Is Covid Changing the Job Market for Software Developers

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every industry around the world. In the US alone, the unemployment rate reached 14.7% in April – an all-time high since 1948. The good news is that compared to other sectors and industries, the IT sector is coping reasonably well with the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Read on as we discuss how the job market for software developers is evolving during the pandemic.

Demand for Software Developer Jobs Remains Strong

Despite the number of people getting laid off in every industry, the demand for software developer jobs is still strong. As per, there are over 500,000 openings for computing jobs in the USA. Software development is also one of the leading sources of new wages in the country. In 2018, software developers earned an average salary of $108,080, which is significantly higher than most jobs.

Low Levels of Unemployment

The unemployment rate in the IT industry has also remained at 4.2%. This is relatively low as compared to other industries and sectors. So far, the legal industry is the only industry with an employment rate lower than the IT industry.

In addition, most of the layoffs have been limited to managerial positions, and there is a healthy demand for hands-on roles. These include software developers, Cloud Engineers, website developers, DevOps, and more.  We can assume that this was for the purpose of cost-cutting since IT remains a vital function for all businesses.

Increased Spending on Digital Transformation

There has been a rapid rise in digital transformation, which has propelled further demand in the job market for software developers. As per the International Data Corporation (IDC), all major industries are embracing digital transformation to cope with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let’s take a look at the growth in digital transformation spending for 2020:

  • Distribution and Services – 18.6%
  • Financial – 19.9%
  • Infrastructure – 14.8%
  • Manufacturing and Resources – 15.7%
  • Public Sector – 18.1%

Given how precarious the current situation is, companies need to adopt digital transformation to remain profitable in the existing business environment. They require remote systems to streamline work from home. They also need to modify their service models to assist their customers virtually and introduce automation. Software developers, cloud engineers, and DevOps play a critical role in this process and can find jobs easily.

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Increased Demand for IT Consulting Services

Besides increased hiring for software developers and other IT roles, the forthcoming wave of digital transformation will also prove to be beneficial for companies that offer IT consulting services. IT consultants are expected to play a vital role in helping businesses transform their current service models and help employees get on board with new processes. Without IT consultants, companies will find it difficult to ensure the widespread implementation of their digital transformation solutions.

Normalizing Remote Work

With most businesses switching to remote work, the IT industry has also normalized work from home for software developers and other IT professionals. If you are applying for software developer jobs, then we recommend you mention any remote work experience in your resume. You can also prepare to answer questions related to maintaining your productivity at home when you are called in for an interview.

The Rise in Virtual Hiring

Companies are also adopting virtual hiring processes, so we recommend practicing for video interviews. Here are a few things you can keep in mind when you do this:

  • Make sure you are dressed formally
  • Test all your equipment before the interview
  • Have a high-quality internet connection in place
  • Use a neutral background for the interview
  • If you have any pets at home, make sure they don’t enter your room during the interview
  • Keep your webcam at eye level and practice looking into it when you talk to the interviewer
  • Maintain your posture and sit properly

The Bottom Line

The job market for software developers has continued to thrive in 2020. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate in the IT industry was at 2%. Post COVID-19, it rose by only 2.2%. Given the critical role that software developers and other IT specialists play in helping companies adopt digital transformation, the demand for IT jobs has remained relatively high. Technology is also vital for promoting telehealth solutions. We can expect companies to continue hiring software developers, cloud engineers, and DevOps to introduce new and innovative technology that improves customer experience.

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