The COVID pandemic thrust the economy into unprecedented recession, especially in the hospitality and service industries. For instance, unemployment rates in the U.S alone reached an all-time low of 14.7% in April. While there is no clear path to recovery, tech experts predict some exceptions, such as IT and software development, will remain stable. So to say, more and more young adults interested in the coding industry are taking online courses intending to meet the current surge in demand for IT skills. That said, below is an outline of how the software dev job market will likely evolve after the pandemic.
Demand for Software Development Will Remain Strong
As mentioned, the pandemic led to the closure of several businesses as millions of employees were laid off. However, the demand for software developers remained strong and even increased with more businesses switching their modes of operation from physical stores to online and remote operations. Unlike other businesses that were closing or minimizing their operations, tech and software companies are still hiring.
Interestingly, there is a high demand, surpassing the supply for software developers and engineers in several IT fields, such as security. Cybersecurity is especially a relevant field currently due to increased cybersecurity attacks as more people rely on digital platforms during this period. That said, having in-demand skills, such as cybersecurity expertise, not only increases your chances of being hired but also ensures that you get premium compensation for your skills.
However, like other industries, software engineering opportunities are not completely recession-proof. Even though software developers are way better than other professions amidst the pandemic and appear less affected by the tough economic climate, these careers are also prone to declines. A recent study found out that 20% of their participants reportedly lost their jobs after the outbreak. However, software developers were less affected, with only 5% losing their jobs.
Most software developers were not affected since their roles can be done remotely. However, software engineers working in industries affected by social distancing, such as hotels and restaurants, don’t have job security. Development jobs for tech companies, especially those providing online products and services, remain in demand.
Software consulting services will also experience some stability. As businesses and organizations that downsized start recovering and scaling back their operations, they will need more developers. Most of these companies will be hiring software developers on a contract basis, as economic situations may not allow them to recruit permanent positions. Definitely, the demand for software engineers will increase as remote work potentially becomes the new norm.
Low Rates of Unemployment
Interestingly, the 4.2% unemployment rate in IT industries was not affected, unlike other industries. This is very low compared to other sectors, especially after this pandemic. Currently, it is only the legal sector that has unemployment rates lower than the IT industry. That aside, layoffs were limited majorly to managerial positions. The pandemic didn’t affect hands-on roles, such as cloud engineers, DevOps, software developers, and website developers.
More Spending on Digital Transformation
The pandemic catalyzed the surge in digital transformation, which further propelled the demand for software developers. According to the International Data Corporation, all industries embraced digital transformation as a way of coping with challenges brought by the pandemic. Data from the institute on the percentage increase in spending for digital transformation for 2020 is as follow;
- Financial – 19.9%
- Distribution and service – 18.6%
- Infrastructure – 14.8%
- Public sector – 18.1%
- Manufacturing and resources – 15.7%
Based on the current situations’ precarious nature, companies should consider digital transformation if they want to remain viable in the current business environment. For instance, remote systems for remote workers are important. Besides, companies should upgrade their services to cater to virtual customers. Regardless of the service required, software developers, DevOps, and cloud engineers play a crucial role.
Normalizing Remote Work and Virtual Hiring
With businesses adopting remote work strategies, the IT sector has not been left behind. Software developers, cybersecurity experts, and other IT professionals have normalized working from home. Therefore, if you are applying for software development jobs, it is prudent to mention that you have some remote work experience. Besides, you can prepare for interviews by ensuring that you stay productive at home.
Apart from remote work models, virtual hiring is also on the rise. More companies have adopted the virtual recruitment process. Therefore, just like physical interviews, you should start preparing for video interviews. Some tips to consider when practicing include;
- Use a neutral background
- Have a reliable internet connection
- Dress formally
- Test all the necessary equipment before the video call
- Maintain your posture
- Keep your laptop webcam at an eye level and look directly at it when talking.
Unlike other sectors, the software development job market thrived amidst the pandemic. However, this is understandable, given the crucial role of software developers and IT specialists in helping businesses actualize digital transformations.