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The 8 most important technological trends for 2020

The technology is now developing at such a rapid rate that annual trend forecasts may appear outdated even before they are published as a blog post or published article. As technology evolves, it enables faster change and progress, causing the rate of change to accelerate, eventually to exponential.

Technology-based jobs don't change that fast, but they evolve, and the smart IT professional realizes that their role will not remain the same. And the IT worker will constantly learn in the 21st century (out of necessity, if not desire).

What does this mean for you? This means being aware of technological trends. This means keeping your eyes on the future, to see what skills you will need to know and the types of jobs you want to be eligible for. Here are eight technology trends to monitor in 2020, and some of the work that will create these trends.

1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence has already received a lot of noise in recent years, but it is still a trend to watch because its effects on how we live, work and play are only in the early stages. In addition, other branches of artificial intelligence have been developed, including machine learning, which we will see next. Artificial intelligence refers to computer systems designed to simulate human intelligence and perform tasks such as image recognition, speech or patterns, and decision making. Artificial intelligence can perform these tasks faster and with greater precision than humans.

Five in six Americans use artificial intelligence services in one way or another every day, including mobility apps, streaming services, personal assistance for smartphones, ridesharing apps, personal home assistants, and smart home devices. In addition to consumer use, artificial intelligence is used to schedule trains, assess business risks, forecast maintenance, and improve energy efficiency, among many other tasks to save money.

Artificial intelligence is part of what we broadly call automation, and automation is a hot topic due to possible job losses. Experts say automation will cut an additional 73 million jobs by 2030. However, automation creates jobs in addition to abolishing it, especially in the field of artificial intelligence: Critics predict that artificial intelligence jobs will reach 23 million by 2020 Jobs will be created in Programming, Testing, Support and Maintenance development, to name a few. An artificial intelligence engineer is one of these jobs. Some say it will soon compete with data scientists who need qualified professionals. To learn more about possible AI jobs, read about developing an AI career or why you should earn an IA certificate.

2. Machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. With machine learning, computers are programmed to learn to do something that is not programmed: they learn by discovering patterns and ideas from data. In general, we have two types of learning, supervised and uncensored.

While machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence, we also have subsets within the scope of machine learning, including neural networks, natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning. Each of these subgroups provides an opportunity to specialize in a professional field that will only grow.

Machine learning is quickly implemented in all types of industries, creating a high demand for qualified professionals. The machine learning market is expected to grow to $ 8.81 billion by 2022. Machine learning applications are used for data analysis, data mining, and pattern recognition. From a consumer point of view, machine learning supports web search results, real-time ads, and network penetration detection, just to name a few of the many tasks it can perform.

In addition to completing countless tasks on our behalf, it generates jobs. Machine learning jobs are among the emerging jobs on LinkedIn, with nearly 2,000 ads posted. These jobs pay well: In 2017, the average salary for a machine learning engineer was $ 106,225. Machine learning jobs include engineers, developers, researchers, and data scientists.

3. Automate robotic operations or RPA

Like artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotic process automation, or RPA, is another technology that automates functions. RPA is the use of programs to automate business processes such as application interpretation, transaction processing, data handling, and even email response. RPA automates the frequent tasks that people are used to doing. These are not just the housework of a low-wage worker: Up to 45 percent of the activities we do can be automated, including the work of financial managers, doctors, and CEOs.

Although Forrester Research estimates that RPA automation will threaten the livelihood of 230 million or more knowledge workers or nearly 9 percent of the global workforce, RPA also creates new jobs while changing existing jobs. McKinsey argues that less than 5 percent of races may be fully automated, but about 60 percent may be partially automated.

For you as a forward-looking IT professional trying to understand technology trends, RPA offers many career opportunities, including developer, project manager, business analyst, solution engineer, and consultant. These jobs pay well. says the average RPA salary is $ 73,861, but this is the cumulative average of the salaries of small developers to senior solution engineers, earning the top 10 percent over $ 141,000 annually. So if you are interested in learning and pursuing a career in RPA, then an Introduction to Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Course should be the next step you take to start a career in RPA.

4. Edge computing

Cloud computing has previously become a technical observing trend, and has become the mainstream, with major companies AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud dominating the market. Cloud computing continues to grow as more and more companies migrate to the cloud solution. But it is no longer an emerging technology.

As the amount of data we deal with continues to grow, we have recognized the limitations of cloud computing in some cases. Edge computing is designed to help solve some of these problems as a way to avoid the latency of cloud computing and bring data to the data center for processing. It can be located "on the edge," if you like, closer to where the computing is taking place. For this reason, advanced computing can be used to handle time-sensitive data in remote locations with no or limited connection to a central location. In these situations, perimeter computing can function as small data centers. Edge computing will increase with increased use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. By 2022, the global computing market is expected to reach $ 6.72 billion. As with any growing market, this will create different jobs, primarily for software engineers.

