5 IT roles in high demand during the COVID-19 crisis

The disruption is not only transforming the way organizations work but also the demands of many professions. 
5 May 2020

Tech roles are spiking in demand amid the pandemic. Source: Unsplash.

  • The sudden shift to remote working has driven the need for specific tech talents
  • Data remains a key source in powering business decisions
  • Cybersecurity professionals are skyrocketing in demand as cybercrimes increase 

Automation and cloud migration are popular topics right now in boardrooms across the world. With millions required to adjust to working from homes instead of offices, and even as lockdowns are eased in some places , remote working systems have never been more critical. 

Powered by the cloud and secured network connectivity, the need for skills and experience in maintaining data centers used to support and upkeep cloud solutions are evident. 

In the thick of the pandemic, data center workers employed on a contractual basis have faced a host of challenges – among them, quite literally just getting to work due to restricted travel policies. This has put a spotlight on the importance of digital professionals being allowed to do their jobs without red-tape hindrances, and also just how important they are to sustaining our fragile system of everyday functions.

Data center workers are just one of the many examples of workers often overlooked, but essential to keeping the motors running on our ecosystem. In light of the mass migration to remote working, cybercrime has also experienced an uptick, adding on to ongoing demand for cybersecurity professions.

# 1 | Cybersecurity professionals

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), cybersecurity programs have increased by 33 percent, but the growth is not enough to meet the hike in demand. Cybersecurity is now considered mission-critical in most organizations, even more so at this time where the coronavirus outbreak has led to a mass shift to working from home. 

In the same vein, as hackers and bad actors of the web are evolving and using more sophisticated tactics for personal gain, the call for cybersecurity talent will only rise. 

# 2 | Product manager

Digital transformation has often been regarded as a journey, a roadmap, a path to ‘digitalize’ an organization to achieve specific goals, such as adopting cloud solutions to scale up its e-commerce platform or deploying AI-powered chatbots to enhance customer service.

However, if digital transformation is seen as a product, the stages of its development to deployment can be monitored by a manager. The role product manager would be responsible for the finer details such as agile, scrum, software development, and challenges it may face before its eventual deployment. 

In short, a product manager ensures the product progresses in the right direction and fulfills the organizational needs. With digital transformation prioritized by organizations across industries, business leaders acting on insights sourced by big data will experience more effective results. 

# 3 | Analytics professionals

Data analysts will flourish in the digital landscape as executive committees recognize the importance of removing silos inside and between organizations for more collaboration and communication. 

The ability for professionals to work with major coding languages such as Python for programming projects and derive insights from troves of data is highly prized for organizational wishing to remain competitive. 

# 4 | Data scientists

The rise of next-gen technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning (ML) have a direct impact on the role of data scientists. 

This is backed by the ability of data scientists to extract, refine, and translate data into actional processes for business growth. The World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report looking at the trends expected to take off in 2018 to 2022 in 20 economies and 12 industry sectors.

The Future of Jobs Report stated data science to be among the most competitive skills of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

# 5 | The leader

The term ‘leader’ may not be explicitly stated on IT job postings, but the metaphor translates the expectations organizations have when hiring a technology leader. 

In this context, linchpins may not necessarily have a technology background, instead, they are valued for their roles as conductors in orchestrating products, processes, systems, and teams in harmony to produce business results. 

In other words, they are also strategists that place progression in action and deploy tactics that can enhance an organization’s workflow and set the company in a path for a successful digital transformation. 

They are adept at the latest market trends and industrial landscape, which enable them to make the ‘right’ business decisions align with market needs and consumer demand.