Are you an information technology (IT) or operational technology (OT) professional planning to invest in your career by adding Internet of Things (IoT) skills? If not, there are compelling reasons why this should be considered in your near-term career development.
Industries of all kinds are in an IoT arms race. Research firm Gartner forecasts that IoT will add $12 trillion of economic value cumulatively between 2013 and 2022. By 2020, $751 billion will have been spent on IoT, including applications and services, networks, and devices. That compares to $80 billion in 2014.
Mass-market IoT adoption should arrive in about five years. Approximately 25 percent of all vertical industries are already engaged in initial IoT deployments, according to Forrester Research. Besides consumer applications, IoT enables enterprise digital transformation, especially in industrial segments such as manufacturing, connected cars, mass transportation, utilities, energy, and mining. Manufacturing is leading the pack in terms of economic added value and new job opportunities.
Each technological revolution replaces older job roles with ones that require new skills. With IoT skills, you stand to make big professional gains. Organizations in every sector are competing to bring IoT experts on board. IoT skills for positions in manufacturing and cybersecurity are especially in demand. Factories are moving to take advantage of the data being produced by connected machinery even as IoT botnets are starting to wage distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against popular services.
IoT merges the physical and the digital worlds and blends IT and OT. While IoT poses challenges of security, complexity, cost, and leadership, it is, at the same time, expanding job roles for both IT and OT professionals. In fact, more than 80 percent of IT departments do not have enough employees with IoT skills. Gartner says that a shortage of IoT expertise is the number one factor holding back organizations that want to implement IoT projects.
The Industry-Leading Cisco Certifications
Gartner forecasts that 1.4 million full-time jobs will be needed by 2020 to deliver applications and business services for IoT. This demand includes 300,000 entry-level IoT-related jobs. The opportunity is enormous for IT and OT professionals as well as new entrants to the industry.
Cisco currently offers training to both OT and IT professionals to earn certification for IoT. Gain foundational IoT knowledge in control systems technologies and fundamental networking concepts, then move on to advanced concepts in connected factories.
Are you in OT? The closed plant floor will become Internet-enabled. The probability for job obsolescence is high, and for many professionals, it will be sink or swim. Cisco's IMINS training can help you catch up on IP network technology and leverage your industrial background to earn Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification. And, to help you obtain Cisco CCNA Industrial certification in the connected factory, learn advanced topics such as troubleshooting, wireless, and security with IMINS2 training.
Regardless of your job role, either as technical or solutions architect, manager, or project manager, or whether you are deeply engaged or simply contribute as a cross-functional team member in IoT projects, gaining an overview of industrial IoT with IMINS training would be a good starting point.
Enterprises have recognized that IoT is a journey; the digital transformation is complex but full of rewards. Cisco is developing additional IoT certification programs to cover essential job skills such as security and data management and analytics required in achieving digital business outcomes.
On Glassdoor.com, the salaries for engineers and senior engineers with IoT skills range right now from a low of $97,000 to a high of $155,000 at one IoT-focused organization. Take a look and decide whether it is time to learn essential IoT skills and validate that knowledge with certifications to demonstrate your career-boosting expertise. And, let us know in the comments below whether or not IoT is becoming a reality yet where you work.
Daniel Chan is a product manager at Learning@Cisco, responsible for IoT training and certifications. Daniel pioneered the interface to computer telephony integration (CTI) at Bell-Northern Research as a senior technical lead there and obtained patents, including for voice-authenticated security, as a senior product lead at Nortel Networks. He has also held various consultation positions for startup companies in the areas of web CRM, mobile device management, and connected cars.