6 Deep Tech Opportunities for Software Engineers
Deep Tech Jobs Staff

To update Marc Andreessen’s statement, “software has eaten the world.”  

And yet demand for software engineers continues to grow.  Microsoft expects to see 150 million more software jobs created globally in the next five years and software-oriented jobs topped LinkedIn’s 2022 list of most in-demand roles.

But where are the biggest challenges for software engineers today?  They’re definitely not with another expenses app, e-tail platform or accounting software package.  

Instead, the most ambitious software engineering talent is migrating to Deep Tech, a group of sectors taking aim at the world’s biggest problems with the most advanced science and engineering tools in the world.

For the truly ambitious software engineering talent, here are 6 of the most exciting Deep Tech sectors to consider.

1. Biotech

Following the challenges of the pandemic, the world finds itself with a new appreciation for biotech and its contribution to the global vaccine programmes that have helped get the world as we know it back up and running again.

Vital medical breakthroughs, such as providing care for rare and infectious diseases and improving tools for disease detection, have been developed using the cellular and biomolecular processes that form the basis of biotechnology.

2022 is predicted to be a big year for biotech, with the global market expected to pass £75 billion. As biotech continues to rally in the pandemic’s tailwind, investment in UK biotech companies jumped 60% to £4.5 billion in 2021. With new financial backing, an increased public interest and access to the best talent all over the word, the biotech industry is keen to hire software engineering professionals who can help keep this innovation train rolling.

Recent advancements in pharmaceutical testing (case in point: Covid, as above), 3D bioprinting and cell processing are huge for the medical industry, but it’s worth remembering the fascinating and complex software that helps make these achievements possible.

2. Cleantech

Climate change is accelerating.  

Consumers now expect businesses in all industries to contribute to the UK’s net zero 2050 goal, so it’s not only oil and gas organisations who are standing in the spotlight. The growing popularity of electric vehicles, sustainable clothing, the circular economy and plastic-free alternatives demonstrate the public’s desire to buy into green alternatives. The world is on board with a net zero future – the question is, how can we get there?Cleantech companies are working on the answer. From Geothermal and Hydroelectric power sources to the optimisation of current technologies and new innovation, Cleantech companies are developing more ways to generate and store energy.  

Cleantech startups are scaling  – and scaling means hiring. These are a set of industries that are still developing, as McKinsey predicts – getting involved now could mean that you’re centre stage for the next generation of cleantech innovation.

3. Mobility Tech

Are stay-at-home activities on their way out? The latest mobility tech news suggests so.

At one point in October 2020, Zoom’s market cap was larger than the world’s top 15 airlines put together – a sure sign that mobility tech was left in the dust. Now, the tables have turned. Travel is back on the map with flight bookings soaring and businesses such as Ryanair, Expedia and Hilton Hotels making impressive comebacks. Travel is not the only winner either – the transport revolution continued as electric vehicle stocks rallied and mobility tech startups received billions in investment in 2021.

Mobility tech aims to make better use of existing modes of transport and to develop the transport of the future. As more and more low-emissions zones are implemented in cities across the globe, hyperlocal mobility tech (e.g. city-specific) is also gaining traction. Self-driving cars, electric vehicles, new nanotechnology for vehicles and better sharing systems are all key trends in this field – and none of this innovation could be possible without software.

4. Space Tech

Who would’ve thought that billionaires like Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos would be leading 2022’s space race?

Space X, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin dominate the news, with the former becoming the first private company to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. But there’s more to space tech than these three big names.

Space Tech startups are developing technologies that many of us earthlings never knew existed, and we certainly never knew we needed. Take Amphinicy Technologies, a Croatia-based company that’s developing software solutions for satellite machinery, and Isar Aerospace, who are working on next-gen, sustainable rockets.

The European Investment Fund attracted €300 million to support innovation and growth of European space tech companies, and London is home to at least 22 space tech startups. With remote working maintaining its popularity, software jobs are cropping up in space tech all over the world.

5. AgTech

Agriculture 4.0 is the new era of farming – and it’s happening now. Its focus is to implement precision farming based on automatic data collection and data analysis, with the goal of improving the sustainability and profitability of farming.

The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, AI and Robotics have been innovating other industries for years, but now it’s agriculture’s turn to benefit. Agriculture 4.0 solutions help the industry avoid waste, better control costs, work with greater precision and improve the traceability of supply chains, in an effort to truly transform farming. Some are even calling it ‘the Internet of Farming’.

Agricultural management software is vital for farmers. Gone are the days of planting crops based on what they thought was the best decision. Farmers are turning to software to provide them with insights into their livestock, optimal harvesting time and crop planning. They’re looking to adopt this technology, fast – so software companies are developing it, fast.

6. Virtual Reality

With VR headsets now widely available for at-home gaming enjoyment, it’d be easy to believe that VR has reached its peak application in daily life. That’s where you’d be wrong. Perhaps the biggest virtual reality news of the year came from Mark Zuckerberg’s office – the tech titan announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta, and working on a virtual world called the metaverse. As of now, we can only speculate as to what this metaverse will look like – and that’s what makes it so exciting.

VR creates a computer-simulated environment and, aside from gaming, its common applications include surgery, military and flight simulations. Most of us don’t consider VR to be part of our everyday existence, and that’s exactly what the industry is trying to change. France’s GrAI Matter Labs is working on the world’s first AI System-on-a-Chip, the UK’s WaveOptics is developing optical engines for augmented reality eyewear and Finland’s Varjo is blending reality with VR.  

Time to Leap into Deep Tech

There’s a reason Deep Tech investment quadrupled between 2016 to 2020  – the problems are getting bigger, and industries require more advanced tools to solve them.  Now more than ever, the world needs its best minds focused on solving bigger problems across these different sectors, many of which are still early in their development.  

For some of the most exciting roles in science and engineering check out Browse hundreds of the latest software engineering roles from innovative deep tech companies.

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