IoT and Industry 4.0 are transforming industry, giving birth to a new generation of jobs. What new roles will emerge as industrial and manufacturing processes adopt technologies such as automated robotics, VR/AR and connected machinery?
According to research from Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion IoT devices by 2020. Meanwhile, network technology firm Cisco and engineering giant GE estimate the IoT could add $10 trillion to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2034.
But while observers focus on the technology, what do these trends mean for the workforce?
Automation certainly has its downside for employment. Up to 30% of existing UK jobs could be impacted by early 2030, estimates consultancy firm PWC. Though some job categories will disappear, new opportunities will surface as skill requirements change.
Industrial Data Scientists
Industrial data scientists extract and prepare data, conduct advanced analytics and apply the findings to improve products or production based on their special knowledge of design and manufacturing.
Dan Archer, senior consult, at high-tech recruiters ECM, says businesses are trying to attract such personnel to build data models and create meaning output from IoT data.
However, finding candidates with the right qualifications and experience is difficult. Academic and professional training is gradually catching up with industry needs, but there is still a substantial lag. Industrial companies have to recruit people with the right academic training and offer further in-house development opportunities. Archer explains:
Industrial data science has no formal career path. Data sciences itself is still young, so businesses are looking for people with a good background in maths or statistics, together with some software development skills.
According to IoT Analytics, the role of robot coordinator will involve overseeing robots on the shop floor and picking up the pieces in case of errors. It will involve planning and technical know-how.
For Archer, traditionally separate disciplines are merging in the field of robotics.
We have clients interested in recruiting in this area, but it is very much a candidate’s market. We see increasing crossover between roles in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computing.
Industrial UX Designer
How will manufacturing management understand what is taking place in their facilities? They will need user experience—UX— designers to provide intuitive production dashboards on tablets and mobile phones. These designers also will create machine interfaces and augmented reality applications. (source: IoT Analytics).
IT/IoT Solution Architect
Part IT architect and part production designer, the IoT solution architect will produce the technical specifications to integrate different technologies, platforms and people. (source: IoT Analytics).