Will AI and machine learning impact your job as an IT pro?

Have you considered the possibility that a robot may take over your job as a IT pro someday? If so, you're not alone.

Many would argue that IT pros are probably the least threatened by artificial intelligence when it comes to future career opportunities. After all, robotic process automation has already cut the need for warehouse and factory workers and has taken over a large portion of administrative and customer service roles, and it is programmers and software engineers who are responsible for creating the sophisticated algorithms behind smart systems. 

Innovations influencing recruitment
However as machine learning and automation progress, software development and infrastructure management tools are increasingly accessible to people who aren't trained in programming and engineering.  Therefore, the rising prominence of cognitive computer intelligence is a trend IT job seekers need to stay on top of. Because, although these autonomous systems certainly aren't new, what they are being used is for is rapidly expanding.

"Autonomous systems aren't new, but what they're being used for is rapidly expanding."

An Accenture Technology Vision survey found that 70 percent of company leaders are significantly increasing their investments in artificial intelligence technologies and more than half expect to soon leverage ML and AI solutions. And achieving this goal is getting easier. In the last year alone, IBM, Amazon and Microsoft have released cloud-based ML solutions, and a growing number of startups are offering similar products.

This accelerating adoption of such technology is indicative of the qualities companies will start to look for in IT recruitment. To appeal to hiring managers, it is important that you understand not only what the high-demand skills will be in world of cognitive computing, but how they will be used to improve operations. Gaining insight on the direction artificial intelligence is taking can help you better understand the outlook of the IT job market and increase the chance of career success.

What risks does AI present to IT pros?
Let's make this clear: IT pros shouldn't be too concerned about competing with smart systems for employment. At least, not in the way other people seem to be. There are some areas of expertise that automation doesn't cover yet, such as creative and emotional thinking. Not to mention the extensive list of qualities essential to technological innovations, like curiosity and determination. This is one of the reasons why computerized intelligence will only change the nature of tech specialist jobs, not entirely eliminate them – at least for the time being.

In an interview with CIO, IPSoft CEO and Founder Chetan Dube explained that, although the management of IT infrastructure and various engineering tasks will eventually be handled almost entirely by robotics, the advancements in AI and ML systems will also create better, more dynamic job opportunities for technology pros. They will be able to dedicate their focus and time on developing more creative strategies and innovative solutions for the organization, rather than the menial, day-to-day functions.

RAP, AI and ML innovations will give IT pros more, not less, employment opportunities.RAP, AI and ML innovations will give IT pros more, not less, employment opportunities.

Similar to how social media networks created a plethora of positions that didn't exist previously, the expansion of technological systems and applications will result in the need for a different, new set of jobs. It probably won't be long before IT experts find themselves applying to be a chief data intelligence officer, rather than a data scientist, or automation engineer rather than a systems engineer.

Dube also added that "[the] perceptions of artificial intelligence and automation must change from fear to acceptance."

This shouldn't be hard to do. And for some it hasn't been, given the array of benefits it offers for employees. A survey conducted by Spiceworks revealed what other IT pros are excited about when it comes to automation:

  • 88 percent of participants are looking forward to being able to focus on more important tech projects thanks to automation
  • 85 percent think it will enhance efficiency of their jobs
  • More than half agreed it will lead to both quicker problem solving and fewer errors

As the capabilities of AI evolve, so must the qualities of its data specialists and programmers. But to succeed in a corporate environment that relies on the collaboration between people and machines, IT pros must be willing to adapt.

Key qualities for getting hired 
It's probable that the IT job market in a few years will look wildly different than it does today. And it may be hard to see the long-term roadmap of your career right now. AI and automation will undoubtedly cause some changes in the traditional responsibilities of IT roles you're used to applying for. But, the good news is that these shifts will work in your favor.

"Though automation will cause IT job changes, they'll work in your favor."

You already know that your level of expertise is an essential factor hiring managers take into consideration during the recruitment process. However, it might be surprising to learn what other qualities business executives rank as being even more important in the performance of workers in an IT setting. According to the Technology Vision survey, corporate leaders prioritize an employee's ability to quickly learn, multitask and, again, a willingness to embrace change.

As machine learning becomes integrated into more organizations' operations, company leaders will start focusing on recruiting engineers and programmers that are not only capable of managing open-source frameworks to resolve IT-related issues, but those that can provide them with the strategic and forward-thinking strategic solutions that other tech pros haven't kept up with. 

Will AI and machine learning impact your job as an IT pro?
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