It’s shaping up to be a strong year for the U.S. economy, by the projections of many experts. The fields of IT and engineering will likely play a significant role in this development. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics has noted, employment within all computer and IT fields should increase 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, nearly twice the rate of average U.S. job growth. Meanwhile, engineering is slated to grow a less dramatic but still respectable 7 percent during the same period.
As the year progresses, certain project types will carry significant weight for IT and engineering personnel, regardless of the specific sectors in which they work. Let’s take a look at some of these major issues and their intricacies:
1. IoT initiatives
Most discussions of the IT and engineering fields during the past few years have touched on the ubiquitous connectivity facilitated by the internet of things. According to a projection of prominent 2018 tech trends crafted by Deloitte, forging reliable connections between front- and back-office operations will be massively important to businesses in numerous industries, and IoT-based systems are poised to drive such efforts in a significant manner. IT professionals will be overseeing these projects from a broadly visionary point of view, while engineers are more likely to be involved in the nuts-and-bolts maintenance of IoT.
2. Blockchain on the rise
Originally entering the public consciousness as the algorithm behind Bitcoin transactions, blockchain technologies have since been recognized for their potential in many other industries. The Enterprisers Project pointed out that major companies may begin developing private blockchain networks and having business partners or subsidiaries join them to conduct both monetary and information-based transactions, while, more broadly, the encryption system will be used to conduct complex asset-tracking tasks. Enterprisers also stated that while there are no laws currently regulating blockchain operations, that will not be the case forever. IT and engineering professionals should prepare for such regulations to be established.
3. Expansion of automation and machine learning
Over the course of the past 20 years, automation has become more and more prominent in many different industries, growing from the simpler robotics seen in the automotive industry to considerably more complex applications in fields ranging from healthcare to defense. According to Control Engineering, 2018 and beyond will be distinguished by further advancements in automation and machine learning, in both the consumer and commercial spaces. The industry publication noted that IT and engineering contractors should keep themselves abreast of automation-related developments, so that they maintain their importance to recruiters and staffers in need of workers with considerable tech or engineering experience. With advancements like sophisticated artificial intelligence on the horizon, though, the need for these professionals isn’t likely to contract any time soon.