On balance, the tech industry seems to be the most secure in the wake of commercial limitations. Americans who previously occupied hospitality industries used quarantine to re-assess their trajectory as a result.
“As quarantine kept people behind doors and mass layoffs and furloughs threatened the job stability of many, workers turned to learning new skills to keep their mind and resume sharp. From baking to becoming your own barber, people took adult learning to a whole new level. One popular area of improvement was in technology proficiency,” the authors wrote in the study. “To learn more about who, why, and how people decided to improve their technology skills during the global pandemic, we surveyed more than 1,000 people from across the country. We delved into what skills they were improving and how they went about learning them. Along the way, we uncovered the important role employers can play in helping employees improve their tech skills.”
Below are the Tech industries that are currently experiencing the most growth:
- Cybersecurity analysts: +37%
- Software developers, applications: +37%
- Data and computer scientists: +31%
- Emerging tech, IT Projects: 30%
- Web developers: +22%
- CIOs, CTOs, and IT managers: +23%
- IT support specialists: +18%
To attain these positions, applicants need to advertise software proficiency, telecommunication proficiency, and digital media proficiency.
The most valuable skills in a post-COVID job market
According to the employers and developers involved in the new Boxboat report, candidates who are routinely keeping themselves up to date on the latest tech trends are the most valuable.
In a digital landscape, an understanding of telecommunications like Zoom and Skype, and software proficiency in coding and programming are a must.
More specifically, recruiters are privileging applicants who demonstrate familiarity with all three common programming languages: Python, Java, and C++. 2.
“Overall, 70% of people said their technology skills moderately or greatly improved since COVID-19. When we break this down by generation, we see that millennials, at nearly 3 out of 4, were the most likely to have improved their tech skills with Generation X not far behind. Baby boomers were considerably less likely to report any tech improvement; still, over half said they were more skilled now than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors continued. “Forty-four percent of people believed their new or improved tech skills will be very or extremely beneficial to their career. Slightly over half thought their new skills will be slightly or moderately beneficial to their careers, while only 2% saw no future career benefit.”
Java Developers make a median base salary of $83,589, and report an average job satisfaction around 3.9/5. For Data Engineers, the median base salary is closer to $102,472 a year and the job satisfaction number is about the same. Software Engineers pull in the most on average of the three ($105,563) though their level of satisfaction hovers around 3.6/5.
Thankfully, the vast majority of respondents featured in the Boatbox report who couldn’t secure funds to attend tech education programs were able to use free services like Youtube and editorials as a resource.
“Free online courses, at 40%, were also significantly more popular than paid online courses, at 23%. Respondents were more likely to turn to online articles or blogs or friends than they were to shell out money for an online course. This is especially true of baby boomers, who were the least likely generation to pay for an online tech course. Baby boomers also preferred online articles or blogs (41%) to free online courses (38%).” the authors concluded.
“As COVID-19 drove workers into social isolation, employers were encouraged to adapt their workplace learning to the new virtual world. According to our respondents, over half of employers offered technology education opportunities. Despite this, only 36% of respondents whose employers offered these resources used them. Over one-third of respondents (37%) whose employers didn’t offer technology education opportunities reported wishing their employer would do so.”