While Covid-19 created many business challenges, it undoubtedly accelerated widespread digital transformation and created significant demand for new technology jobs. The need for building new information systems, analyzing data, increasing computer programming capabilities and more triggered record-breaking technology hiring trends.
In fact, according to CompTIA's latest Tech Jobs Report, job listings for U.S.-based technology roles hit a two-year high in October with roughly 360,000 technology job listings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that hiring of IT professionals is at record pace with 197,000 more IT jobs so far this year than at the same time last year.
And technology hiring demand shows no signs of slowing in 2022. Below, we look at the rise in profile of technology roles over the last year and how workers today - whether actively searching for a new job or looking to expand their current role - are successfully navigating the new world of work and the changing demands that come with it. Hint: the secret lies in skills-based digital learning.
The Digital Mandate - Technology Careers on the Rise
Digital transformation is not a new concept. Long before COVID-19, there was steady demand for technology-focused workers to help businesses execute transformative disruption, adopt new processes and innovate for the future.
However, the pandemic brought the use of business technology into sharper focus. Industries across the board – including education, retail, manufacturing, and financial services – were forced to prioritize digital-first strategies to ensure business survival. Employers were suddenly seeking more software developers, cybersecurity experts and data scientists to help manage and support digital transformation efforts.
Filling these jobs was priority one for businesses, and even as we enter year three of the pandemic, it’s still a priority. Companies creating return-to-work plans are grappling with the realities - and complications - of a new world of work. According to Gartner’s latest forecast, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, as businesses invest in advanced cloud infrastructure to support remote and hybrid workplaces; that’s a 5.5% increase from 2021 and the largest year-over-year jump in more than 10 years.
As a result, the technology jobs market remains hot. According to Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Guide, the top five most in-demand technology careers along with starting salary include:
Security professionals (Entry level salary: $100K - $124,250)
Cloud architects (Entry level salary: $121,000)
Database administrators (Entry level salary: $79,750)
Programmer analysts (Entry level salary: $88,750)
Systems analysts (Entry level salary: $81,250)
Companies like Facebook and Amazon joined the technology talent race early on and committed to hiring thousands of new technology-related workers. But these tech conglomerates aren’t alone and non-technology companies are seeking more job candidates with digital skill sets. With more and more companies fighting to attract the best technology talent, job seekers and even those with existing jobs are in the advantageous position of having more career options available than ever before.
How are people capitalizing on this trend and navigating the influx of opportunities? Skills-based learning has become a critical asset in the modern workers’ toolbox.
A Reskilling Revolution: As Careers Change, So Must Worker
Before the pandemic, the World Economic Forum predicted that technology will displace 75 million jobs by 2022. Further, McKinsey estimated that, by 2030, up to 375 million workers may need to reskill because of new technologies like artificial intelligence and automation. While we’ve yet to see this type of displacement, the massive tech labor shortages have dramatically accelerated the need for tech education alternatives that reskill / upskill employees, and online tech training has never been more important. It provides job seekers with easy-to-access online certification and credentialing programs that enable people to apply for new jobs. At the same time, it broadens the talent pool for employers looking to hire “non-traditional” tech employees or upskill current employees. Over the years, the “ideal” candidate has shifted and today it’s about the type of skills candidates possess and / or their eagerness to learn new skills, vs. having a particular degree
At Cengage Group, through our ed2go offering, we provide online instructor-facilitated courses and career training programs for adults looking to continue their learning journey. In the past year alone, we’ve seen an increase in tech-related training; our most popular courses include CompTIA Certification Training, Full Stack Software Developer Training, Introduction to Python 3 Programming, and Web Design Professional. Our ed2go courses offer learners a flexible, affordable and often fast path toward skilling up to meet new career demands.
John E., an assessor, is a great illustration of how our ed2go courses help workers advance their careers and expand their skill sets. John noticed that his company’s website was outdated, both in terms of the content and technology features. With no one else raising their hand to fix these critical issues, John was able to step up in this role by using the valuable skills learned through ed2go courses.
For context, John has taken more than 35 ed2go courses in the last 20 years to fill skills gaps on his resume, obtain new jobs in different career fields and stand out in existing roles. The types of courses he's taken cover a wide range of topics from business finance, to java programming, to photoshop, to web analytics and more.
“With ed2go, I was able to achieve everything that I needed to get that first step up as I explored new roles,” said John. “[And also] as a working dad, ed2go fits my lifestyle. I considered in-person classes at a community college, but that is a longer time frame of commitment, and a higher expense level than my schedule as an adult learner would allow. Ed2go courses give me flexibility, so I’ve never had to choose between a final exam and my daughter’s dance recital.”
Whether it’s advanced training or brushing up on the fundamentals, our core mission is to help people develop the knowledge and capabilities needed to advance their career or land a new job – all in a way that’s affordable and flexible to their needs.
Tech Training Doesn’t Just Impact The Individual Worker
Prioritizing reskilling / upskilling can have an impact larger than one might expect, beyond the impact on the individual. For example, in the U.S., approximately 31 percent of employees in the U.S. workforce have either no or limited digital skills, According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). In fact, when it comes to digital workforce skills, the U.S. lags behind countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, Japan, Germany, Italy and Taiwan. In particular, NextGov reports that the U.S. construction, transportation, health, and manufacturing industries showed the greatest lack of digital skills, which could hold the U.S. economy back as the world rapidly shifts into digital workflows.
To remain relevant and productive in the digital global economy, America must prioritize creating more digitally-skilled workers. Through federal investments in employee training programs, employer-funded tuition assistance and more, skills-based learning can help to ensure the workforce is proficient and competitive. Simply put, organizations today can’t transform, grow or compete if their employees’ skills aren’t aligned with shifting market demands.
Helping Employers, Employees, & Job Seekers See the Value of Digital Proficiency
At Cengage Group, we’re encouraged by the Build Back Better Act and the potential to bridge partnerships between higher ed institutions, online learning channels and employers to create a stronger workforce. We are proud to offer solutions that fit the needs of job seekers, workers, and employers, and are exploring new opportunities to help employers upskill their workforce quickly and affordably to keep up with rapid changes in technology and automation.
In our current environment, many people are reevaluating their careers and how / if a job is bringing real value to their daily life. Cengage Group is committed to supporting them in finding that passion, and helping to create the technology workforce for the future. We connect learners with meaningful technology training to help them advance their career, reskill and gain new certifications, or enter an entirely new technology career.
As the world of work continues to evolve, businesses will demand the technology skills and digital proficiency needed to support digital transformation, rapid growth and innovative expansion. Access to online education platforms that power technology-based learning will be critical to job seekers,employees and employers alike. For more information about Cengage Group and our ed2go technology courses, please visit: Online Courses and Certification Prep Classes | ed2go.