Big tech lay-offs are increasingly becoming the norm in 2023, and there have already been more than 50,000 lay-offs in the industry. The continuing hire freezes, lay-offs, specialist knowledge requirements, and increasing jargon are often seen as limitations on industry access. With the right strategy, all these supposed barriers can be surmounted.
Even in this changing professional environment, a tech career remains an evergreen option, and students who pick the right skillset can easily carve a profitable career prospect. In this guide, we will explore the reasons behind these changes and how both new students and current tech workers can be unaffected by them!
What’s happening in tech?
The tech industry is going through changes to stay profitable in the current market situation. With the increase in demand for tech skills, employees are becoming a lot more selective about where they work. On the other hand, many established professionals are losing their jobs and several tech giants are putting hiring freezes in place. The lay-offs are the most alarming part since they are a drastic shift from companies’ attitudes toward workers during the pandemic when hiring reached record levels.
Industry analysts believe this shift is largely a reflection of the economic conditions, and more and more companies are trying to remain profitable by cutting down on staff and other overhead costs.
Primary causes of tech lay-offs
Most of the big tech lay-offs in recent years are a response to fix the situation caused by mass hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote work options and online activity both surged during the lockdown. As the lockdown situation remained uncertain, major tech companies started to bring in more workers believing that this shift in working conditions would be permanent.
However, once the pandemic was over, tech companies realised they hired way too many people, and keeping up with too many in-house employees was not profitable. Most of these employees were experienced engineers and tech developers who expected competitive incomes consistent with the industry rate. This would not be a deterrent for tech giants if there were healthy prospects for growth in the tech industry.
The problem is that the short-term future and the current economic conditions, with an impending recession in the US, are making it less ideal to keep the excess pandemic hires onboard. During a recession, consumer spending limits tend to drop, and the dry period will take its toll on the tech industry, which is why it is important to plan in advance.
Tech companies involved in hire freezes and layoffs
Several big companies, including Meta, Salesforce, Google and Twitter, are downsizing, and over 100,000 people in the tech industry have reportedly lost their jobs in 2022. Lay-offs do not come cheap for these tech giants as they need to incur several costs after the lay-off, such as employee benefits and severance payments.
Despite this, hiring freezes and lay-offs are rampant across the industry. The Twitter takeover and Elon Musk’s decision to cut its workforce in half stunned many tech professionals and industry analysts. This example is an indication that there is a shift in the attitude tech companies have toward their employees. While companies like Stripe, Snap, and Lyft have let around 3000 workers go collectively, others like Meta have shed nearly 13 percent of their overall workforce.
These changes have raised the number of tech professionals struggling to find new employment to sustain their lives. However, most tech workers can soon jump into a new paid role and get back on their feet. While the uncertainty of losing a job might seem quite bleak initially, tech workers find strength in groups that join together to support and provide new opportunities for the affected industry members.
Is tech still a good career choice?
Yes, there are still plenty of different options like cybersecurity, fintech and healthcare tech that continue to grow despite the uncertain economic conditions. While some of these options might be easier for you to shift in, others might require some light training. Let’s take a more thorough look at each of these options:
1. Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity:
Ethical hacking is becoming increasingly popular to secure businesses from cyber attacks and create permanent solutions for continued protection. Every company has several different assets consisting of sensitive data that need to be kept out of the wrong hands. With technological advancements, attacks on online information stored in servers are becoming more common, and cybersecurity specialists are more in demand than ever. The growing demand and limited supply of cybersecurity professionals in the industry show that even a simple certification could score you a job in the right company.
2. Healthcare Tech:
Healthcare tech has seen great advancements since the pandemic, and investors are keen to finance improved medical systems that can help save lives. Several new niches are cropping up within the industry, and with the latest telehealth options, doctors and patients can connect remotely to discuss any ailments.
3. Financial Technology:
Fintech has seen exponential growth over the last few years as more and more financial transactions are conducted online. A new type of monetary unit, cryptocurrency, has also seen a global uptick in demand, attracting the attention of both regular users and investors. Leveraging the right skillset in this industry could land you a job at any fintech company.
This tech sector will continue to see further improvement and growth as AI delivers new money management solutions, decreasing the dependency on physical currency.
It would be unwise to say there are no expected risks in the tech industry for newcomers or experienced professionals. The reality is that the post-pandemic situation is changing the work style of every company.
Whether you plan to get into a new startup or an established company, you will find that most of them are just trying to find the sweet spot between staying profitable and trying to grow. It is important to be positive when you apply, but it is better to be cautious and keep your options open.
5 quick tips for getting into tech
We have already established that a tech career can be profitable despite the changing conditions if you target the right niche and skillset. Let’s evaluate how you can increase your chances of bagging a great role in tech with 5 quick tips:
1. Applying to several companies
The first thing any aspiring tech worker should focus on is multiple applications. It is important not to attach your professional success to a certain role in a certain company. The right way to approach a viable career in tech is to research every opening you are qualified for and apply immediately.
If you are a student, it can help to start applying before you finish your certifications. Whether you get accepted or rejected on a proposal will define your future efforts, and you will have a clearer idea of the skills you need to improve on.
2. Maintaining a strong resume and portfolio
Results matter more than degrees to any tech company, and you must showcase that you can solve their technical issues. You can do this by maintaining a strong resume with any job history highlighting all of your relevant experience and skills. You can build on this if you are still a student by trying to intern or volunteer at a tech company.
Build new projects and put them on your portfolio site for hiring managers to check and see the actual thought process or code behind your solutions.
3. Improving your network
Networking is a practice that needs to be the norm in every industry and for every professional who wants to grow in their fields. However, this is especially important for you if you are a tech worker. You can find new job opportunities by connecting with family, friends and other people you meet online. It pays to understand your skillset and how you can sell it to the people in your network.
You can find like-minded professionals by attending industry events hosted by companies or fellow tech workers. Platforms like Twitter and Linkedin are also excellent spaces to connect with others in your industry.
4. Utilising all your transferable skills
It is important to realise your skillset and how you can utilise hard and soft skills to increase your professional success. Even though many people can code, there is still unfulfilled demand for reliable workers who are excellent at communicating and managing teams.
Whether it is innovation, teamwork, leadership, sales skills, general communication or innovation, selling every skill in your proposal that gets you closer to landing a real job is important. You might get hired in the tech industry for another opening like HR, Operations Management or Marketing if an engineering role is unavailable.
5. Planning your career strategy
It is important to set a clear outline for your career goals and strategy, so you can get into the tech industry and thrive in it. Without the right plan, your work could lead to burnout, and the journey might get unexciting. While it might be a good idea to start off in a certain way, that strategy might not work when you try to grow.
For example, starting off in the lower pay range for your first job might be a good idea, but you need to know when to jump for a bigger position and maintain your research alongside your current job. The right career strategy will prepare you for most professional challenges before they happen.
The fast-paced changes in the tech industry showcase how companies must adapt quickly to survive the changing political and economic conditions. Whether you are a new student of tech, planning to switch to tech or scaling your skillset, you can be confident that the core skill set of every good tech worker will always stay in demand.
If you’re interested in scaling your skillset or changing careers to tech, schedule a career consult today!