There is no doubt that the global pandemic has changed a lot of things over the past two years, across every space – including the software engineering industry. But nowhere were these changes as obvious as they were in the workplace. Since people were forced to work from home, many have since realized that the WFH life is actually a great option. The ability for workers to better balance their work and home lives saw a surprising uptick in employee productivity by 13% – and in the middle of a pandemic, that’s pretty impressive.
Though the world has since started to shift back to a relative normal, the WFH revolution has spawned a movement known as The Great Resignation. This movement, also referred to as The Big Quit, is a trend in economics that identified a surge in employees quitting their jobs. In the US alone, research has shown that more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs – entirely by choice.
The power is now more than ever in the hands of the employees, and companies are getting desperate for talent. This talent shortage is not projected to end anytime soon, which makes it an ideal time to get into the software engineering industry.
Why are software engineers in such high demand?
Software engineering is one of the most in-demand fields right now, and this demand will only increase. On average, an organization uses software for 90% or more of the workload, so having software engineers and IT professionals on staff is vital. Unfortunately for them, with the amount of companies that need software engineers, they will have a very difficult time satisfying their needs. The market is more competitive than ever before.
Further, the tech industry as a whole has seen rapid technology advancements and growth. We are now living in a world where an entire house can be connected to the internet (this is ) and with such rapid growth comes an equally large need for software engineers and developers to take care of all these tech advancements – overseeing everything from designing and development of new tech products through to the ongoing maintenance of it all.
This urgent need for software engineers will only increase
Currently, the United States has the most software engineers in the entire world. There is an estimated 4.4 million software engineers in the U.S. This is 2.5% of the total workforce int he country. Even with these insanely high numbers, there are almost 1 million unclaimed software engineering jobs in the United States, with 500,000 software engineers expected to retire in the next few years.
According to CodinGame and CoderPad, 35% of employers hope to hire more than 50 developers this year, and 15% want to hire 200 or more. That is a lot of companies in desperate need of a lot of people. It is hard to fathom how many software engineering positions are currently vacant, and how many more vacancies there will be in the future. This is one of the largest and fastest-growing careers on the market today, and it is very unlikely any career will surpass it before 2029.
Because of this, the need for software engineers is not going away anytime soon. The need for software engineers is expected to grow by 22% by the year 2029. In the next few years, companies are only going to get more desperate for tech support. Getting started in software engineering or any other related tech field now will ensure you are ready for the upcoming and even more severe talent shortage.
So what skills are companies on the lookout for?
If you’re currently in the market for a new role in the software engineering space, you can ensure your high desirability for recruiters if you have skills such as:
- Knowledge of Python, SQL and Java – the most commonly used software languages
- Cloud computing, such as AWS, Azure or Google Cloud Platform.
- Full-stack capabilities from front-end languages like HTML and CSS to back-end languages like Node.js and Ruby.
- An understanding of data structures such as a linked list, integers or floating-point values, as these types of structures provide the foundation for any application
- Being able to use containers like Kubernetes and Dockers, to simplify the deployment process and test within a unified environment.
This talent shortage means there is a much higher chance of you successfully landing a job in the field, but you still want to aim for being a candidate that stands out. Knowing what tech recruiters are looking for and passing skill assessments with ease will land you a software engineering job at lightning speeds, so stay on top of trends and news within the industry.
How are companies responding?
A lot of the shortage issues lie in the hands of the companies and their recruiting tactics. Instead of working with self-taught or online bootcamp software engineers, companies will only look at resumes for post-grad software engineers. This, however, is not a reflection of the quality of an engineer, and they’re missing out on a wider selection of qualified engineers. Instead, some companies are recruiting via skill assessments. This trend will most likely increase in popularity in the coming years to meet the outrageous demand.
Despite the shortage, there are still plenty of companies who are not responding well, and the turnover rate for software engineers is high in a lot of places. It may take some time for the majority of companies to catch up with the modern way of hiring and retaining staff. For example, some tech companies are insisting on their employees returning to the office, since their every move can be monitored. This may seem beneficial for companies now, but this only hinders the process in most cases.
Here’s how you can benefit from this talent shortage of software engineers
Software engineers are truly in a position of power in the current market. They have the ability to be choosy with job hunting, since companies are willing to give out extra benefits and pay to fill their vacancies. This shortage has caused the salaries of software engineers and developers to become one of the highest paying overall. Due to The Great Resignation and the financial demands of prospective employees, many companies are also increasing their salaries, offering signing bonuses, and improving their work conditions.
Since most software development can be done online, companies are also leaning towards work-from-home positions, contractors, and freelancers. This gives software engineers a lot more options in the job market. This is also great for international workforces, since employees can find work all over the world, assuming they have the right skills to get the work done.
Get Started as a Software Engineer
The demand for software engineers is higher than ever before and continues to grow every day. There is no better time to start your career in software engineering or a related field of study. To learn more, download a course outline here.