The Battle for IoT Tech Talent Heats Up
This is the tenth and final post in our series taking a closer look at Arrayent Top 10 Predictions for 2017. No. 10: IoT in 2017…will see the battle over tech talent intensify as consumer product companies embrace IoT, and connected-product software expertise becomes a core requirement for every business.
Our last, but certainly not least important prediction for 2017 was about the intensifying battle for IoT tech talent. This clamoring for ‘connected product people’ has only intensified since the beginning of the year. We made this prediction based on the number of consumer brands entering the connected products market and the stiff competition they are facing to recruit top tech talent — especially people who have direct experience with connected products. Said differently, how will traditional brand manufacturers entice top talent to leave their Silicon Valley tech jobs?
Demand is fanning out across tech-savvy markets from coast to coast. Research indicates there are 500,000 computing and IT jobs open nationally. This is in contrast with an unemployment rate of 2.6% in IT and a talent pool that adds only 43,000 Americans who graduate from college with computer-science degrees each year.
TOP RECRUITS: DATA AND SECURITY PROS, IOT ARCHITECTS
IoT spans a wide swath of technical disciplines: embedded, cloud, security, mobile apps, user-experience, UI, UX & industrial design, data analytics, business intelligence, network operations, and more. According to recruiting experts, among the most in-demand positions are data scientists and engineers, cybersecurity engineers, full-stack developers, IoT architects and those experienced in Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR). And, with the emphasis on creating truly ‘smart’ connected products, the demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Deep Learning/Machine Learning expertise is growing. This encompasses jobs in Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, Cognitive Computing, and Predictive Analytics that are also becoming in high demand across almost every industry sector.
LIMITS ON H-1B VISAS
Meanwhile, the new U.S. administration’s policies on immigration and offshoring of jobs continue to pose unknown variables and challenges to tech employers. These policies were on center stage as tech industry executives battled against a temporary ban on immigration from certain countries. Though the ban is currently on hold after being struck down by the courts, tech employers still face the challenge of the new quotas to the H-1B Visa program. On April 7, it was announced that applications for the H-1B program had already reached the congressionally mandated threshold of 85,000 visas for the new fiscal year. The H-1B is a temporary visa intended to bring in foreign professionals with college degrees and specialized skills to fill jobs when qualified Americans cannot be found. More than any other industry, the tech sector depends on H-1B workers. Goldman Sachs has estimated there are 900,000 to 1 million H-1B visa holders who now reside in the United States and who account for up to 13 percent of American technology jobs.
BRIDGING THE TALENT GAP
Availability of key resources is one of the reasons manufacturers of consumer products choose IoT cloud Platform-as-a-Service companies (like Arrayent) to connect and manage their ‘always on’ products. Manufacturers—especially consumer brands—look for vendor partners who have a veteran team with deep experience across the span of IoT technical disciplines, ones who demonstrated they can be a trusted and capable partner. Vetting criteria for IoT platform vendors include: 1) proven results (and references) of the quantity of products they have connected and that are under management, 2) how easy it is for sub-brands be folded into launch plans, 3) whether they have the tools, policies, procedures and certifications to launch across international boundaries, 4) whether they have gone through multiple independent security audits, and 5) their track record on the time from idea to on-the-shelf. Finding the right IoT cloud platform vendor allows brand manufacturers to apply their precious tech talent to core product design and differentiation. If you’d like to learn more about how Arrayent has consistently helped companies bring their connected product from idea to on-the-shelf within six months, contact us here, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.