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10 most in-demand internet of things skills

"Security has become paramount. Everything connected to the internet creates risk, so any skills around security, especially software and endpoint security, are critical in the IoT space," he said.

Security engineering

Security is a huge IoT concern. Aside from infrastructure security, recent, high-profile data breaches have heightened consumers' awareness of data security and privacy issues that may occur if a connected device is breached or hacked and data exposed.

To help mitigate against potential risks, companies are investing in security engineering and seeking talent skilled in vulnerability assessment to identify both physical and logical threats to embedded systems such as local controllers/gateways and determine the risk at the device level.

"Within the larger security skills demand, we're especially seeing an increase in the need for vulnerability assessment and endpoint security; there's also a resurgence in the need for hardware security," said Pearson. “In just the last 60 days, there's been a major increase in demand for talent skilled in specific IoT security vendors CloudFlare and Orbit.”

Big data

IoT has greatly increased the amount of data available, and generated enormous volumes of data for organizations to analyze. Companies need to collect all the data that is relevant to their business while simultaneously filtering out redundant data and protecting that data. This requires a highly efficient mechanism, including artificial intelligence, software and protocols.

"We're still seeing strong demand for data scientists and back-end engineers who can develop algorithms, collect, organize, analyze and architect these disparate sources of data. And using AI in combination with big data can help companies do all of that faster and more efficiently," he said.

GPS development

The GPS market is seeing a resurgence, thanks to IoT; and, specifically, wearables, smart vehicles and logistics companies. Analyst firm ABI predicts that the GPS market will reach out $3.5 billion in 2019 as businesses and consumers embrace location-aware devices.

“There is still major demand for professionals who can help develop GPS-enabled technology for wearables, smart vehicles and other IoT applications,” he said.

Electrical engineering

The creation of the next generation of connected devices requires both software and electrical engineering expertise, which is why there's increased demand for electrical engineers. Electrical engineers are being hired to help with embedded device development for mobile applications, and for radio frequency (RF)/analog and microwave engineering for communication systems and GPS on the devices.

Circuit design

Connected devices require companies to adjust and adapt chip design and development to account for new system requirements. For example, applications that rely on long-life batteries may need to have specially designed circuit boards to optimize power consumption, or have multiple chips and sensors on one circuit board. That means greater demand within circuit design for printed circuit board (PCB) and 3D design.

Microcontroller programming

The IoT consists of billions of small, interconnected devices, many of which require, at minimum, a microcontroller to add intelligence to the device to help with processing tasks. Microcontrollers are low cost, low power, embedded chips that have programming and data memory built onto the system.

Microcontrollers require specific languages, like Arduino, for example, which is used in sensor and automation projects.

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