The tech job market can feel like it changes as fast as the products that it’s building. Which means for entry-level employees—like new grads or those new to the industry—who are looking to jump into the market, finding a new role can be met with fierce competition, and perhaps a bit of hesitation.
Open up any browser and you’re likely to find news from the world’s biggest tech firms announcing another round of layoffs. Or, you might be hit with a new wave of social media apps that pose threats to existing products, and potentially, the jobs of the workers who maintain them.
But fear not. Technology isn’t going anywhere, and neither are the jobs that are required to keep it evolving. However, in order to get those jobs, those looking to enter the tech market need to be equipped and ready for what’s to come—especially if they’re the ones building it.
Is the tech industry growing?
We won’t mince words here: yes, the tech industry is growing, and yes, its workers need to keep up.
In tech, growing is more than sales, profits, and headcounts—or lack thereof. While it does include these aspects, growth can be represented by pivots, new ideas, and tackling challenges head on.
One recent challenge? Inflation. As the cost of living goes up, so does the cost of doing business, and the subsequent results of this are two-sided. One example is what we’ve mentioned above: layoffs. Less people doing more work, or the software to support more efficient work. (We’re looking at you, AI.)
On the other hand, this new focus on productivity can be positioned to present a more desirable outcome for businesses and their employees. According to Morgan Stanley, productivity isn’t just a push for more efficient workers—it’s an opportunity for profit and growth.
Here, a focus on productivity can act as “inflation armor”. For instance, when tech companies refocus their efforts on designing solutions that support productivity—like building tools for automated workflows and processes, for example—they’re more likely to succeed in volatile economic environments.
Which is exactly the beauty of tech and working in it: the transformation of coal into diamonds.
It’s a job that comes with pressure, both for the prospective entry-level hires who are trying to get into the field, as well as the senior-level employees who are job hunting (sometimes also for entry-level roles).
But it’s also an industry that continues to find opportunity and fortune through circumstances that are less-than-ideal. And in order to do this, the right people need to be hired.
What to expect when you’re an entry-level employee in today’s tech job market
Employees who are new to the industry and looking for an entry-level role in today’s tech job market might find that things look quite different than they did a decade or two ago.
In the early-aughts, new hires were enamored by shuttles that transported them to a different world: tech campuses complete with ping-pong tables, fully-stocked fridges, paid lunches and laundry services, and daily happy hours that would put any margarita bar to shame.
Fast forward 20 years and things, well, aren’t as shiny. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As technology has changed the world around us, the companies responsible for the changing are undergoing a metamorphosis, too. With the combination of remote work as a norm plus the impact of inflation, big and bustling headquarters have evolved to match the expectations of their employees.
What once was considered to be a lifestyle versus a job is now balancing out. Worldwide events, like the Covid-19 pandemic, have shifted perceptions of what matters to employees: less 15-hour work days and more 15-minute walk breaks.
And while this shift might seem a little less appealing for the new hires who were looking for a more Silicon Valley meets Wolf of Wall Street vibe, their chances at getting a job in tech might actually be improving.
According to this Forbes article, there’s a change in recruitment that will serve a variety of candidates. It quotes a Managing Director, Crystal Crump, who states:
Entry-level careers in the tech industry: the statistics
The numbers don’t lie, and what they tell us is that there’s hope for the tech job market and the entry-level employees who want in the door, or in this case, on the server.
- According to research from Deloitte, the size of the tech workforce has grown by more than half and its share in total employment in the economy has increased by more than a percentage point in the last 20 years—with much of the increase occurring in the last couple of years.
- Job increases in tech were happening in 2022, even amidst massive layoffs. Almost 80% of those laid off tech workers reported that they secured a new job within three months, according to a survey by ZipRecruiter.
- CompTIA’s analysis finds the tech unemployment rate in January 2023 was just at 1.5%
- A Robert Half survey reports that 64% of tech managers plan to hire full-time staff.
- But when it comes to workplace confidence, younger employees are lacking it. An article from BBC shows 18-to-25-year-olds to be the least confident out of all generations in their current job or role.
- Young, entry-level employees are on the hunt. According to McKinsey’s research, 77% of Gen Zers are looking for a new job, which is almost double the rate of other respondents.
of tech managers plan to hire full-time staff
3 ways to land an entry-level role with little-to-no experience
- Emphasize any work experience you have outside of tech industry jobs
“Soft skills” like communication, empathy, critical thinking, and time management all matter, especially in tech. If you have these skills, talk about them—even if you’ve applied them outside of the industry in a previous life.
It’s important for hiring teams to understand that you can work (and have worked) independently and with a team, and can do both respectfully, productively, and enthusiastically.
- Volunteer your tech skills at a charitable organization to gain experience in the tech industry
Have some time on your hands? Put it to good use with a charitable organization. This lets you flex your skills and have the proof to show it.
And remember: not all tech jobs are with the tech giants. Volunteering for a charitable organization might help open doors to other industries like healthcare or life sciences that may be hiring for entry-level tech roles.
- Create a LinkedIn profile to publish technical blogs to show your expertise
Want to get noticed? Use LinkedIn. Here you can share your learnings and technical work with an audience, gathering feedback and insights from readers, and hopefully a few recruiters, too.
Plus, you can tell your story: one connects the dots between your past work, volunteer time, education, and skillset and why you want to transfer them to a new industry.
The future of careers in the tech industry: what it means for entry-level hires
No matter the era, finding a job can be a job all on its own. In the late 2000s, new grads had to find work in the Great Recession, and today, new hires are searching for the right role amidst a sea of ex-employees from the Great Resignation.
This means the competition for roles in tech is stiff, but not insurmountable, especially when you consider the jobs in the tech market that are in high demand.
And when you follow this guidance and keep your confidence where it should be (boosted), you’ll be one of the thousands landing a new job in the field of your choice.
So get your gear on: you’re about to climb the tech ladder. Enjoy the view—we hear it’s worth it.