Tech jobs scorching regardless of layoffs at Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft

Thomas Barwick | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Big-name tech companies like Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft are being laid off en masse, but job prospects for applicants in the broader tech ecosystem will be among the best of any industry in 2023, according to a new ranking.

Eight of the top 10 “best jobs” in the US this year are technology roles, according to Indeed, which compiles an annual list of the top positions for job seekers.

These tech jobs are ranked #1 full-stack developers by Indeed; Data Engineers (#2); cloud engineers (#3); senior product managers (#5); Backend Developer (#6); Site Reliability Engineers (#7); Machine Learning Engineers (#8); and Product Designer (#10).

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Psychiatric nurse and psychiatric mental health nurse were the two non-technical occupations in the top 10, ranking No. 4 and No. 9, respectively.

Almost half, 44%, of the top 25 were tech jobs.

Opportunities in tech extend beyond traditional tech giants to areas like retail, finance, professional services, travel and tourism — all of which require technologists to build companies’ online presence and business, said Scott Dobroski, career trends expert at Indeed.

“Technical skills are in very high demand by companies everywhere,” Dobroski said. “Because every company today is a tech company.”

Indeed’s ranking is based on “opportunities” for job seekers, which means jobs need to grow quickly. For example, there were 1,398 full-stack developer jobs out of every million job ads advertised on Indeed, the highest proportion among other jobs. (A full stack developer builds the front and back end of a website.)

All jobs on the list pay annual salaries above the national average. At least 10% of their advertised positions offer remote or hybrid work — an increasingly important metric for American workers, according to Indeed.

Tech giants announce mass layoffs

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

That broad tech roles are heating up in 2023 might seem counterintuitive at a time when traditional tech giants have announced mass job cuts in recent weeks.

Google on Friday announced plans to lay off 12,000 employees, the largest reduction in the company’s 25-year history. Microsoft said last week it would lay off 10,000 employees by March 31. Amazon earlier this month said it would cut more than 18,000 jobs, the largest in its history. Meta said in November it would cut more than 11,000 jobs, 13% of its workforce.

In some cases, layoffs are a retreat from overzealous hiring early in the Covid pandemic, and not necessarily a harbinger of broader economic malaise. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy alluded to this stretch when explaining the rationale for their respective layoff plans.

Company representatives are also preparing for a possible downturn in the USA. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates in the hope that higher borrowing costs for consumers and businesses will dampen demand across the economy and tame high inflation.

But jobs indicators don’t suggest a recession is imminent, economists said — and by and large it’s a good time to get a job.

Job vacancies (a barometer of employer demand for labour) and the voluntary departure rate (a barometer of confidence in finding a new job) are close to historical highs in recent months, despite some cooling. Wage growth is still strong – especially for people changing jobs – and the unemployment rate is about the lowest it has been in five decades.

Tech skills are ‘in high demand’

Tech skills are “in high demand across the economy,” wrote Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, in November. Government agencies, aerospace companies, healthcare systems and retailers are among the employers who “often” point to a shortage of software engineers, cybersecurity professionals, data analysts and web designers, Pollak said.

“Had tech companies continued to grow at breakneck pace in 2020-2021, they would have monopolized US tech talent and made it impossible for employers in non-tech industries to hire tech talent,” she said. “Now other industries could have a chance.”

Aside from good news for existing tech workers, the high demand for tech skills is also a “big sign” of where opportunities exist for entry-level or transitioning professionals, Indeed said.

Employers are willing to find candidates with skills in “non-traditional ways” in the current hot job market, Dobroski said.

For example, workers can often acquire some basic technical skills through software development boot camps, online courses, or certificate programs that last several weeks or a few months, he said.

Currently employed workers, particularly at large companies, could potentially take advantage of mentoring opportunities and new on-the-job learning programs to acquire different skills or pursue different career paths internally, Dobroski said.

Workers should also consider where their current skills could potentially be transferred to another discipline, Dobroski added. For example, human resources positions, some of which are among the top 25 jobs of 2023, could leverage skills from sales and marketing backgrounds, he said.

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