The most in demand IoT skills
We’re hearing a great deal about the Internet of Things, with more and more devices gaining connectivity. This means there’s greater demand for people to work on the technology, but what are the skills most needed for those working with the IoT?
Machine learning is one of the most in-demand skills according to research from Inmarsat. Creating the algorithms needed to draw meaningful insights from the data provided by IoT devices and sensors requires skills in data management and analytics.
Interestingly, skills that have been around for some time are being given a new lease of life by IoT development. One of these is the use of AutoCAD which is being used in the design of the latest generation of products. It allows designs to be produced quickly and efficiently and means changes can be incorporated as the project progresses. Electrical engineering skills, too, might seem to belong to an earlier era, but embedded device development plus the incorporation of communication and location technology across a range of different products has seen an unexpected resurgence in the demand for these skills.
The same applies to those able to design circuits. Not only is there a need to create new designs, but also to adapt existing ones for the requirements of new applications. Circuits may need to be redesigned to reduce their power consumption, for example, to allow their use in portable, battery-powered devices.
Server-side development skills are required to handle a raft of new connected devices too. One of the key skills here is Node.js which, thanks to its low overhead in resources, is being used in the development of many IoT initiatives. It’s particularly key to the development of small form factor devices such as wearable technology. Skills in incorporating GPS data are needed too, not just for wearables but also for technology such as autonomous vehicles. The programming of microcontrollers also needs developers able to work with specialist languages such as Arduino.
Security is a constant across all areas of IT and that applies equally if not more so to IoT projects. The extra complexity of connecting and communicating with multiple devices throws up new security challenges and risks which need to be addressed if confidence in the use of IoT devices is to be maintained. Building security into devices to prevent them from being hacked or hijacked for other uses is important too. Skills such as assessing vulnerability and understanding threat landscape for devices are essential here if the latest designs are to be kept secure.
Inmarsat’s research also shows a spike in demand for big data skills. Widespread adoption of IoT devices has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of data available to firms. But most of this information is unstructured, and big data expertise is needed in order to make sense of it, driving demand for data scientists able to organise and analyse data drawn from a range of different sources.
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