Six emerging IT jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago

Technology is setting the pace of evolution across industries far and wide, and at the forefront of that change is IT.

IT jobs that were once the stuff of science fiction or only spoken of in research papers are now emerging as real roles.  

Businesses are in short supply of staff with skills in growing fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and blockchain. IT professionals with the credentials to tackle these cutting-edge technologies are in high demand. 

Some emerging IT jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago include roles like data scientist, machine learning engineer, cloud architect, blockchain engineer, DevOps and scrum master. 

Here's what each role involves and how RMIT's IT courses prepare you for tomorrow's biggest opportunities.   

RMIT students

#1: Data scientist 

Data is like gold to companies, but only if they can effectively store and organise it. While big data has been around for some time now, the role of data scientists has much more scope today because of the increasing amount of data businesses collect.  

Data scientists help businesses leverage their data to glean insights such as market patterns and trends.  

“Data has become crucial for AI, which is why companies need a data strategy now,” explained Lawrence Cavedon, Associate Dean Data Science at RMIT. 

RMIT’s IT courses offer a variety of ways to specialise in data science. There’s the Bachelor of Data Science and the Master of Data Science, and both come with a rich program of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), so students get real-world experience.  

#2: Machine learning engineer 

Using large amounts of data, machine learning engineers research, build, and design AI systems. These systems are self-running software programs capable of developing algorithms that can make predictions. 

Globally, AI is expected to produce hundreds of IT jobs as it generates $13 trillion in economic activity by 20301

“Machine learning is the hot, hot technology that has really grown,” Cavedon said. 

“AI has almost become synonymous with machine learning. It relies on data and AI techniques and it’s increasingly becoming more mainstream.” 

Students enrolling in RMIT’s IT courses will have access to the AI Innovation Lab, which is staffed by researchers who develop and extend AI solutions to industries including transport, food and agriculture, and advanced manufacturing.  

RMIT’s Master of Artificial Intelligence encourages students to discover practical components of developing AI apps and platforms, all while understanding the part played by ethics and social responsibility in the future of technology.   

#3: Cloud architect  

Responsible for planning, designing and maintaining cloud computing systems, cloud architects are essential for any business. They migrate existing system data to cloud-based applications and are continually training in latest cloud technology.  

“So many companies are moving to the cloud because it saves them money and infrastructure,” Cavedon said. 

Latest data shows the cloud industry is set to become more popular judging by recent trends, with 55 per cent of all businesses using paid cloud computing in 2019-20 – a jump from 42 per cent in 2017-182

Students can specialise in cloud computing through RMIT’s Bachelor of Computer Science

#4: Blockchain engineer   

Blockchain is essentially a system of electronic record keeping, although most know it as the technology behind digital currencies. 

Although cryptocurrency is now mainstream, the strategic value of blockchain and ways to engineer it are still being discovered, meaning there are plenty of career opportunities in this exciting field.  

Funding behind global blockchain accelerated quickly – up from AU$1.9 million in 2012 to AU$7.6 billion in November 20183

Students who study the Master of Blockchain Enabled Business will benefit from RMIT’s state-of-the-art Blockchain Innovation Hub. Blockchain is also among the many digital innovation focus areas of RMIT’s Master of Business Information Technology.  

#5: DevOps  

DevOps, a shortened catch-all for development and operations, combines practices and tools designed to increase an organisation's ability to deliver applications and services faster than traditional software development processes. 

DevOps has emerged as an in-demand IT job in recent years because of the increasing specialisation needed within IT teams, said Amir Homayoon Ashrafzadeh, Industry Fellow and Lecturer in Security, Systems and Cloud at RMIT’s School of Computing Technology. 

“Because the size of projects is getting larger and teams are getting bigger, we need specific expertise for some small part of the job where in the past, five developers were doing everything together,” he said. 

“Basically, it’s about roles that can make your team more efficient now.” 

RMIT offers a Bachelor of Software Engineering, which teaches students to design, code, test and manage large and complex systems. 

#6: Scrum master 

Scrum is an agile project management framework that commonly includes meetings, tools and roles working together to help teams structure and manage their work. A scrum master is responsible for coaching others in alignment with the scrum framework, and upholding agile methodologies and principles. Scrum is frequently used in the IT sector.

Scrum masters are paid well with the average annual salary in Australia ranging from $130,000 to $160,0004. The position is set to be in demand in the future with a predicted job growth of 8.3 per cent5.

RMIT’s Bachelor of Computer Science will set you on the right path to becoming a scrum master. The program allows you to specialise in a range of booming areas including AI, cloud computing and security.

Story: Kate Jones

 

1McKinsey&Company, McKinsey Global Institute Notes From the AI Frontier Modeling the Impact of AI on the World Economy, September 2018, Accessed 14/5/22, https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/Artificial%20Intelligence/Notes%20from%20the%20frontier%20Modeling%20the%20impact%20of%20AI%20on%20the%20world%20economy/MGI-Notes-from-the-AI-frontier-Modeling-the-impact-of-AI-on-the-world-ec

2Australian Bureau of Statistics, Characteristics of Australian Business, 4/6/21, Accessed 14/5/22, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/industry/technology-and-innovation/characteristics-australian-business/latest release

3Australian Computer Society, Blockchain 2030 – A Look at the Future of Blockchain in Australia, April 2019, Accessed 14/5/22, https://www.acs.org.au/insightsandpublications/reports-publications/blockchain-2030.html

4SEEK, Scrum Master Salary, undated, Accessed 15/5/22, https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/scrum-master/salary

5SEEK, Scrum Master, undated, Accessed 15/5/22, https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/scrum-master

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.