Information technology may just be the safest field to get into in the years to come. Under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses look to IT specialists to smooth hybrid home and office work solutions. These specialists are needed more than ever, and – despite a brief tightening of hiring across the industry in the initial wave of the pandemic – the future of the IT job market looks strong.
An analysis of the IT job market requires a look at how the coronavirus has changed the industry. Then, by examining the opportunities that abound, we can paint a broader picture of the IT field long-term.
Here’s what you need to know.
How COVID has impacted the IT job market
The pandemic has not been a good thing for jobs in any industry. This is true of IT positions as well. However, the opportunities inherent in a field that ensures the capable use of our technology mean the IT job market is much better off than many others.
The coronavirus shifted the way we work. With millions now operating remotely, secured networks and innovative tech solutions are defining the workplace. This means IT professionals are essential in navigating the new normal. Even so, the industry has not been free from the belt-tightening experienced across the world in the pandemic economy.
Diginomica reported that there are about 100,000 fewer IT jobs available than there were pre-pandemic, with unemployment in the field reaching a nine-year high.
This decrease in job availability comes as many companies are compressing their technological costs and platform usage. In managing remote work solutions, businesses are turning to tools and applications that offer them everything they might need in a comprehensive package. Software as a service (SaaS) is a growing trend.
But this is not to say that the IT profession is on its way out. The need for digital privacy and security through information technology specialists will only continue to grow as time goes on and the economy begins to recover from pandemic devastation.
IT jobs are available, especially for the right candidate.
IT employment availability
By traditional employment standards, the IT sector is in a strange place. Employers are on the lookout for talent with technical skills, yet qualified employees do not seem to be as available as they are in demand. The Manpower Group reported that 7 out of 10 employers faced this talent shortage in their own hiring efforts.
This puts IT professionals with the right skillsets in an excellent position to beat out the competition for a wide variety of available and high-paying jobs that can carry them through the pandemic economy. One of the bright sides of our current situation is that companies are increasingly allowing remote work, which extends the pool of available positions beyond your geographic location. For a savvy job searcher, this means high-paying work opportunities that you can do from home.
However, developing the right skill set to excel in these positions is a necessary first step. Right now, some of the most in-demand IT positions include:
- Cybersecurity specialist
- Software developer
- Network engineer
- Systems engineer
- Business analyst
All of these specializations require the development of hard and soft skills that will aid IT professionals in the course of their work. Whether you seek to lead a team to develop new software or want to analyze data systems to produce actionable insights, there is an IT position out there for you.
After the development of these skills, however, it is essential to keep in mind the state of hiring processes as a whole. For example, IT job searchers should be aware of the applicant tracking systems commonly utilized by today’s hiring managers and adapt their own resumes to win these systems.
Additionally, practicing for your Zoom interview with commonly asked questions and honing your technical expertise will help you excel through all stages of the job search. Prepare these talents now to maximize your potential in the future of the IT field.
The future of the IT field
Even with the coronavirus placing temporary hurdles in the paths of many IT specialists, the job market is ripe with opportunity. As the need for safe and comprehensive systems only looks to increase in the years to come, IT will continue to be a lucrative field in which to invest your efforts.
However, challenges still abound in the industry. The labor shortage has forced many companies to abandon projects and growth outlets. Meanwhile, the underrepresentation of women throughout the IT sector bottlenecks the innovation potential of the industry.
Conquering the gender gap in STEM while producing better education and training for all kinds of IT professionals will be essential to the future of IT. In the meantime, IT professionals who devote time and attention to developing skills like cybersecurity will be a foundational aspect of business to come. The remote working world needs safe data systems, and IT professionals will be instrumental in making those systems possible.