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Demand for Robotics and Data Experts

SOURCE: Cognizant/

As industry commentators bemoan the loss of jobs to automation as we move further into the new reality of Industry 4.0, it’s sometimes easy to forget that while some roles are disappearing, other jobs will only grow in importance. Entirely new opportunities are even being created as a result of the changes brought by the fourth industrial revolution.

With this in mind, it’s important to understand and celebrate the growth of new jobs. The “Cognizant Jobs of the Future Index (CJoF Index)” does exactly this.

The organization identified 50 “jobs of the future” and has been tracking demand for these roles in the U.S. since the third quarter of 2016. The list of roles includes some irresistibly futuristic-sounding jobs, such as cyber calamity forecaster, augmented reality journey builder, and master of edge computing.

How Does the CJoF Index Work?

The CJoF Index score represents the sum of the current quarterly total of U.S. job openings for the 50 identified jobs of the future, divided by the quarterly total of U.S. job openings in the third quarter of 2016, the base year for the Index.

Cognizant pulls data from job-market analysis company Burning Glass’ scouring of online sources for job openings, including aggregate sites, such as Indeed and LinkedIn, as well as company websites. The data is cleaned to ensure there are no duplication’s and filtered to include only job openings requiring digital capabilities.

Significant Index Jump in 2018

The Index grew by 68% over 2018, moving from 0.86 in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 to 1.45 in the same quarter of 2018. The leap in job postings has been attributed to the speed of change in digitally enabled business practices, with companies creating more and more technology-related jobs.

Let’s dive into the data for one of the job families that make up this index.

Algorithmic, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence

This job family is the biggest of the Index’s eight families, containing 16 of the 50 jobs of the future. As expected, roles include many current technology-focused jobs that will continue to grow in importance as organizations digitize, such as chief information officers, computer scientists, and robotics engineers.

The family climbed by 66% in 2018, adding more than 127,000 job openings, with a jump from 194,000 in Q4 2017 to 321,000 jobs in Q4 2018. All 16 of the roles within this family experienced growth in the past year, ranging from 28% to 121%.

It’s all about the robots: The biggest growth in job postings and, therefore, demand, was for robotics technicians, with a 121% leap since 2017, followed closely by robotics engineers. Cognizant differentiates between the two roles by describing technicians as professionals who maintain, repair, and develop apps for robots, while engineers design and conduct research to expand robots’ potential.

Demand for data scientists experienced the next-biggest leap, with an 88.5% increase over 2018. The ability to systematically answer questions using data in order to provide actionable recommendations will make this role invaluable in the future, especially as the quantity of available data continues to increase.

Strong growth was also recorded in demand for mobile app developers at 76.3%, with Cognizant’s role summary describing a well-rounded professional who is able to design, build, and write code for mobile apps and can oversee the entire software development process.

Postings for chief information officers experienced the third-lowest growth in this job family, at 52.2%, although this is still a robust result. This slow growth may be due to the limited number of positions available across the U.S., with 4,619 jobs being advertised in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Mechatronics engineers — experts in complex machinery, in which physical move-ability is a priority — saw 34% growth, while the lowest growth was for technology consultants, at 28%. This role may have experienced the lowest growth within this job family due to the fact that organizations are increasingly bringing tech professionals in-house, or that generalists are decreasing in popularity while specialized talent sees higher demand.

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