Hybrid tech sectors such as AgriTech and MedTech see surge in opportunities during COVID-19 outbreak

  • The number of new start-ups in tech and tech-adjacent fields has seen a spike during the COVID-19 lockdown as demand for remote solutions soars and entrepreneurs take their shots.

    Though jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak and many workers are currently furloughed from their jobs, new figures from professional recruitment specialists Robert Walters suggest that job creation has actually spiked in the tech sector throughout the first third of the year. The increase has been driven by a surge in demand for qualified staff in "hybrid tech" fields such as EdTech, MedTech, AgriTech, and Telecoms.

    Part of the rise may be due to people being stuck at home and having the time available to pursue an idea for a new tech product. Demand for MedTech has obviously risen as millions is being poured into the search for potential treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, and demand is sure to rise for remote healthcare systems such as local firm Kinsetsu's IoT sensor tech that keeps the elderly safe in their own home and HSL's new NI remote healthcare platform.

    Remote education solutions have understandably become a top priority for parents and schools across the country, and a shortage of workers in the Agriculture industry has also driven adoption of automation and sensor tech for the Agriculture industry. Tools such as Northern Irish AgriTech solution CropSafe that replaces costly field inspections with AI-analysed satellite imagery could help manage the current crisis in agriculture.

    "Thanks to a strong talent pool and foundation in investment, the UK is in a very strong position globally to be able to continue on its trajectory," explained Tom Chambers, Senior Manager - Technology at Robert Walters. "The current climate will be a hotbed for tech-savvy, entrepreneurial minds to launch or grow their business. These individuals may have no training at all in medicine, farming, or education, but bring expertise in data science and analytics, computing and behavioural economics."


    What are the most in-demand hybrid tech jobs right now?

    Based on its recruitment data, Robert Walters has identified the five job roles in each hybrid tech sector that it expects to be in high demand in 2020:


    "What the Covid-19 outbreak very quickly highlighted to the UK (and western/developed countries) is how education is one of the most traditional industries in the world – having not transformed its delivery methods in the last 100 years. Lack of resources, limited funding, poor teaching facilities and inadequate infrastructure in developing countries has resulted in them actually being the early adopters of disruptive edtech – from virtual classrooms, to e-learning and gamification." - Tom Chambers

    1. Data Scientists

    2. Software Engineers 

    3. UX & UI Specialists 

    4. Product Specialists 

    5. Go to Market Executives 


    "The healthtech industry has been growing in the UK, driven predominantly by the ‘enablers’ of digital health innovation – the government. The effects of an ageing population and a financially-strained NHS, have encouraged the NHS and government to take a data-driven approach to treating and preventing long term conditions and also transform how we access care. All of this activity in the UK has meant that investment has skyrocketed in the past five years, growing by 131%." - Tom Chambers

    1. Data Scientists

    2. Software Engineers

    3. UX & UI Specialists

    4. DSP Specialists

    5. Product Managers


    "The implementation of technology into the agricultural, farming, food and supply chain industry is becoming more and more important. Covid-19 is putting pressure on the UK agricultural industry to redefine its farming and food supply chains, and to accelerate the pace at which it commercialises and adopts new agritech innovations to deliver sustainable change." - Tom Chambers

    1. Data Scientists

    2. Software Engineers

    3. UX & UI Specialists

    4. Machine Learning Engineers

    5. Computer Vision Specialists


    "Where we are seeing the biggest need for improved tech in this area is ‘communication at scale’. Customer-facing firms – in particular those who rely on call-centres as a touch point – are under immense pressure to improve their communication systems, reduce wait times, and speed-up access to vital information." - Tom Chambers

    1. Data Software Engineer

    2. Machine Learning Experts

    3. UX & UI Specialists

    4. Natural Language Processing Specialists

    5. Geospatial specialist

    Source: Written based on press release

    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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