With 2015 now ended, it’s time for IT candidates to turn their attention to the possibilities 2016 will offer. Which jobs will be most in-demand in 2016?


The new year brings new opportunities, and the ever-evolving IT world is likely to have a whole host of in-demand jobs for candidates to focus their attention on.

Whether people are seeking their debut role in the industry or looking to dip their toes into a new sector, there are a number of emerging trends, technologies and roles that will provide a valuable focus for IT candidates in 2016.

The  holiday period is the perfect time for people to review their CV and LinkedIn profile, and assess what 2016 might bring. If 2015 is anything to go by, next year is likely to see even further development in what is already one of the world’s most exciting industries.

Big data analytics demands capable professionals

Now more than ever, data is becoming increasingly valuable to businesses. The sheer number of digital interaction organisations have with staff, clients and customers means they now have large volumes of data to mine to discover the trends that have defined their business in the past and what this means for the future.

According to Microsoft, this realisation that businesses can gain significant value from making effective use of their data will encourage them to seek professionals who are adept at supporting these demands.

The firm reported that data scientists and data engineers will be the two professions demanding the most significant attention in the new year. Not only do businesses need to be able to read and interpret the data, they need to be able to construct the necessary infrastructure that allows for data collection that is effective, tidy and secure.

Microsoft believes these tasks will become increasingly important and more challenging in 2016 as businesses begin to draw a larger amount of data from wider – and not always connected – sources.

Security remains a key concern

As with most facets of the IT industry, cybersecurity depends on much more than just investing in new technology. Organisations looking to protect data assets that are becoming significantly valuable – both to themselves and hackers – need to ensure they have the personnel necessary to back up these concerns.

KPMG investigated the state of cybersecurity at an executive level in Australia, finding that while many of the country’s CEOs acknowledge the need to make it a priority, only a limited number are aware of how to put these plans into action.

In these cases, security consultants or administrators could be the difference between a business that is able to operate securely and one whose assets are compromised. KPMG noted that Australia is behind the international average when it comes to being prepared for cybersecurity. According to the consultancy, the global average is 50 per cent. In comparison, little more than one-third (35 per cent) of Australian CEOs believe they have a handle on IT security.

KPMG found that 40 per cent of survey respondents indicated that chief information officers (CIO) will become more important to organisations, a trend that could provide a pathway for IT candidates to make it to the C-Suite.

App development opportunities continue to rise

Anyone who has owned a smartphone in the past few years will be familiar with a range of apps that cause significant public interest, earning their creators significant financial and social media attention.

Games such as Flappy Bird and the social media sensation that is Snapchat quickly became must-have apps for the world’s population. While smartphone app development will remain a key role for IT candidates to perform in 2016, the market saturation on these devices means that jobseekers trying to make the biggest splash should be looking elsewhere.

The rising popularity of wearable technology such as fitness wear and smartwatches are offering entire new platforms for software developers to practice their talents.

According to IDC, these platforms are still missing their own version of Flappy Bird or Snapchat, apps that draw significant media attention and may even convince people to purchase their own device.

Research Vice President John Jackson is expecting the Apple Watch to lead they way in this area, as it’s likely to be the device that secures the largest share of both consumer and developer interest.

“It has been clear since well before it was launched that the Apple Watch, with the WatchKit SDK, is poised to set a tone for the broader market,” he explained.

“To succeed in what we expect will quickly become a very crowded category, consumer-oriented app developers need to focus on intelligent service delivery and ‘always on you’ experiences that leverage the human factor improvements that smart wearable devices offer.”

While these are some of the developments expected to influence larger organisations in 2016, it’s also worth including the role startup organisations play in creating jobs for the IT industry. The agile nature of these companies gives them greater freedom when approaching emerging trends, and may lead to the creation of new industries or jobs.