The Future of Information Technology
Almost every aspect of today’s world involves information technology, from the economy to business to our day-to-day lives. We can send information to the next cubicle or across the world in an instant. Devices connect us to our health, homes, and families more than ever before. The future of information technology lies in the educated professionals who develop and implement it.
What Is Information Technology (IT), and What Are Some IT Trends?
The IT field continues to shift and grow to meet the needs of an evolving modern era. In short, IT refers to the complex web of systems that store and send information. Those working in the IT field are responsible for transmitting, retrieving, securing, and fine-tuning this information.
If you’re considering a job in the IT field, you have plenty of options. Careers in IT span a variety of exciting specialties, including computer programmer, database administrator, and network system administrator — all of which pay more than $80,000 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
By completing an online bachelor’s degree program within fields like management information systems, cyber security, or data science, you can step into a rewarding field that shows signs of future growth. The BLS estimates that the IT field will grow 13% from 2016–2026, which represents an addition of about 550,000 jobs. Those career opportunities fit into every industry imaginable: healthcare and medicine, sports, business, government and national defense, and more.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity
Advancement in producing and analyzing data continues to surge, and the data we’re storing is critical to our security and privacy: credit card and Social Security numbers, personal conversations, passwords, contracts, and more. If current IT trends continue, employers will need trained professionals who can defend against constant security threats. The BLS estimates an increase of 28,000 information security analyst jobs between 2016 and 2026.
One way IT professionals are developing better cybersecurity is through machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI). This involves feeding large amounts of data into programs and building smart algorithms that allow computers to adapt. Machine learning is the AI method social media platforms use to decide which posts to emphasize or which advertisements to display. Machine learning is also how streaming video services know which shows to recommend and how self-driving cars learn to stay within their lanes and react to near accidents. Machine learning tells computers how to recognize and stop cyber attacks, protecting consumer and business information. The never-ending cycle between cyber attacks and defense will likely keep IT professionals who specialize in machine learning in demand for decades to come.
Another player in the future of information technology is interactive technology. This technology leverages AI and machine learning and includes chatbots, computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are already able to answer a wide range of questions and understand contextual comments.
Programs that simulate human conversation aren’t limited to smart speakers. Robots that interact with customers have advanced to the point where they often seem almost human, and this is changing telecommunications. For example, professionals skilled in AI technology leverage it to automate marketing emails and initiate phone calls to spark client connections. As an IT professional, you’ll gain skills designed to equip you to better understand, improve, and implement this technology.
The Internet of Bodies
When you think of an IT professional, do you imagine someone at an office desk managing everything from individual support to server maintenance? While this may have been true in the past, future trends in technology go well beyond the brick-and-mortar office. Smaller and smaller gadgets are leading to a union between the IT and medical fields, for example. The internet of bodies refers to an increasing number of smart, connected technological devices embedded inside the human body. These tiny devices range from contact lenses that monitor eye health to swallowable cameras and sensors that provide real-time feedback. While these devices aren’t without controversy — after all, they represent medicine’s ability to monitor you in real-time in an incredibly intimate way — they also usher in an exciting future of care.
Help Shape Future Trends in Technology
Are you evaluating potential careers that will have a key impact on the future? If so, you’ll find information technology is front and center. Picking the right degree program will help you prepare to enter the field with the focus you’re most passionate about. Check out the online bachelor’s in management information systems program and a wide array of online business degrees offered by Maryville University that help aspiring data scientists prepare to make a difference in the world of information technology.
Forbes, “Top Tech Trends in 2019: 11 Experts Detail What You Need to Watch”
PR Newswire, “IEEE Computer Society Predicts the Future of Tech: Top 10 Technology Trends for 2019”
SAS, “Machine Learning: What It Is and Why It Matters”
The Washington Post, “The ‘Internet of Bodies’ Is Setting Dangerous Precedents”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Technology Occupations
We Live Security, “ML-Era in Cybersecurity: A Step Toward a Safer World or the Brink of Chaos?”