There are already more than 10 billion active Internet of Things (IoT) devices in existence and around 127 new devices per second connecting to the web, according to McKinsey & Company, and new connections are expected to increase by 20 times by 2025. Conservative estimates for the number of active IoT devices by 2030 are more than 25 billion. Some put the number into the hundreds of billions. IDC believes the IoT market will be worth around $1.6 trillion by 2025, according to Statista. That’s a lot of money and a lot of potential jobs.
Here are five areas of high IoT job potential:
See more: The Internet of Things (IoT) Job Market
1. IoT Hardware
According to McKinsey & Company, hardware currently makes up about 30% of current IoT market value. Software and services make up the rest. And that 30% number is going to gradually fall over the years. Such facts might persuade many to avoid IoT hardware, but that would be a mistake. Thirty percent of hundreds of billions is a lot. And even if it drops to 20% in a decade, by then the market could be worth a great many trillions. In other words, spending on IoT hardware will increase for the foreseeable future.
For those with hardware and installation skills, there will be plenty of work to be had in IoT hardware. And those choosing this path will face less competition than the apparently more lucrative software and services markets.
2. IoT Software
The most dynamic area of the IoT marketplace is software. Those developing new applications and faster systems will be in high demand. Those that can figure out how to connect IoT devices with other devices and feed data to enterprise systems and analytics platforms will be in the forefront of a revolution in the IT world.
3. IoT Services
Hardware encompasses devices, sensors, and components to route data into central systems. Software is all about developing, deploying, and integrating systems. But sitting in the middle is the thriving IoT services space. Millions of integrators, resellers, technicians, and maintenance personnel will be needed to serve this market. In all likelihood, enterprises will outsource a lot of this to third-party IoT service specialists.
According to Kaspersky, there were 1.5 billion IoT attacks during a six-month period of 2021, representing a more than 100% growth compared to the previous six-month period. Unfortunately, IoT has already gained a reputation as an easy mark for hackers. There are stories in circulation about office coffee makers and fridges with IoT functionality being hacked and allowing cybercriminals to compromise enterprise systems. Therefore, the bigger IoT becomes, the more opportunities will arise for people specializing in IoT security.
“All technology roles today are shifting to be cybersecurity focused,” said Tom Brennan, chairman of CREST USA, a nonprofit accreditation and certification body that represents and supports the technical information security market. “In particular, roles and responsibilities across the IT spectrum must include more focus on confidentiality, availability, and integrity components.”
This advice very much applies to specific IoT positions where cybersecurity skills will be vital. But it also applies to security personnel who will find job opportunities more forthcoming if they add IoT to their repertoire. Even on its own, IoT security opportunities will be plentiful.
According to the Internet of Things (IoT) Security Product market report, rising penetration of mobile network connectivity greatly increases security threat and overall risk. This perceived threat is driving the IoT security product market, which is growing at a robust rate of 15% per year between now and 2030.
“Demand for IoT is significantly increasing owing to rising demand for connected devices such as smart cars, smart meters, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications; such factors are increasing demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) security product market,” the report says.
5. IoT Specialists Learning IT Skills
Clearly, more IT and cybersecurity skills are needed with modern IoT systems. However, what is also clear is that labor shortages present challenges in accomplishing this. Bud Broomhead, CEO at Viakoo, explained that historically, the teams running IoT systems in areas such as physical security, facilities, and manufacturing have not had IT backgrounds, let alone cybersecurity skills.
“In 2022, this may force a new tier of IoT team members, with pay and responsibilities that are competitive with the broader IT market,” Broomhead said. “Such workers will be needed to bring IoT systems into broader IT initiatives like zero trust. By creating career paths within IoT tied to the broader IT market will attract new talent that otherwise may have felt IoT to be too limited for them.”
See more: 10 Top Companies Hiring for IoT Jobs