The 2020 update: Top tech jobs and workplace trends

What are the emerging tech jobs of 2020 and how do companies create a strong employee experience to retain the right talent?

Technology is evolving at unbelievable speeds. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning trends have been adopted into a record number of regions, industries and verticals; there's been an explosion of IoT devices and technologies, and 5G networking is showing no signs of slowing down. The world is keeping a close eye on the developments coming out of the tech industry. But the question that should be asked at this point is not what the next disruptive trend is, but instead who will be responsible for managing these trends? And how do companies prepare for retaining the right talent for these emerging tech jobs?

There is a growing demand for tech talent that can manage and oversee these new technologies and businesses are trying their best to attract and retain the right people for the job. They have to make sure they can create employee experiences that boost productivity, and only then will organisations be able to focus on growth and innovation. Here is a look at some of the most in-demand tech jobs for 2020:

Artificial Intelligence Specialist

LinkedIn's annual 2020 Emerging Jobs Report for the US reveals that the hiring growth for this role has grown 74% annually in the past four years. This is because enterprises are realising the value of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and many have already started their journey of automating processes. There is a variation of job titles and roles advertised within this field but most are focused on the same set of skills, which include knowledge of mathematics, algorithms, probability and statistics as well as basic expertise in programming languages. 

Data Scientist

With the push for data-driven insights and adoption of automated tools, data scientists with the right skillset are set to earn an average salary of $125,250. Data has become one of the most valuable assets of an organisation, and data scientists are the ones who create meaning from this raw data. They are responsible for extracting, analysing and interpreting large amounts of data from different sources. Data scientists can then use this newfound understanding to help enterprises build AI and machine learning tools that can automate tasks or processes.

Robotics Engineer

Robotic Engineers deal with all aspects of the design, construction and operation of robots as well as robotic systems responsible for their information processing. LinkedIn reports that with the rise of both virtual and physical bots the industry has seen a 40% annual growth. Robotics specialists require knowledge of engineering and computer science as the role is a mixture of both hardware and software skills. Robots can make certain jobs easier, safer and more efficient, specifically in manufacturing industries, but recently there is also been the increase of virtual bots.

Cloud Engineer

The cloud market has gone from strength to strength as organisations are switching to cloud solutions, including industry heavyweights AWS and Microsoft Azure. With businesses now opting for hybrid cloud environments, cloud engineers are responsible for developing and implementing IT cloud systems at scale, and these solutions are usually a mixture of in-house and outside systems.

Dave Bartoletti, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, says that because of increased competition and technology partnerships in the public cloud market, IT leaders need to monitor the market even more closely as the cloud infrastructure market has seen a 30% growth in 2020 compared to 2019.

Cybersecurity Professionals

With enterprises making use of a growing number of digital tools and services and hackers becoming more sophisticated, businesses need to protect themselves from internal and external threats. Cybersecurity professionals need to have a solid understanding of a businesses' architecture, data centres, network, and firewalls so that they can effectively implement security policies.

Cybersecurity professionals need to not only protect the company's sensitive data but also keep up to date with compliance regulations and security trends. According to IDC, cybersecurity roles are seeing tremendous growth with a five-year annual growth rate of 9.6%. This can only mean that enterprises are continuing their efforts for effective protection of all their assets.  

Software Developer/Engineer

According to IT Jobs Watch, software developers are set to earn £50,000 per annum as they can design and develop software and web applications needed for digital initiatives. Software developers have the knowledge and skillset to build and scale specific programs across the enterprises.

Similar to AI Specialists, there are a wide range of job titles and roles within this field as organisations can have different software requirements. Whether that is an application software developer who is implementing a secure program across the business or a systems software engineer who develops the computer systems needed for smart devices.

Workplace trends for 2020

Today's recruitment strategy is not just about finding someone with the right skillset, it is also about finding talent who fit into the company culture. In truth, potential employees care about more than a job title and salary - they are now demanding well-rounded hiring packages that have more than just monetary value. If companies want to be able to attract and retain their talent, it's important they can offer a positive employee experience. A healthy employee package can look like a lot of things, for instance it may include a variety of incentives like flexible working, generous holiday allowance or a four-day week.

Perhaps the biggest shift is embracing the importance of mental health at work. Research reveals that half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Z employees had left jobs because of concerns relating to mental health. Together Millennials and Gen Z together make up a large demographic of the workforce, and with them, they are starting to tackle the stigma of mental health at work. The Harvard Business Review found that 86% of respondents thought that a company's culture should support mental health. Mental health has become more than an additional benefit, it is critical to productivity and success.

Businesses will continue to invest in technologies and solutions that are developed and maintained by a smart and dedicated workforce. It also means it's an organisations responsibility to enable a workforce culture that empowers employees and fosters innovation.