Why the UK needs more IoT experts

Last updated: 29 October 2019

The rise of the IoT is continuing at an unprecedented pace. It’s already being referred to as “the next Industrial Revolution” due to the way it’s changing so much about our daily lives – from the way we work, travel, entertain, authenticate and more. Recent predictions are now estimating that a staggering 50 billion connected devices will be in play by 2020, more than double previous estimates from Gartner.

When you bear all this mind and consider how the IoT and connected living is undoubtedly the future, it’s not surprising we’re already seeing a considerable increase in the demand for IoT-skilled people. Recent analysis from Gemalto has revealed how the number of open positions in the UK for jobs requiring IoT skills has gone up 70% over the past year, rising an eye-catching 120 places in the IT job rankings.

There are many reasons why this is happening – in particular, as pointed out by IT Jobs Watch, it’s mainly down to a growth in the number of connected devices in the market now and the implementation of smart city projects. Smart city projects are now firmly on the UK’s radar, and I’m pleased to say there’s recognition that IoT technology can help cities in the UK (even exceptionally large cities such as London) overcome difficult challenges such as over population, pollution and transport.

A good example of how the UK is embracing this smart city revolution can be seen in Bristol where a project named ‘Bristol is Open’ is now in effect, with the help of funding from both the UK government and European Union. The project is a joint venture from the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council and is focused on exploring how integrated IoT technology can be used to improve life in the city, which faces as many problems as any other city similar in size. And this is just one of many similar projects in the UK – there are now initiatives in Glasgow, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, and at London City Airport to name a few examples.

When you combine this smart city movement with the ever-growing number and demand for connected devices in the market, it really is no wonder why there’s been such an increase in IoT-skilled job positions. Somebody’s got to make sure all these projects and devices in the UK work properly!

We’ve also seen an introduction of new roles in this space, such as the IoT Architect and IoT Engineer who will help companies discover the best way for them to tap into the IoT market. This is especially important now given the financial opportunities – the IoT Monetization market could be worth over $440 billion by 2022.

And let’s not forget about security – I’m pleased to see there’s also been an increased demand for cybersecurity skills. It’s clear businesses are recognizing how important IoT security is now and how the data we collect must be secured. For example, vacancies in the UK for cybersecurity roles rose by 73% over the last year. More specifically, companies are looking for more people who can build Security Architecture (a 43% rise in the last year) and also for Security Engineers (9% rise in the last year).

For more information on this surge in demand for IoT skills in the UK over the last 12 months, make sure you see check out the latest news of our analysis here.

And to get involved in the online debate, feel free to tweet to us at @Gemalto or @GemaltoMobile with your thoughts on the IoT revolution.