by Sharon Florentine

5 tech jobs that will boom (and 2 that will bust) in 2017

Jan 23, 2017
CareersIT JobsIT Skills

The technology market is regularly evolving and so are the jobs and skills necessary to keep things moving forward. We asked an expert what the year ahead holds for IT professionals.

Tech jobs that will boom or bust in 2017

Technology is constantly evolving, and so are the skills and the roles enabled by continuing innovation. What tech jobs will boom and which will bust in 2017? Here, Gene Richardson, COO of Experts Exchange, offers his take on which job roles will continue to be hot and which ones will become obsolete this year.

1. Boom: Machine learning/ artificial intelligence

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Instead of a programmer writing “if/then/else” scenarios, decision systems and algorithms are used now to make deterministic decisions based on real-time data, Richardson says. “Technologists specializing in building AI and machine learning products as well as algorithm creation will do well in the years to come,” he says.

2. Boom: Big data

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Companies have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to data, but making sense of it all and using it to driver greater innovation and market competitiveness is still a challenge. “Every industry, from IT to marketing to finance to policy makers and more are hiring for data analysts that can help them make informed, quantitative decisions,” Richardson says.

[ Related story: How citizen developers are closing the skills gap ]

3. Boom: Full-stack developers

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Software developers can no longer rest on their laurels as an expert in one language or platform, says Richardson. “They also must understand and have experience with the DevOps role, design, QA, DBA, analytics, and thus wear multiple hats. Having full stack developers on staff improves time to market, minimizes costs and provides the team with a better understanding of the business problems and how to solve them,” Richardson says.

4. Boom: Low-code development

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Organizations just can’t seem to get enough software developers or engineers on staff to meet the need for applications; the boom in “citizen developers” using low-code platforms to create their own customized solutions is one measure organizations are taking to fill the gap, Richardson says. “Individuals who are building apps using low-code app development tools will be in huge demand this year, as they have the skills to help accelerate software delivery and help businesses succeed,” he says.

[ Related story: 5 workforce management trends to watch in 2017 ]

5. Boom: IT Security

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Security has been a growing area for years, and 2017 will be no exception. With a major skills gap and a shortage of talent added to frequent, high-profile breaches from Yahoo to the DNC, cybersecurity is becoming a major focus, with all companies that have any sort of digital footprint needing to hire in this area, Richardson says.

1. Bust: Standalone roles

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Even in the case of the much-sought-after software developer and software engineer role, if you understand only the basics of your own role without understanding how it fits into the general business, you may find yourself being obsolete, Richardson says. “For instance, if you are a software developer and you don’t also understand how to run well-formed SQL commands and evaluate if there is an optimal way to run them, then your days may be limited. Another example is, if you don’t understand how your code affects the performance of the larger system, or how it may affect page load for the user,” he says.

[ Related story: Career Roadmap: SysAdmin role isn’t dead ]

2. Bust: Traditional SysAdmins

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Traditional systems and server administrator positions will become more and more rare, says Richardson. While most sysadmin roles will evolve into DevOps or cloud jobs, especially at small and mid-size businesses, third-party cloud services will take on the responsibilities outside of the organization and provide the services that the sysadmin used to, he says.