IT skill to add to your team.
- Cloud and Edge Computing – Over the past few years, the tech industry has seen an important shift to cloud-based solutions, making cloud computing central to modern IT infrastructure. As a result, cloud and edge computing skills are highly sought after. Cloud developers and engineers help organizations reduce infrastructure costs, streamline operations, and uphold data security as they embrace digital transformation. With the increasing use of clouds services, these IT skills will be crucial for 2024 and beyond.