Up-and-Coming Technologies Career-Minded Women Should Know

Possessing technology skills has become essential for career advancement and entrepreneurial success in today’s world, so not surprisingly, successful women often possess strong tech skill sets. For instance, a growing number of women are finding success as CIOs, a recent Deloitte study shows. Among Fortune 500 companies, 17 percent of CIOs are women, a number that rises to 22 percent among Fortune 100 companies. Women interviewed for the survey say their unique combination of technical and business skills with soft skills such as emotional intelligence and creativity often makes them more successful at IT than their male counterparts. Women who succeed in technical fields are also going on to promote tech skills among other women.

If you’re a career-minded woman or woman entrepreneur, improving your tech skill set can be a key to getting ahead. Here’s a look at three up-and-coming technologies that will become increasingly important over the next five years that you should be familiar with.

1. 5G Wireless Technology

One of the most revolutionary innovations on the horizon is fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology. The successor to 4G wireless networks, 5G will deliver download and upload speeds that make today’s fastest connections seem slow. For instance, 5G simulation tests recently conducted in San Francisco yielded median download speeds of 1.4 Gbps, equivalent to 20 times faster than 4G.

The 5G technology will become a commercial reality in 2019, says Qualcomm, as telecommunications providers prepare to launch limited rollouts to select cities late this year. This connectivity will power a wide range of other technologies that depend on high-speed connections, including collaborative workspaces, smart logistics and autonomous vehicles, adding trillions of dollars to the global economy in the coming decades.

2. AI Machine Learning

One important technology 5G will help support is machine learning. Empowered by artificial intelligence, machine learning uses statistical analysis to identify patterns in data, build models matching data and progressively improve matches between models and data sets, “learning” from the data. This enables computers and smartphones to perform a range of powerful applications, from image and speech recognition to making accurate predictive models of marketing and financial trends.

While the large computational power required for machine learning once needed support from local or remote computers, mobile devices have now become capable of machine learning applications thanks to a couple new innovations. Fifth generation technology will make it possible for mobile devices to rapidly process machine learning input from the cloud or edge networks. Meanwhile, the accelerating speed of mobile processors has enabled the latest smartphones to support on-device machine learning not requiring a cloud connection. By 2022, 80 percent of smartphones will support AI and machine learning, Gartner predicts. Upgrading to a smartphone with on-device AI capability can give you a head start on leveraging the power of machine learning.

3. Virtual Reality

Fifth-generation tech and on-device machine learning provide support for another important emerging technology, virtual reality (VR). Through the use of special headsets such as Oculus Rift, VR enables users to experience an immersive environment that combines audiovisual input with a sense of motion. For instance, a home buyer considering a property can take a virtual tour of the property from a remote location that looks and feels like they’re walking through the house.

Virtual reality is already emerging as an important sales tool, and as 5G networks roll out, network speeds will become fast enough for the entertainment and advertising industries to begin offering streaming virtual reality feeds. You can get ready for virtual reality by buying a VR headset, which come in two main varieties: tethered and mobile. Tethered headsets can be run from a computer, allowing applications that require more computing power, while mobile headsets provide a slot for inserting your smartphone so that you can experience VR from any location.