If you want a deep understanding of edge media and how it differs from cloud computing, read it here!

5. Virtual reality and augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) immerses the user in an environment while augmented reality (AR) improves their environment. Although virtual reality has been used primarily for games so far, it has also been used for training, as is the case with VirtualShip, a simulation program used to train captains of ships of the US Navy, Army, and Coast Guard. The famous Pokémon Go is an example of augmented reality.

VR and AR have tremendous capabilities in training, entertainment, education, marketing, and even post-injury rehabilitation. Either one can be used to train doctors to perform surgeries, provide a more in-depth experience for museum visitors, improve theme parks, or even improve merchandising, such as with the Pepsi Max bus shelter.

There are major players in the VR market, such as Google, Samsung, and Oculus, but many new companies are forming and will be hired, and the demand for professionals with only VR and AR skills will increase. Starting in virtual reality doesn't require much specialized knowledge. Basic programming skills and a future mindset can get a job, although other employers will look to optics as a skill set and hardware engineers as well.

6. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity may not seem like an emerging technology, given that it has been around for a while, but it is evolving just like other technologies. That's partly because threats are constantly new. Malevolent hackers attempting to illegally access data will not give up any time soon, and will continue to search for ways to overcome even the most stringent security measures. It is also partly because new technologies are adapting to improve security. As long as we have hackers, we will have cyber security as an emerging technology because it will constantly evolve to defend against those hackers.

As evidence of the great need for cyber security professionals, the number of cyber security jobs is growing three times faster than other technology jobs. However, we are falling short when it comes to filling those jobs. As a result, it is forecast that we will have 3.5 million unfilled cyber security jobs by 2021.

Many cybersecurity jobs pay six-figure earnings, and roles can range from the ethical hacker to the security engineer to the Director of Security, offering a promising professional career for someone who wants to enter and stay in this domain.

7. Blockchain

Although most people think of blockchain technology in relation to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain offers security that is useful in many other ways. In the simplest terms, blockchain can be described as data that you can only add, not remove, or change. Hence the term "string" because you are creating a data string. Not being able to change the previous blocks is what makes it so safe. Also, blockchains are based on consensus, so no entity can take control of the data. With blockchain, you don't need a trusted third party to monitor or validate transactions. You can check out our Blockchain tutorial for a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the technology.

Various industries are engaging and implementing blockchain, and as the use of blockchain technology increases, so does the demand for qualified professionals. In that sense, we are already behind. According to, blockchain related jobs are the second fastest growing job category, with 14 openings for each blockchain developer. A blockchain developer specializes in developing and implementing architecture and solutions using blockchain technology. The average annual salary for a blockchain developer is $ 130,000. If you are intrigued by Blockchain and its applications and want to make your career in this fast growing industry then this is the right time to learn Blockchain and prepare for an exciting future.

8. Internet of things (IoT)

Many "things" are now being built with WiFi connectivity, which means they can connect to the Internet, and to each other. Hence, the Internet of Things, or IoT. The Internet of Things is the future and has already enabled devices, appliances, cars and more to be connected and exchange data over the Internet. And we're only in the early stages of IoT - the number of IoT devices is expected to reach 8.4 billion in 2017 to reach 30 billion devices in 2020.

As consumers, we are already using and benefiting from IoT. We can remotely close our doors if we forget when we go out to work and preheat our ovens on the way home from work, all while tracking our fitness in our Fitbits and taking a trip with Lyft. But companies also have a lot to gain now and in the near future. The IoT can enable better security, efficiency, and decision-making for businesses as data is collected and analyzed. It can enable predictive maintenance, accelerate healthcare, improve customer service, and deliver benefits we never even imagined.

However, despite this blessing in IoT development and adoption, experts say not enough IT professionals are being trained for IoT jobs. An article in ITProToday says we will need 200,000 more IT workers who are not yet in the pipeline, and that a survey of engineers found that 25.7 percent believe inadequate skill levels are the industry's biggest obstacle to growth. For someone interested in an IoT career, that means an easy entry into the field if you're motivated, with a range of options to get started. Necessary skills include IoT security, computer literacy.

What's next

Although technologies are emerging and evolving around us, these eight technologies offer promising and functional potentials now and for the foreseeable future. All eight suffer from a shortage of skilled workers, which means it's time for them to choose one, get training, and join the early stages of technology, taking you on the path to success now and in the future.

Watch our Simplilearn video on "Best Techniques to Learn in 2020".