Man with PC evolving
Evolving and emerging tech roles PHOTO: Shutterstock

If getting a more interesting job, a fatter pay check, or both, is on your to do list for 2018, you may be in luck because the Age of the Customer is creating a wealth of new expectations and opportunities. Not only that, but with the job market being as tight as it is at the moment, employers will also have to do one of two things to hire talent - offer better salaries or provide the resources needed for under-qualified workers to add needed skill sets.

What exactly are the hot jobs for customer experience and marketing professionals? What are the requirements, how much do these jobs pay, and what can you do if you don't currently have the skills but want in?

We've gathered data from U.S. Department of Labor, Internet job sites like,, Glassdoor and LinkedIn, perused employer websites and interviewed hiring managers to find out.

Chief Experience Officer

According to the IDC, the demand for CXO's is growing quickly, not only in terms of the number of new roles being created, but also in terms of their clout within the enterprise. Consider that by 2020 forty percent of Chief Digital Officers will report into Chief Experience Officers. Sales, marketing, IT and even human resources may report into this function as well.

The Challenge: Insuring that customers have a positive experience with your brand from the moment they first discover your product/service to the moment the product or service ceases to exist.

Typical Experience Required:

  • Expertise in leading digital transformation initiatives involving multiple operational areas.
  • Proven experience in influencing and winning buy-in from all levels of stakeholders and multidisciplinary teams based on a common organizational purpose
  • Established skills in project management to stimulate and lead activities around digital channels and marketing communications internally and via the media
  • Ability to report and communicate data through visual representations of data in dashboards
  • Analytical skills including statistical analysis skills to interpret, prepare, measure and report data
  • Solid track record in leading "Voice of the Customer" initiatives including survey methods and metrics
  • Bachelor’s degree, MBAs are generally preferred

Compensation: Looking at different sources, salaries range from $130k to well over $300k, as well as participation in executive bonus and equity programs.

What can marketers do to break into the field? Learn about content creation across all areas of media. Design thinking may be key. Stanford University's has a crash course and materials you can check out for free.

Digital Brand Manager

Internet job sites list 16,541 vacancies for digital brand managers in the United States. LinkedIn alone lists over 1000. According to eMarketer, total media ad spending will top $205.06 billion this year, with 40.5 percent of outlays going to digital channels. By 2021 that number is predicted to rise to 51.3 percent.

The challenge: Help set and implement the digital vision and strategy for company brands across all digital channels. This includes, but is not limited to, growing brand awareness, overseeing digital platform development, content creation, storytelling, social media, personalization and more.

Typical Experience Required:

  • 7 or more years of experience working in house or in an agency environment in areas of corporate branding, integrated communications, digital marketing and social media.
  • Analytical skills demonstrated by data-driven decision making and mastery with analytical and reporting and analysis tools.
  • Experience with primary social platforms (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram), new/emerging tools and digital strategies, SEO, user interface, design, influencer marketing and more.
  • Demonstrated experience with web technology, platforms, tools, intranets, graphic editing and video applications.

Compensation: Generally $70k-150k with an average salary around 108k, according to Glassdoor.

What can you do to break into the field or get a leg up on the competition? Salesforce Trailhead offers free training, even for non-Salesforce users. LinkedIn Learning has courses available for digital brand management  and offers a 30-day free trial. Udemy has a class available for $10.99

You can also earn digital marketing certification from the American Marketing Association or the Digital Marketing Institute .

Machine Learning Engineer

According to LinkedIn's data, the jobs for machine learning engineers are growing at a faster clip than any other job category. There are more than 13,000 jobs listed on the web. Artificial Intelligence (AI), which marketers are keen on, is a branch of machine learning that uses algorithms to glean insights from continuous streams of data.

The challenge: Creating algorithms and accessing data pipelines to deliver high impact, personalized recommendations at scale

Typical Experience Required:

  • 3+ years in machine learning and deep learning as well as familiarity with machine learning algorithms, data mining, and natural language processing
  • Educational background in computer science, statistics, engineering or math
  • Experience in the big data ecosystem including Hadoop, Map Reduce, Spark as well as C++ and Python

Compensation: $100k-180k based on data gleaned from leading internet sites

What can you do to get into the field or get a leg up on the competition? If you don't have a Master's Degree or a Ph.D. or aren't interested in earning them, you may be able to add training to your real world experience with free courses at MIT Open Courseware. If you are looking for more structure, there are courses available for as little as $79.00 from Coursera, as well as nano degrees available via Udacity and the like.

Digital Strategist- Next Gen Platforms (IoT, blockchain, bots)

Now is the time to get serious about bringing next generation technologies like IoT, chatbots, AI, and others into marketing, Voice of the Customer, and other programs. There are over 10,000 jobs listed for this category on websites. According to Gartner, total spending on IoT endpoints and services will reach $2 trillion this year.

The challenge: Help brands leverage data from IoT devices and create wins from interactions between humans and machines.

Typical Experience Required:

  • Post-graduate degree in graphic design or computer animation or equivalent experience
  • Completion of at least one project where machines and humans interact
  • 5 or more years of UX design
  • Familiarity with Unity3D, cognitive and social psychology and storytelling

Compensation: $60k-150K

What can you do to get into the field or get a leg up on the competition? If you are technically inclined, learn Unity for free, or better yet, get certified. If you can get your company to fund your training, all the better. For IoT, MIT offers an online executive level short course. Experfy offers courses leading toward certification.

When it comes to cognitive psychology Professor Richard A. Kasschau offers highly engaging video lectures free of charge.