Hiring the best in automation, AI, and cybersecurity will be at the forefront of employers’ minds when they head back to work after the Christmas break.

Career-oriented social media platform, LinkedIn, has crunched the numbers to determine the top emerging jobs in Australia for 2020.

Using a data pool of more than 10 million Australian LinkedIn profiles, the social media company found that IT-related roles are seeing the “tremendous growth”.

The number one emerging role is AI Specialist.

Recognising the need for AI experts is consistent with research from the CSIRO that found Australia needs another 160,000 AI specialists in the coming decade.

Along with a deep understanding of AI ethics principles, a specialist in the field of AI has technical knowledge in machine learning through Python along with an understanding of the TensorFlow platform.

Other fields of automation also get the nod in LinkedIn’s report with Marketing Automation Specialist and engineers who can build Robotics Process Automation software coming in at number 3 and 4 respectively.

Nir Gabay, founder of ASX-listed communications company Elsight, says the LinkedIn report reflects how automation is changing the future of work.

“Advancements in opportunities across AI and automation in Australia’s jobs landscape will have considerable flow-on effects to the rise of high-growth industries like autonomous vehicles and drones, and growing levels of investment activity in these sectors,” Gabay said.

“What is left now is for AI and automation to become the centrepiece of our cohesive vision for a modern interconnected workforce brimming with innovation and creativity.”

Elsight CEO and founder, Nir Gabay

Cybersecurity specialist is the second-most emerging field – which is no surprise given a dearth of cyber experts that has left recruiters finding it difficult to fill roles.

Data Scientist sits within the top ten emerging jobs for next year, matching up with previous reports that put the role as among the most in-demand for 2020.

Other roles on the list like Product Owner and Customer Success Specialist help bridge the gap between front-and-back end production.

Peter Bateson, General Manager of NSW for recruiter Halcyon Knights, said the LinkedIn report is consistent with what he hears from the industry.

“There is the expected growth in core tech jobs like Cybersecurity Specialist or Data Scientist but what is worth noting is the increased demand for talent who can bridge the gap between complex and evolving technological concepts and customer or client services,” Bateson said.

Peter Bateson from Halcyon Knights

“In expanding digital environments, with progressively sophisticated technology, we need to be increasingly human to be able to compete and to work effectively.

“We predict that emerging roles like Growth Manager or Service Designer will be the next wave in the battle for tech talent.”

ACS President, Yohan Ramasundara, said LinkedIn’s report points at lack of IT professionals.

“Looking at the range of skills required for those roles, it shows how acute Australia’s shortage is of qualified IT staff and how important it is that we invest and equip current workers and the next generation with the know-how required for contemporary industries,” Ramasundara said.

“That AI-related roles make up the list’s top five spots, it shows how critical artificial intelligence is becoming to business functions which in turn underscores how important it is for governments and the private sector to understand the ethical implications of rolling out these technologies.”

ACS President, Yohan Ramasundara

“The human skills can’t be overlooked in the machine era and it’s telling that LinkedIn found so-called 'soft skills' are just as important for these tech roles as the ‘hard skills’ such as coding which are traditionally associated with the tech sector.”

For Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO at telehealth company Coviu, the number of tech jobs seeing growth should indicate the importance of education.

“We need to train students in schools and universities differently and require technology use across all areas to prepare them for industry,” Pfeiffer said.

“If you don't have technical skills, you better have outstanding human interaction skills because the number of available jobs will be reduced.”

Coviu CEO, Silvia Pfeiffer

“Even a customer success manager these days is required to explain technology to customers and help them be successful in their technology use.

“Digital transformation is happening everywhere, including in the healthcare industry. You simply cannot be afraid of technology anymore.”

The full list of LinkedIn’s top 15 emerging jobs of 2020 is:

  1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
  2. Cybersecurity Specialist
  3. Marketing Automation Specialist
  4. Robotics Engineer (Software)
  5. Site Reliability Engineer
  6. Customer Success Specialist
  7. Data Scientist
  8. Data Engineer
  9. Growth Manager
  10. Chief Strategy Officer
  11. Anti-money Laundering Specialist
  12. Product Owner
  13. Service Designer
  14. Full Stack Engineer
  15. Automation Consultant