No matter where you are, people around you are captivated by their smartphones and tablets. There is no longer casual conversation among strangers as they wait in line; no observation of what’s happening nearby or acknowledgement of their surroundings as they walk by. In today’s society, it’s all about the data streaming across our screens. Messages, movies, games, and apps clamor for our attention. The whole world is in our hands, no matter where on earth we are. As long as we can get a signal, that is.
Cisco, the technology giant that first invented the multi-protocol router, is engaged in an ongoing initiative that tracks and forecasts visual mobile data traffic projections and trends. Results of their most recent Visual Networking Index (VNI) study indicates that mobile traffic grew by 70 percent in 2012 alone.
That amount of mobile data, 885 petabytes per month, equates to almost twelve times the total volume of Internet data that was shared in all of 2000. It was anticipated that by the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices in the world would be larger than the entire population of the planet.
Mobile Device Manufacturing
The global boom in smartphone and tablet usage has created a worldwide expansion of manufacturing jobs, from component fabrication to final assembly. This has been especially true for product suppliers like Jabil and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.), which continue to experience growth in distributing chipsets, electronic sub-assemblies, and other vital parts to smartphone and tablet makers.
Other companies are refocusing their manufacturing operations to remain competitive in a changing market. This is a strategic and necessary move for an organization like Intel, which has seen shrinking demand for its PC components. The PC market has traditionally made up two-thirds of Intel’s business. However, as PCs give way to mobile devices, Intel acknowledges the need to expand its portfolio to include new investments in chip manufacturing for mobile devices.
Mobile Application Development
Almost 500,000 new application development jobs were created as of 2012. Pretty impressive for a career field that didn’t even exist five years ago.
ITCareerFinder.com published a guide to the “Best Computer Jobs for the Future” as based on the input of subject matter experts and technology executives, as well as data on information technology hiring trends. Mobile application developer was consistently identified as the number one career choice in terms of growth potential and compensation. Jobs pay an average salary of $95,000, with an anticipated growth rate of 32 percent through the year 2020. Demand for talent currently outstrips the available supply of qualified programmers and engineers.
The applications development industry also has a need for marketing experts, graphic designers, content writers, researchers, and other support staff. The gaming sector can be a serious career option for individuals with technical competency and the imagination to create in-depth plots, characters, and scenery.
Mobile Device Engineering
Similar to the computer manufacturing sector, hardware design and development has shifted away from PCs toward mobile devices. From Apple and Microsoft, to Google and Facebook, the biggest names in the information technology world are eager to engineer the newest and most feature-filled device to capture the consumer market.
Hardware experts who want to be on the cutting-edge of mobile device engineering should explore the fast-emerging world of wearable computers. ABI Research identifies seven categories of devices that will define the future of mobile technology. These include wearable cameras, smart clothing, smart glasses, healthcare, sports and activity trackers, wearable 3D motion trackers, and smartphone compatible watches. Expect to see Google Glass and the iWatch on a human near you in the months to come.
Laura Mingo writes about topics of interest to higher education students. In particular, she covers IT careers and new technology as well as the latest trends driving the IT industry. Her aim is to empower university students in pursuit of an online master’s in computer information systems degree.