The global smart city market will hit USD 820.7 billion by 2025. The proliferation of smart cities worldwide leads to some skills becoming highly sought. This trend will also spur the development of new smart city careers and create millions of technical jobs. New academic and professional specializations in different domains will also come up.
Below are the top smart city jobs of the future.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Scientist
As smart cities leverage IoT infrastructure to collect traffic, weather, human and other data and analyze it with third-party applications to create more value, the AI and ML scientist’s role will be central to improving the quality of life of city residents and the creation of new revenue streams. In a smart city, machine learning is core to how people work, interact, learn, and consume information.
- Data Scientist
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Data Scientist?” Sexy is probably the last thing you are thinking. Well, think again, this career is the sexiest job of the 21st century. And, why not? After all, smart cities exist because of data. Data scientists transform human expertise and judgments into ML models capable of taking complex problems, “reasoning,” and applying a solution. Data Scientists will unravel city data to find trends and solve city problems that could involve anything from figuring out traffic gridlocks’ causes to how big the city’s sewer pipes need to be.
Data scientists’ demand is already off the charts, and the trend will continue for many years. Between 2016 and 2026, Data Science careers will grow by 27.9 percent.
- Cybersecurity Analyst/IT Security Consultant
Big data and The Internet of Things (IoT) have opened new possibilities that we would not have dreamed possible a few years ago. But, with greater connectivity comes increased security risks. Smart cities will need to invest heavily in network security. They need to ensure they and their citizens are not at risk of hacking. Future terrorists will likely try to hack traffic and energy systems and trigger a disaster; criminals are also likely to target city systems and demand ransom payments. Private companies and individuals will also be at risk of hacking and data theft. All this points to an increase in demand for IT security professionals. The need for cybersecurity professionals is great. By 2022, there will 1.8 million unfilled positions.
- App or Software Developer
Service delivery in smart cities will mostly be de using the web and mobile applications. Software-as-a-Service will be ubiquitous. It isn’t surprising that app and software developers will be in great demand in smart cities. These professionals will create applications that contemporary city problems, develop new solutions to existing problems, and create applications that connect IoT devices.
- Network Support Engineer
Wired and wireless networks will play a central role in smart cities. Connectivity will make cities run. Networks will therefore need to be fast and reliable. Therefore, people who can troubleshoot and solve network problems will be in high demand. The network engineer will also help identify and pick the city’s best technology.
- Civil Engineer
The role of the civil engineer in a smart city will become more technical. Civil engineers traditionally rely on cranes, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment to reshape urban landscapes. But, in smart cities, they will also use other tools when planning cities. They will need to account for network blind spots, green spaces, natural lighting, and many other factors. Civil engineering courses will likely introduce networking and environmental topics into course content to ensure the future civil engineer is well-versed in essential smart city technologies.
- Digital Marketer
When you fire up Facebook, Instagram and carry out a Google search, or even when you check your email, most of what you see is the work of digital marketers. A digital marketer takes care of a client’s web presence and drives the entire online marketing effort. In smart cities, most people will work from home and shop online. By 2025, it is estimated that online grocery sales will hit $250 billion. With greater numbers of people working from home and shopping online, manufacturers, retailers, and service providers will need skilled digital marketers to develop and run marketing campaigns.
- Geospatial and Mapping Scientist
These professionals will use Geographic information systems (GIS) to analyze geographic data and come with solutions to observed mapping and geospatial trends. These systems are necessary because autonomous driving will be one of the critical technologies in smart cities. Geospatial and mapping scientists will design and test autonomous driving algorithms and create prototypes.
- Energy Efficiency Engineer
Energy-efficient buildings are a vital feature in smart cities. Cities will be expected to be energy efficient and use clean energy sources. To meet this objective, cities and private companies will need energy efficiency engineers. These professionals will manage energy consumption for sustainability.
- Cloud Architect
Solution providers will have high demands for smart city applications to manage lighting, parking, utilities, sensors, and other assets. These applications will need to be “always on” and available. But there will be a vital need to rationalize different applications and have a single cloud platform that integrates with a smart city’s applications. This need will drive the demand for cloud architects.
- Experiential Officers
A city cannot be termed “smart” if the residents feel their needs remain unmet and their quality of life hasn’t improved. This is why smart city ranking indices such as the Smart City 2020 Index by IMD Business School come up with a ranking after surveying city residents. The residents’ experience and sentiments in a smart city means a lot. Smart cities will therefore invest heavily in experiential officers’ teams to conduct surveys to determine if the urban experience is satisfactory to city residents and if city initiatives are improving their quality of life.
- Integration Engineer
These technicians will work with various systems, share information, and use data from one system to drive another. For example, weather sensors in street lamps can generate work orders for snowplows. Integration engineers will be in great demand because systems will need to integrate to provide meaningful solutions.
Conclusion: Smart City Jobs
These smart city jobs are a few examples of how the demand for smart city jobs is likely to evolve. However, there will be surprises in totally new careers coming up and the amalgamation of some professions into one. There will be a lot of redundancies. Technological progress creates demand for new skillsets and renders old skill sets obsolete. For example, almost 500,000 jobs in New York City are at risk of automation. People at risk can protect themselves from redundancy by retraining. Numerous online courses present affordable and convenient ways to upscale your skills. Examples include Udemy, Coursera, Datacamp, and many others. If you are in an occupation at risk of automation, acquiring the skills needed by smart cities will ensure you make a lateral move or a total career change.