The Silicon Valley Ripple Effect: How Silicon Valley Tech Trends Predict Tech Talent Demands

Silicon Valley is known as the birthplace of innovation long before HP and Intel. It is also the home to iconic tech giants such as Google, Apple and Tesla, which have led the path to many unicorns and cutting edge-startups. Silicon Valley is currently a $3 trillion tech hub and the heartbeat of an exciting period of the digital evolution. Silicon Valley can and does rapidly influence our global society for the type of technology and products that other companies adapt and therefore influence their demand for tech talent. Here are a few current tech trends that are shaping the job market today.

Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning and Robotics)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a phrase you hear buzzing all around Silicon Valley and it’s played a huge role in how consumers automate many areas of their lives. While companies like Apple and Google may have led the cause with Siri and Nest, companies such as Netflix, Yelp, Amazon, HubSpot and many more are not far behind. The reason companies are quick to jump on board with implementing Artificial Intelligence is to help retain customers by understanding their likes/dislikes and presenting them with purchasing recommendations based on their preferences. Artificial Intelligence helps us navigate our daily lives faster and the GP Bullhound’s Technology Predictions 2017, states that AI is predicted to have the greatest impact among trends in the global technology sector.

 

A core component of Artificial Intelligence is machine learning, the process by which computers and other technologies learn patterns in data to predict new patterns. Machine learning from SAS products helps automate processes to deliver fast, accurate results and decisions in real time without humans having to get involved. As you can imagine, AI and machine learning have greatly impacted businesses because every organization wants to work faster, more efficiently and use technology in areas where they can. Although Silicon Valley is working on self-operated cars, businesses across the world have adopted machine learning on a somewhat smaller yet impactful scale through chatbots, social feeds that populate based on prior content you’ve engaged with or ‘liked’, CRM systems that analyze customer relationships, and more.

 

Also involved in AI is the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows multiple gadgets to work together (or in sync) through the internet. As a branch of AI, your gadgets and devices determine your preferences based on patterns in order to offer you exactly what you want. Organizations are experimenting here with things like Alexa or within their own devices using voice activation.

 

The rise of Artificial Intelligence and its various branches calls for a magnitude of tech professionals including: hardware and software programmers, data scientists, IT specialists, cybersecurity experts and more.  You may have noticed that security is a hot topic in all areas of tech, but AI is getting hit the hardest with the need for cybersecurity experts since keeping connected devices safe and secure is a huge part of building successful, trusted gadgets.

 

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
Virtual/augmented reality is another trend in Silicon Valley that we’re starting to see slowly trickle into wider markets. Although we’re not all walking around with contact lenses that bring us into virtual worlds, there are a few areas of virtual reality that are becoming more mainstream from Silicon Valley. Gaming and the retail industry in particular, are two industries that have successfully adapted forms of virtual reality and are looking for tech professionals with virtual reality experience or skills. Swedish furniture company, Ikea, created an app called Ikea Place that allows users to choose a piece of Ikea furniture, hold up their phone and use the camera to place the digital furniture anywhere in a room. Users can tap through the app’s catalogue of over 2000 products and while it’s not like gaming where your entire room shows up as a battlefield, Ikea represents how augmented reality can be practically applied in areas of our everyday lives to make better purchasing decisions.

 

The virtual reality sector is expected to generate $30 billion in revenue by 2020 and companies are hiring virtual reality engineers who can help them leverage the VR technologies that consumers will start to demand, such as virtually trying out furniture in their home before making a purchase. Other tech virtual reality roles organizations can expect to hire for include project managers and software engineers to help accomplish goals and ensure the VR technology is ready for release.  

 

As Silicon Valley blazes the trail for tech innovation, we can better assess which tech talent will be in high demand as tech trends become mainstream. As talent demands shift with the tech trends, candidates and organizations alike must adapt with the new trends in order to educate their teams on new tech skills to avoid skill gaps from widening. Organizations must also look beyond a candidate’s current skillset and assess a candidate based on his/her ability to learn new skills to grow with the organization and tech industry. Click here to view the latest open roles or click here to find tech candidates with new tech skill sets.