The last ten years have brought more developments to the tech industry than at any other point in our history. From major developments like social media platforms and personal drones to smaller innovations like touch screens, the world looks completely different than it did at the turn of the 20th century.
One of the most pressing questions that people around the globe have been asking is, “How can I make money from this?” There certainly is plenty to be made. A report by Inc.com revealed that the combined assets of Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook total more than $3.5 trillion. That’s more than the GDP rate of the United Kingdom.
And the money train isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Below are three tech trends that will continue to grow in the near future, and that you can use to start earning a healthy income for yourself right now.
Best Emerging Technology Trends
1. The Shift Towards Online Commerce (E-commerce)
2018 was a watershed year for the online sales sector for several reasons. Adobe Analytics released a report that made some startling revelations based on Black Friday sales this past year:
- Online Black Friday sales brought in an estimated $6.22 billion, increasing 23.6% from the previous year, and setting a new record
- More than 30% of online Black Friday sales were made using a smartphone, another new record
- Cyber Monday set similar trends, with $7.9 billion in online sales, $2.2 billion of which came from smartphones
In addition, Statista released a report which shows online transactions accounted for 10% of all retail sales in 2018. That number is expected to reach 14% by 2021.
Brick and Mortar is Losing Ground
All these figures lead to one irrefutable conclusion – shoppers are moving away from in-store transactions and shifting online. As this trend continues, I predict that more companies will start to close their retail locations and shift their services into the digital domain exclusively. For people trying to make a living in retail, they’ll either have to adapt to online trends, move to a more traditional company, or change industries.
Make Money in the Digital Space
With the shift toward online commerce and the decline of traditional stores, the smart entrepreneur will develop a business model that uses the Internet as its primary sales tool. If you want to capitalize on this trend, you need to register a website for your business, set up an online store, and move your business into the digital domain.
2. The Development of Smarter, Faster AI
There was a time when artificial intelligence was something both completely outside the realm of possibility and something to fear. Films like The Terminator and The Matrix envisioned worlds where AI systems sought to either enslave or eliminate the human race. Now that AI is becoming more commonplace, the only battle we’re fighting with it is when Alexa or Siri won’t turn on the TV as we asked them to.
Using AI to Utilize Big Data
Of all the various sectors gaining ground in the field of AI, the trend of using AIs to analyze, understand and apply big data holds the most promise. Companies all over the world, both in and out of the tech industry, have come to rely on big data for major business decisions. They use data to make decisions regarding purchasing, sales, trends, and strategy.
Writing for Forbes, Daniel Newman estimated that out of the 99% of available data in the world, humans only use about 1% to its maximum potential. That’s a problem. With a growing reliance on using numbers to determine what a Millennial college student is going to buy in a year, companies have to be able to utilize more.
How to Use AI to Your Advantage?
There are three primary areas where AI as a money-making venture is something to strongly consider for yourself. Towards Data Science listed them as:
- AI chips being produced by NVIDIA, AMD, IBM, and Qualcomm
- Platforms and infrastructure that support automated functions, like those hosted by Google, Could Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud
- Models and algorithms, like those being developed by Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, and others
If you want to earn a healthy income with AI, take a development position with one of these tech giants.
3. A Growing Concern with Cyber security and Privacy
If you keep up with current events, you may remember that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had to testify before Congress in April last year. The reason? Cambridge Analytica had used user data provided by Facebook to influence the campaign by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. And they did it without getting those users’ permission.
That was just the start. A report by CNN from December revealed that Facebook had also allowed other companies like Amazon and Spotify, as well as overseas companies like China’s Huawei and Russia’s Yandex, to view users’ data, including their private messages. It sparked outrage and had people demanding to know just how “private” their private data really is.
Privacy Settings Aren’t the Only Concern
As if that wasn’t enough, what Facebook did, while not moral by any stretch of the imagination, may not have been completely illegal. That debate is still ongoing. What is 100% illegal, and growing in number each year, is the number of cyber security breaches happening all over the world.
As reported by Wired, one of the worst in recent memory occurred in 2017, when Russian hacking groups hacked the U.S. power grid. While nothing bad came of it, analysist’s later determined that the hackers had access to the controls to turn off the entire grid. That could have caused widespread chaos, the economy to crumble, and untold numbers of people to lose their lives.
Better Security Will Come to the Forefront
For the person looking to capitalize on emerging tech trends, cyber security is always going to be a safe bet. Short of a catastrophe that sends us back to the stone age, there’s always going to be a need for cyber security, and that need will continue to grow.
And companies are ready to pay top dollar for specialists who can meet the growing demand. Zip Recruiter claims that an entry-level cyber security specialist can expect to make $79,500, while an industry veteran can make upwards of $122,500. Some fields you can explore within cyber security include:
- Systems architecture
- Security consultancy
- Penetration tester/ethical hacking
- Information security
The possibilities are extensive and they’ll always be around. The only decision you have to make is where your interests primarily lie.