Over the past few years, we've observed a the emergence and rapid growth of data science jobs on Indeed. This growth is one example of how new technologies give rise to new kinds of work. In this case, the sudden proliferation of data on every action we take online and on our smartphones led to increased demand for professionals who could access that data, interpret the information and tell compelling stories.
We were curious: What other technologies are beginning to leave their mark on the workforce?
Using Indeed Job Trends, we took a look at three cutting edge developments in tech: “The Internet of Things,” “CRISPR” and “Blockchain.” Here’s what we found.
Trend 1: The Internet of Things
At first, only computers were connected to the internet. With the advent of the smartphone, mobile devices were added to the list. And today your car, the lightbulbs in your house, your fridge, the Fitbit on your wrist or even your children’s toys may be communicating with other machines through an internet connection. This world of connected everyday objects is known as the The Internet of Things (or IoT for short.)
Although the term was coined in 1999, the technology took time to mature: Tech consultancy Gartner only added the IoT to its influential “hype cycle” for emerging technologies in 2011. Within two years, however, its analysts were predicting that by 2020 there would 26 billion web-connected “things” in the world.
Around this same time, the “Internet of Things” and “IoT” started to appear in Indeed job listings—and since December 2013, incidences of the keywords have exploded, growing by an impressive 27,500 percentage points.
Today many major employers—including Amazon, Honeywell and IBM to name a few—are recruiting workers with IoT expertise. Interestingly, these job postings are not just for roles related to research and development. We also see marketing positions like promotional “evangelist” roles, indicating how mature this technology is getting in the workplace.
And given networking giant Cisco’s prediction that the IoT represents a $19 trillion global business opportunity over the 10 years, we expect to see many more IoT-related jobs emerge.
Trend 2: CRISPR
Another keyword with rapid growth on Indeed is “CRISPR,” which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat. Essentially, this is a new method of genetic editing that greatly enhances the precision and efficiency with which scientists can find and replace defects in DNA.
The appearance of CRISPR in a variety of job postings is particularly impressive considering that it was only invented in 2012. Incidences of CRISPR in job listings on Indeed have increased by 13,000 percentage points since January 2014.
Given the potential of the technology, it is not surprising we see such growth. Scientists believe that CRISPR could transform the field of biology and hopes are high that treatments based on the technology will eventually cure many chronic conditions including blood disorders and heart disease.
However, CRISPR is also controversial due to fears that it could be used to create “designer babies” modified according to their parents’ specifications. Last year, in fact, a group of leading biologists called for a halt to the use of CRISPR in any way that could result in the inheritance of modified DNA.
Meanwhile, as the ethical debate continues, we see a mix of universities, medical centers and research institutes, biotech and pharmaceutical firms hiring talent with experience of CRISPR.
Trend 3: Blockchain
Cybersecurity is another hot topic, and one of the most promising technological developments in the field is the “Blockchain”—a public record of every transaction that has ever occurred shared between multiple parties. This record cannot be altered, making it impossible for hackers to conceal their tracks should they access or change data during an attack.
As the chart shows, demand for workers with knowledge of “Blockchain” technology is on the rise in Indeed job listings data, too. In fact, this is the most recent keyword of all as interest was basically non-existent until the middle of 2015. Since then however we have seen an impressive 5,500 percentage point increase.
Interestingly, Blockchain is fundamental to Bitcoin, the controversial digital currency invented in 2009 which enables its users to sidestep banks and governments, performing transactions free of fees or regulations.
Today however, it is stepping out of the shadows as mainstream financial institutions invest in the technology, seeking a more secure way of managing transactions. At least 40 major banks have completed trials using the technology, and this February IBM announced plans to expand the use of Blockchain across multiple industries. In Estonia, the government is already using blockchain to secure healthcare records. Meanwhile on Indeed, we see job listings from the likes of Deloitte, Bank of America and numerous tech firms.
What does all this mean for employers?
Competition is already on a sharp rise when it comes to attracting people with experience in these new technologies, and this is a field where demand already outstrips supply in more established areas. Recruiters will therefore have to craft creative strategies to win over top quality talent. You can explore tech hiring challenges and tactics in more detail in the Indeed Hiring Lab report Beyond the Tech Talent Shortage.