For those working in the tech industry, the past several months have been rocky at best. Massive layoffs were announced starting last year, with tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM cutting thousands of jobs. Along with this, the average starting salary for those who earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science is predicted to drop around 4% this year. Does this mean that we’re experiencing a decrease in demand for tech jobs in 2023? In light of all the recent layoffs, where can computer science majors expect to find employment?
First, let’s deal with the layoffs. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, tech companies brought on a whole ton of new hires to keep up with not only the rapid increase in e-commerce transactions, but also to meet the increased demand for tech support as it relates to the trend of companies adopting a remote work policy. This way of life and work became the norm for a few years but by now, stores are open and many companies are back in the office. In other words, tech companies would only be able to sustain all those new hires in the event the lockdowns never ended.
So, with the world at large more or less being back to normal, big tech companies were forced to make cuts in order to regain lost revenue. Smaller tech firms also experienced the same period of hypergrowth, followed by massive layoffs. Displaced tech workers might be feeling the crunch, but the recent layoffs don’t necessarily mean demand is low or that there aren’t any tech jobs out there. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and all of the recent goings-on could be the signs of a sea change in the industry.
Those who are either displaced in light of the recent layoffs or who are just entering the workforce simply need to change their thinking—tech isn’t just a commodity that’s sold, it’s also used by companies to maintain their operations, provide security, streamline processes, or build upon existing systems, among many other things. What this means is that people who are looking for jobs in tech should turn their attention towards companies that are in non-tech industries.
Recently, Reuters reported that current job growth in the U.S. is very strong, while the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since 1969—and yes, this trend in job creation also includes tech jobs. These days, many companies are seeking to modernize, and leveraging technology is key. For example, companies in the financial industry are looking to fill a variety of tech positions. Just one look at Morgan Stanley’s careers page will prove that tech jobs are not only available, but they’re in great demand. From fullstack developers and data engineers to Unix specialists and Python infrastructure engineers, you’ll find many open opportunities—and that’s just one company among many in that particular industry.
The bottom line is that if you’re looking for a job in tech, you’ve got to be creative in your search. Even retailers such as Walmart are looking to fill tech positions in areas such as cybersecurity, so it’s really about knowing where to look. After a bit of research into tech jobs in non-tech industries, you’ll realize that the argument can be made that the amount of available tech jobs exceeds the number of casualties of the big tech layoffs of late 2022 and early 2023. But wait, that’s not all!
The use of artificial intelligence is becoming more widespread, and thus new positions will need to be filled. Some of the big ones are machine learning engineers, data scientists, and business intelligence developers. There are many more, and there will likely be new jobs we haven’t yet heard of that will be created as a response to the continued use of AI in various industries. So, the outlook for computer science majors and those undertaking other similar studies is quite good. We’ll talk more about AI job prospects, their required education and skills, and how much they pay at a later date, so keep it dialed in here. For now, there’s just one more matter to attend to.
Earlier, we mentioned that the average starting salary for those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science is predicted to be a bit lower than it was in previous years. As you can see, this isn’t about low demand when it comes to non-tech companies, so then what gives? Well, the lower starting salary could be due to the types of companies that are hiring the most tech jobs at the moment. Perhaps non-tech companies that are not necessarily accustomed to leveraging technology are less inclined to pay more for tech positions. Whatever the case may be, these things tend to have an ebb and flow, and we’ll have to see how things shake out.
If you’re a tech worker or you’re about to graduate and start your career, there are still many opportunities and avenues of employment. The recent big tech layoffs were indeed scary and have had a negative impact on many people, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. When it comes to your job search, be creative and think outside the box; you’re bound to find something that’s a good fit for your skills and education.