5 Tech Skills Silicon Valley Wants in the Next 5 Years

5 Tech Skills Silicon Valley Wants in the Next 5 Years
5 Tech Skills Silicon Valley Wants in the Next 5 Years

Each year, a publication like Forbes or Wired releases a list of the most in-demand tech skills in the United States. Skills such as coding, cloud technology or mobile app development predictably make every list, but some of these articles aren’t looking into the future. When considering a new skill or trade for Silicon Valley, you don’t want to know what the industry needs today — you want to know what’s in demand for the future. Here are five career skills of tomorrow you need to know.

1. Artificial Intelligence

Voice assistance isn’t new. Siri, Alexa and Google Assistance are all years into the market. But when Google introduced Duplex — an artificial intelligence (AI) program that will call small businesses and speak with an employee to schedule a hair appointment or book a reservation — everything changed. We always knew the potential for AI and voice assistance, but it was one of the first times we saw that potential with our own eyes (or, in this case, heard it with our own ears). For better or worse, AI will only get stronger, and tech juggernauts like Google and Amazon are hungry for engineers to help continue their AI development.

2. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are in awkward phases right now. Most of its applications existed in gaming or gimmicks, but that won’t be the case for long. Mobile AR on smartphones and powerful VR in headsets like the HTC Vive show that not only is the technology improving rapidly, but more people are adopting its uses. Even Hollywood is looking to cash in on virtual reality as an innovative movie format.

3. Wireless Technology

Even if your smartphone or laptop is connected to a Wi-Fi router at home, those devices are still essentially grounded by broadband internet over a landline connection. LTE is extremely fast compared to its older wireless connections, but it’s still slower than what most people are getting at home. New 5G wireless technology is going to change all of that. It could be the first wireless technology that surpasses broadband, which is why industry leaders such as Qualcomm are dedicating so much into the bleeding edge of 5G wireless technology. This is an industry that will grow quickly.

4. Blockchain

It’s not just a buzzword behind Bitcoin. The blockchain is a technology that could have many uses in the future. For the uninitiated, the blockchain is what makes decentralized information possible. It’s essentially a digital ledger shared across many devices that spreads the power of information so that no one person can manipulate the system. In the sense of cryptocurrency, the blockchain manages all transactions across the “ledger” so that no bank or entity controls the system. This same tech could be the future of cloud storage, social networking and even the internet itself.

5. Cybersecurity

With breaches, hacks and mishandling of information dominating the news, cybersecurity is a tech skill for today, but this is an industry that will only keep growing in the future. We’re only a few years away from leaving the analog world for good. While some of our most precious data, such as healthcare information, is still on paper in some form, everything is going digital. At the same time, much more of our identity and private information is going straight into social media. That means vulnerability goes up, and the need for cybersecurity experts goes up, too.

Built on the Basics

These five career skills are built on the tech basics of today. Coding, web development, engineering and others aren’t going away — they’re simply moving towards these industries. Future employees learning a new language now may very well be working on AI or blockchain technology tomorrow.

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