min read

Top 10 Emerging Roles Recruiters Should Keep An Eye On

10 future jobs that are going to shake up recruitment.

September 29, 2020
Olly Keell
December 13, 2023

Over the past three years, we’ve seen unprecedented changes in the world of employment. Tech layoffs, the cost-of-living crisis, and the Great Resignation have reshuffled the deck across many industries. 

Last year, over 50 million people in the United States decided to leave their jobs as they sought out work-life balance and higher earnings and as of August 2023, the unemployment rate in the United States sits at 3.8%, making it lower than the all-time average of 5.71%. There is an abundance of jobs going for skilled workers.

So for recruiters to stay relevant in the job market, it's crucial to anticipate emerging jobs that are going to breed a new pool of candidates.

In this blog, we'll explore the top 10 in-demand jobs of the future that offer the most competitive salaries and are growing in popularity.

  1. Data Scientist
  2. AI/Machine Learning Engineer
  3. Cyber Security Analyst
  4. Cloud Engineer
  5. Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality Developer
  6. Robotics Engineer
  7. Sustainability Engineer
  8. Business Analyst
  9. Biotechnology Researcher
  10. Blockchain Engineer

1. Data Scientist

Average salary: $152,296*

Current candidate pool: 3.6m**

Data is the new gold, and organizations are hungry for accurate insights. Data analysts and scientists are in high demand as businesses seek to harness the power of big data. 

The role particularly consists of interpreting complex data sets, uncovering patterns, and providing actionable recommendations and insights to help businesses make better marketing, sales, and operational decisions.

With the growth of AI and Machine Learning, data-driven decision-making will be a cornerstone of business success.

2. AI/Machine Learning Engineer

Average salary: $160,970

Current candidate pool: 577,000

Since the launch of ChatGPT, there has already been a plethora of new AI systems that spawned from its creation. AI and ML are taking over as the world enters a more autonomous workforce. 

AI/ML engineers’ core responsibility is to develop and implement algorithms like Large Language Models (LLMs) that improve automation, optimize processes, and enhance decision-making for self-sufficient Artificial Intelligence systems. 

As AI applications expand into healthcare, finance, and beyond, the demand for skilled professionals in this field will skyrocket.

3. Cyber Security Analyst

Average salary: $97,140

Current candidate pool: 164,000

As the digital world continues to expand, so does the threat landscape. In September last year, the data of 11 million Optus customers were hacked and accessed in one of the biggest cyber security breaches in recent history.

Cyber security experts work to understand cyberattacks, malware, and the behavior of cybercriminals, and seek to prevent cyber attacks by deploying a range of technologies and processes to prevent, detect, and manage cyber threats.

With the increasing importance of online data protection and privacy as well as the the adoption of IoT devices, Cyber Security professionals will be pivotal in safeguarding digital assets.

4. Cloud Engineer 

Average salary: $141,928

Current candidate pool: 633,000

In the digital age, the cloud has become the backbone of modern IT infrastructure. Studies show that 94% of enterprises use cloud services.

Cloud engineers design, build, and maintain cloud-based solutions that enable organizations to store and manage data, run applications, and scale their operations efficiently. 

As more businesses transition to the cloud to reduce costs and improve flexibility, the demand for skilled cloud engineers is expected to soar.

Cloud engineers tend to work with cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud to ensure seamless and secure cloud operations for their employers or clients.

5. Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality Developer

Average salary: $149,000

Current candidate pool: 27,000

You’d be forgiven if you thought the Virtual Reality industry was only about VR headsets and 3D cinema. After all, the number of VR headset users in the US is around 57 million.

Virtual reality and Augmented reality are technologies that create virtual scenarios of real-life events in a controlled environment, providing little to no risk for the person involved. These technologies are increasingly being used in education, healthcare, the military, architecture, marketing, and more. 

VR and AR developers specialize in designing and implementing software applications for virtual environments that give users the experience of a virtual copycat in order to help them train and prepare for that scenario in real life - think of it like a doctor performing surgery but instead of using a real patient or dummy, they put a headset on and practice operating in somewhat of a more serious video game.

6. Robotics Engineer

Average salary: $105,955

Current candidate pool: 149,000

The notion that robots are going to take our jobs is slowly seeping into reality. The Times reports that up to 2 million manufacturing jobs are going to be replaced by robots by 2025. 

As a result, the field of robotics is experiencing rapid growth and innovation, and robotics engineers are on the frontline.

Robotics engineers design and build machines to do automated jobs in industries like manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace, and autonomous vehicles. Similar to an AI engineer but instead of creating software, they create hardware and machines that are used in real life.

As automation continues to transform industries, robotics engineers are in increasingly high demand to create and optimize robots that can perform human tasks.

7. Sustainability Engineer

Average salary: $92,877

Current candidate pool: 145,000

As global concerns about climate change and resource depletion continue to grow, sustainability engineers are becoming increasingly necessary in helping organizations create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world.

The role of a sustainability engineer is to research and implement sustainable practices within various industries that are adopting more eco-friendly practices. 

They have a broader understanding of technical, ecological, social, and economic systems and work on implementing procedures to help businesses minimize waste, use renewable energy sources, and reduce pollution.

The sustainability market is projected to hit over 60 billion dollars by 2030.

8. Business Analyst

Average salary: $82,270

Current candidate pool: 5.3m

A subset of data science, a business analyst gathers and interprets data to provide actionable insights that help businesses make informed decisions.

They work with data visualization tools, databases, and analytics software to create reports. They play a crucial role in identifying market trends and understanding customer behavior, making them the best friends of sales and marketing teams. 

As businesses continue to accumulate large sets of data, the need for business analysts is growing at a rapid speed.

9. Biotechnology Researcher

Average salary: $137,982

Current candidate pool: 674,000

Biotechnology is an emerging science-driven industry that is expanding due to technological advancements in the discovery of new drugs, medical devices, and therapies. 

Heavily backed by government organizations, the industry value is expected to hit $3 trillion

A biotechnology researcher is the driving factor behind any successful biotech company. Their job is to provide the initial research into biological science and technology and come up with the intel that leads to the discovery of new medicine, medical devices, agriculture, and other fields. 

You will often find them spending time in a lab studying the genomes of bacteria to develop new drugs or using genetic engineering to create new crops. 

10. Blockchain Engineer

Average salary: $151,163

Current candidate pool: 176,000

Blockchain technology has emerged as a disruptive force in a number of industries over the last decade and there are now over 420 million cryptocurrency users worldwide. 

Blockchain is a digital database that stores information blocks linked together via cryptography - an encrypted and secured communication.

It’s a system in which financial transactions can confirm themselves without the need for an external party, making it decentralized.

Blockchain engineers have basic technical skills in programming, data structures, and computer science but learn more advanced skills that are pertinent to Blockchain - like smart contracts and Solidity - as they are tasked with creating decentralized and secure digital ledgers that offer transparency, immutability, and trust in a wide range of applications.

As blockchain technology continues to gain traction in finance, healthcare, logistics, and other sectors, the demand for blockchain engineers is expected to grow significantly. 

In a job market brimming with opportunities, these roles are set to grow exponentially over the next decade. Staying informed about emerging roles is essential for recruiters to adapt to an ever-changing job market. 

Getting in there early can set you apart from the rest.

*Salary is based on Glassdoor’s estimate

** Current candidate pool is based on a LinkedIn general search on the term

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