The Pandemic's Impact on Tech Careers

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 16, 2020

Sep 16, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

For many Americans, the pandemic has ushered in career uncertainty via job loss and furloughs. For some, however, the pandemic created expansion and hiring opportunities. Those in tech have experienced a bit of both, leaving the tech workforce wondering what the future holds for tech careers.

Just as things started to look somewhat normal again for the U.S. workforce, COVID is again back on the rise. Do companies and local businesses close up shop once again and head for the remote working hills? How will this affect careers in development, software engineering, IT management, headless commerce, and more.

The future impact of this pandemic on tech careers is as uncertain as the job market right now. Some tech companies have remained remote, while others were eager to get back in the office. Hiring has also been a bit odd as well, with jobs being opened, and closed the next day.

But it may not be all chaos as we move into 2021. Companies and local businesses have been quite creative when it comes to navigating the pandemic. Let’s take a closer look at the future of tech careers.

Tech Careers Hinge On Hiring Processes And Budgets

Companies continue to cut jobs and/or furlough workers during the pandemic. Warner Media is planning to cut thousands of employees. American Airlines reduced their workforce by 20 percent. And even oil giant Shell has cut around 9,000 jobs.

This leaves tech careers in the hands of hiring managers and company budgets during the financial uncertainty the pandemic has ushered in. For instance, without federal aid from the government, the major airlines needed to reduce payroll budgets to keep companies from going under.

Tech careers may be in a better spot than most other careers at this time. The hiring process may be a bit more difficult, and budget constraints may reduce salaries a bit too.

Lack Of Tech Startups May Effect Tech Careers

Tech startups have been the backbone of tech careers during the digital age. Startups are essentially small businesses, and America runs on small businesses. Not to mention that most of the major tech companies in the past few decades were tech startups.

Finding a tech career in the startup market will depend on a few key factors. The first being that the industry of the job has not been too affected by the pandemic, like hospitality for example. Next factor would be that VCs are still excited about the industry in order to invest. And supporting businesses, like manufacturers are intact.

All of these factors will play a part in whether a startup will survive in this current market. Tech careers that fall outside startups that have industry strength may not be in business too long.

Students In Tech May Have Problems Finding Tech Jobs

Tech careers are still out there. However, many companies are looking for skilled technology professionals, rather than students. Students are not simply competing for jobs against other newly graduated students. Students are going up against tech experts.

This is due to COVID job loss. Right now, there are a large number of tech professionals with five to ten years experience looking for their next tech careers. Students will contend against them during the hiring process.

Students with actual experience in their field will have a better chance of finding their first tech job. This is one of the biggest impacts of the pandemic for students ready for a career in tech, or any industry.

What Is The Future Of Tech Careers?

The future of tech and tech careers is certainly uncertain. WE can be sure that the tech job market will not be the same as it was before COVID. With remote work and pandemic guidelines in place, the future of tech will look and feel different.

For instance, big tech companies may keep remote work policies in place forever. For example, Twitter employees can now work from home forever, according to the company’s latest remote working guidelines. 

“We were uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow folks to work from home given our emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere,” Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, explained. “The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.”

This is great news for those who enjoy remote work. For others it may not be a good fit for their tech career aspirations. Over 60 percent the workforce is still at home working due to COVID office restrictions. And some workers don’t want to return to the office due to fear of the pandemic.

There are other factors of COVID that impact tech careers. Factors not even related to tech at all. For instance, many tech careers have been impacted due to disruptions in childcare and schooling. Many kids are still at home.

The schools did open for a short time, but as COVID cases increased in schools across the nation, closures have followed. Same as daycare. This has left tech workers with little option, but to stay home to take care of their children.

The future of tech careers is good overall. There is just more navigation needed in order to land your next tech job. From immediate COVID related issues to workforce negatives that are side effects of COVID, the pandemic continues to impact the job market. How have you stayed afloat?