This time of year industries across the business world begin prognosticating about where their industry is going. Although this may be a fun water cooler chat exercise, billions of dollars of growth can be won or lost by catching or missing an emerging trend. Although if people could accurately predict the future, lotteries would become obsolete, here are a few predictions on the where the expansion of the IT workforce will proceed for 2018 and beyond.

Coders stepping into the light. Although the word “coder” may invoke images of a bright screen in a dark room, the sound or relentless typing and the odor of Red Bull, their world may begin to brighten. A 40% expansion of IT professionals with previous customer service experience, or whose IT career will force greater personal customer interaction is foretold. A rebound from classic insulated IT appears on the horizon, making soft skills like customer service more in demand.

Bot baby boom. More development effort is expected to fuel a 50% increase in the creation of bots vs. mobile apps. Although the application of bots is varied, fundamentally you have programs that serve programs vs. mobile apps that serve people. The IT industry is expanding the sections of its world that consumers don’t interact with at a fundamental level, but may nevertheless see positive results in their daily lives.

Cybersecurity still playing catch-up. Up to 50% of IoT cybersecurity spending is expected to be in remediation instead of innovation. A rise in cybersecurity professionals is expected to continue through 2018 and continue until all threats are met, or the ending of the world. Whichever comes first.

Predicting trends in IT has great risks and rewards for companies as well as individuals looking to spend their resources to become a valuable IT hire. Demand for cybersecurity experts as well as a continuing dearth of AI engineers continues to plague the exponential growth the IT industry is capable of. When looking for your next opportunity in IT, rely on the expertise of your recruiter who has their finger on the pulse of the industry you seek to serve.