While consumer technology companies require many of the same skilled professionals as their B2B counterparts, including software engineers, hardware engineers, systems architects, and other core technical roles, there are a number of roles that are unique to consumer tech companies. Many of these roles require an integrated skill set that draws from multiple domains at the intersection of technology, design, and quantitative methods. MassTLC outlines five unique consumer tech roles in its 2017 Consumer Tech in Massachusetts: Seizing the Opportunity for Growth report.
- Product Managers – Product managers play the role of a general manager for a given product. The role requires leadership skills, management capabilities, well-rounded business experience, and an in-depth understanding of technology, consumers, and the market. Product managers collaborate closely with product designers, marketers, data scientists, and engineers as they lead the process of transforming an idea into a product and bringing the product to market. It’s a unique skill in any industry and even more so in an industry that’s moving as rapidly as the consumer tech sector.
- Product designers and user experience experts – As consumer expectations of intuitive product design continue to increase, consumer tech companies require increasingly skilled product designers and user experience (UX) professional who operate at the intersection of technology, art, and design. These professionals drive innovative experiences across a variety of platforms, including the web, mobile devices, custom-built hardware, and IoT. An intuitive design and delightful user experience is often the difference between success or failure of a consumer tech offering – increasing the demand for talented consumer product design and UX professionals.
- Front-End Software Engineers – As most consumer tech products include a consumer-facing software application, the demand for software engineers experienced in the latest front-end technologies is on the rise. Perhaps the best recent example is the demand for software engineers with experience developing applications for mobile devices such as the iPhone and Android-based devices.
- Quantitative Marketers – With the ability to measure the effectiveness and performance of consumer marketing initiatives on a real-time and quantitative basis, there is an increasing need for marketing professionals who combine qualitative marketing insights with the results of quantitative analysis to drive high-level strategies and day-to-day operational decisions. Online advertising platforms, auction-based bid models, and integrated off-line/on-line tactics are driving the demand for a new breed of marketing professional who complements traditional consumer marketing methods with quantitative, data-driven techniques.
- Data Scientists – Organizations are collecting more data than ever before, including data from consumer marketing initiatives and data from consumer product and service usage. Distilling insights from these large data sets, often referred to as “big data,” requires a new breed of analyst. These analysts combine the ability to query and manipulate data with programming skills and statistical modeling techniques. Data scientists provide key decision support services to both quantitative marketers and product managers.