There is no sector as disruptive, destructive and ripe with opportunity as tech. Companies often create new products in stealth mode, and shape their business model surreptitiously to gain an edge over competitors. Those that try and predict the future of tech are often made to look silly, but there are specific niches and companies that hold a lot of promise. From there we can make some educated guesses as to where there will be skills shortages and spikes in demand for employees.

Saas/Paas/Iaas type companies are in full bloom because consumers and companies are demanding a pay-per-use model of technology and associated services. Many of these companies depend on cloud services, and their ability to secure those offerings, so we can expect cybersecurity to have a bright outlook as well. All the smart folks at Gartner, McKinsey and the Economist expect exponential growth for cybersec jobs, and Forbes claimed that one million jobs were being added globally in this niche in 2016.

Within that world, startups like Bitglass , which was recognized as best cybersecurity startup at the Cybersecurity Excellence Awards, are sometimes competing for talent with more established tech and defense/aerospace firms, from IBM to Lockheed Martin. The Bureau of Labour Statistics in the US projects annual jobs growth in this sector to remain above 35% until 2022.

Among the skills needed for cybersecurity jobs are incident handling and response, audit and compliance, firewall/IDS/IPS skills, intrusion detection, analytics and intelligence. Increasing numbers of higher education institutions are providing training and courses, along with major tech firms such as Microsoft and Cisco.

The world of IoT is already upon us. Everything connected to everything might sound like an apocalyptic reminder of John Connor fighting off the machines as Skynet becomes self-aware, but the fact of the matter is the Internet of Things is just starting to reveal its potential. Ireland is fast becoming the city to watch for start-ups using IoT. Dublin based Smartfrog is in the IoT video surveillance space, and growing at a very impressive clip, while US based Nest Labs, Sigfox and SmartThings are among the most well regarded. Typical skills required in this niche include mobile development, machine learning, big data and embedded systems engineering.