What Factors Will Shape Information Technology Careers in the Next 5 Years?

As economic and social factors continue to shape the IT industry, we look at four compelling pressure points that have the potential to significantly affect IT careers within the next five years.

#1 Society

As society’s dependency on IT systems continues to grow, the demands on the professionals who dream up, design and support these systems become ever more stringent. Computers are no longer just the domain of engineering minds, children to grandmothers are also on board and everyone else in between. This makes the Internet more important to society than it has ever been.

#2 Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the presentation of a third party service into your network. This is another concept that is gaining momentum primarily as a result of recent advances in telecommunications, processing and storage capacity. This service model has the potential to rock technical roles within the IT workforce. Although it would probably be more accurate to say that this model (if successful) will be the catalyst rather than the cause of a shift in workforce skills demands.

#3 Internet Addresses

The current Internet address space known as IP version 4 is 95% depleted. Its successor is known as IP version 6. Interestingly, the (eventual) implementation of IP version 6 has a huge potential to shape IT career profiles. Ironically, the potential of this new protocol is the same potential dreaded by some large corporations of today. You see this protocol will give residential users the ability to participate in the Internet by serving information, rather than just receiving it. It can be said that this functionality is similar to today’s’ peer-to-peer protocols on steroids!

It is also possible that the IP version 6′s ‘next killer application’ will be one that harnesses this functionality to empower home users in a manner that is today very difficult to achieve for technical reasons pertaining to the wide spread use of private network addressing.

#4 Link Capacity

The speed of connections to the Internet have been increasing steadily for twenty years. As recent as the year 2000, dial up modems were the connection of choice. Today, dial up modems are painfully slow and not used by consumers in most parts of the world. One day, ADSL and ADSL2+ connections will be considered slow as well. The higher the bandwidth, the more functionality that we will be able to transmit to our computers. And this will result in richer Internet experiences. Although these advances are in the telecommunications sector, it is likely that web developer technologies and careers will experience the greatest changes as a result of these advances.

Whatever the catalyst, we can see here that there are a number of market forces that are shaping the Information Technology industry workforce. But as always, the industry will adapt and thrive and the forward thinking job candidates should once again be in a position to cash in.

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