Demand for Wearable Technology Skills Grows

Last week, I highlighted that Google Glass has been appearing in job ads as demand is increasing for candidates that can work on the technology or perform duties with the device. Google Glass is just one of the wearable devices that is or will be hitting the market.

Additionally, Google is releasing a SmartWatch made by LG, Samsung, and Motorola that runs on the Android Wear operating system. This device will be competing with Apple's iWatch that runs on iOS.

According to Seth Rosenblatt, a Senior Writer at CNET, one research firm predicted that in 2014 wearables will be worth 1.4 billion and in 2018 (just 4 years away) the market will be worth $19 billion.

In a different, but related facet, Disney has even gotten into the wearable game with their wristband system, MyMagic+ MagicBands, that allows visitors to customize their experience, including making payments and accessing reservations. Ford is also making use of wearable technology by linking wrist devices to cars to inform the vehicle of your biometric status, which is intended to create a more pleasing experience and a safer environment. This is just a portion of the companies that plan to or are implementing this technology. With wearables emerging in the market, what does demand look like for wearable technology in general?

In May 2014, 1,018 ads referred to wearables, according to data from WANTED Analyticsthe leading source of real-time business intelligence for the talent marketplace. Compared to May 2013, the term wearable has appeared in 150% more job ads. Intel had the highest number of job listings requiring candidates to work on or with this technology. Zoll, Nike, and Microsoft were also among the companies with the most demand for candidates familiar with wearable technology.

Companies that Require Candidates to Work with Wearable Technology


Of course, you would expect to see some tech companies, like Intel and Microsoft, among the businesses that most commonly require candidates to work with wearables. It's interesting that there is also some retail companies, as well as learning institutions, among the employers advertising for wearable knowledge. We looked into some of the job ads to gain some insight into how they're working with wearable technology.

How Companies and Employees Are Working with Wearable Technology 
(Based on information listed in job ads.)

For Transportation and Material Mover and Administrative jobs, L'Oreal prefers candidates that have the ability to learn use of computer and radio frequency devices (RF gun or wearable wrist scanner).

Nike is hiring Software Engineers to work on an array of consumer facing products, including wearable devices, gaming systems, and many more new, innovative platforms.

Harvard is looking for Engineers and Apparel Designers to work on wearable robotic systems through mobile devices in a clinical setting.

WHOOP pairs proprietary physiological monitors with an online health diagnostic. They list wearable as one of their employment benefits. "We offer an exciting, young startup environment and offer perks such as subsidized gym membership, team dinners, wearable tech and happy hour Fridays, along with medical benefits, 401k plan, and commuter benefits."

The jobs that mostly require candidates to have familiarity with wearable technology include Software Developers (Applications and Systems Software), Marketing Managers, Web Developers, and Electrical Engineers. According to WANTED Analytics candidate supply data, there are about 16 qualified candidates in the US workforce per wearable technology job opening. On average, recruiting someone with wearable experience is likely to be somewhat difficult, scoring a 67 on our Hiring Scale. Our Hiring Scale score ranges from 1 to 99, with 99 indicating hardest-to-fill. The degree of hiring difficulty is likely to vary depending on the position being recruited. Marketing Managers with wearable experience score a 92. Software Developers with wearable knowledge score an 82 and Electrical Engineers score a 65.

Source: WANTED Analytics

Keep in mind that location is also likely to impact Hiring Scale scores. If you would like to know what a particular location scores, visit WANTED Analytics to find out how or let me know in the comments and I will look it up for you. 

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Comment by Matt Charney on July 1, 2014 at 10:00am

Here's what I don't get: is screening for wearable tech skills discriminatory against people with disabilities?  Like, an amputee couldn't wear a smart watch...

Comment by Ashley Zito Rowe on July 1, 2014 at 10:10am

That's a really good point! If you're blind, you can't make use of Google Glass. Instead, maybe they could benefit with an earpiece where much of that data has been made audible (but someone would have to make it.) Aside from screening candidates, that's something to consider for consumers. If these devices will be used for healthcare purposes, adapting to different physical needs is a necessity.

Comment by Anna Brekka on July 1, 2014 at 4:35pm

Very cool and good point Matt.

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 1, 2014 at 5:49pm

Thanks, Ashley.I read on a n interesting non-recruiting blog a discussion of the ramifications of driverless cars, or "automobiles" as I call them. What was relevant to our diuscussion are the following point that anything connected to the internet can be:

1) Hacked to do something you/the creators don't want it to do or

2) Used to spy on *YOU.

Here's a "fun" idea: the GOOG starts giving away GGs to people, in return for a nice little continuous stream of advertising in the lower portion of one of your visual fields, carefully oriented toward what you happen to be looking at....



*Do you think that maybe Google's NSA partner might find being able to see what you see (either  to spy on you or to unknowingly spy on others) be useful. Naaah, intelligence agencies would NEVER do something like that, except, in fiction....

Comment by Ashley Zito Rowe on July 2, 2014 at 9:42am

Keith, that's also a really good point! That crossed my mind as I read an article about the Internet of Things. If your phone, watch, glasses, or whatever device is connected to your house and someone hacks into that software, then you can be a prisoner of your own home, or the opposite or who knows what. While fascinating, tech is getting a little scary. My guess is as these devices become more prominent, demand for cyber security professionals will continue to grow.

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 2, 2014 at 8:02pm

Thanks, Ashley. It's kinda funny: we get more and more cyber-security, but get less and less cyber-secure....


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