How Industry Changes Could Transform Long-Term Tech Careers
We all know that feeling of settling into another familiar day at work. A repetitive one, even. Perhaps clear, detailed work expectations form a sense of comfort and security within you. Knowing what’s expected of you day-by-day can make for a consistently successful career - happy bosses, happy life. Right?
In part, yes. Previously, ticking off all of the day’s boxes was enough for many IT departments - is the Wi-Fi online? Yes. Has Sarah complained about her computer being slow again today, and consistently left hundreds of windows open? Of course!
Now, though, technology (and expectations) are changing. Take cybersecurity for example. With malware attacks having doubled year-on-year from 2020-2021, businesses are crying for help. 304.7 million hack attempts have contributed to new Data Protection regulations, and put firms on the firing line for being proactive with cybersecurity, rather than reactive. For IT managers, this is easy enough to handle - keeping antivirus up-to-date, the firewall active, storing data safely on the cloud, and encrypting files all contribute towards one satisfied business owner.
Only, demands go further beyond this one change. RPA, SaaS, AI integration, and even BlockChain payments are trends taking the tech industry by storm - and adding to the growing workload of technology employees. According to Tech Nation’s 2020 review, around 3 million people are employed in the UK’s digital tech economy - an increase of 11% within two years. Huge growth has boomed across our industry, driving labour demand (and a labour shortage alongside).
The most in-demand jobs include:
IT Support Professionals
Cyber Security Analysts
These titles contribute to tech and IT-related jobs making up 12% of all open UK vacancies, a feat guaranteed to transform the future of tech careers.
Forecasting 3 Major Employment Changes in Tech
For any tech employee looking for long-term security in their career choice, knowing how trends might impact their bargaining power and employment opportunities is important to making the most of technology growth.
As tech growth booms, labour demand isn’t set to slow.
Qualified, experienced candidates currently working in tech can expect to see more internal promotions - or added work benefits - as companies attempt to retain their current talent pool. Losing employees would be detrimental to growing businesses that are struggling to recruit for additional roles, meaning companies will be inclined to prioritise employee wellbeing.
Similarly, entrant roles will become increasingly more accessible for University graduates, no longer demanding years of experience. This will be driven by employers’ hopes to fill vital gaps in their workforces as fast as possible.
With labour demand expected to grow faster than the market can supply labour, a common side effect is expected to occur: increased salaries across the board - already evidenced by the changes throughout 2021. Last year, average salaries leapt by 12% - way above the national average of 5% (driven by a change in National Minimum Wage and Living Wage).
Flexible Candidate Demand
Previously, candidates with niche experience for specific job roles were a great hire for any business looking to increase the quality of their output.
Now though, recruiters are searching for flexible candidates who can fulfil multiple tasks across the scope of IT. Secondary and tertiary coding scripts for software engineers are a must, and there’s a push for Java Developers to start learning C++ and Python. With such a wide range of SaaS services available, technology companies have been widening their portfolio - part of why they were able to do so well during the pandemic. This forces employers to look for team members with huge flexibility and stress-management capabilities over specifically qualified candidates.
Anyone looking to progress their career in tech is highly advised to take extra training courses under their own jurisdiction, and show a clear willingness to learn. This will fortify long-lasting success in any job role.
Increased Training Accessibility
As employers become more aware of a growing labour shortage, we anticipate an increase in businesses that sponsor University scholarships, improve internal training access, and provide apprenticeships for interested entrants of any age. People currently working in IT can take advantage of this drive for education and use resources to expand their own skillsets for their future career prospects.
Plus, those looking for a change in job role may be able to attend places like Open University on a part-time basis, sponsored by their employer. This will help improve skilled labour availability - though it will take a few years before the market can supply sufficient qualified manpower. Businesses expecting huge growth should anticipate their change in human resource demand, and start investing in providing shorter college-level courses with placement opportunities to local students.
The Future of Tech Teams
Tech teams can expect to be the first ones to take the hit of growing demand. While growth brings financial rewards, sustaining employee wellbeing alongside scaling workloads is difficult for many businesses to master. Those in leadership positions, and especially in SaaS companies, should push owners to invest in Human Resource Management and work with external recruitment companies that can find solutions even in a market short of labour, using their pre-built list of contacts. Short-term, employees can expect to work with more “changing faces” - with freelancers, part-time staff, and temporary workers onboarded as a speedy solution to labour demand.
However, new technologies are able to replace the desire for people, to an extent. Using CRM software for admin tasks would be a sensible choice for many technology businesses, and adopting the technologies they are responsible for providing to others would be an easy transition. We can expect to see more RPA and AI that are assigned tasks in technology workforces long into the future.
At Forward Role, we’ve seen a vast expansion in technology labour demands and are looking for candidates wanting to be connected to dynamic job roles, so if you’ve been searching for new and exciting employment opportunities, we’d love to help! Or, if you’re looking to grow your technology function, get in touch with us.