By Nalea Ko

Published on August 23, 2021

Share on Social

While jobs took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic with 17.6 million fewer positions in May 2020 than there were in May 2019, tech occupations grew by 1.2% in that same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The pandemic triggered tech hiring trends that could be here to stay.

The pandemic created demands for specific tech positions, added workplace flexibility, increased the candidate pool, and led to more employee retraining. COVID-19 has impacted incoming tech workers, seasoned professionals, and individuals in other sectors looking to make a career switch.

Because of the pandemic, companies across all sectors have embraced remote working models that offer added flexibility for workers — especially for busy parents, caregivers, and people living in remote areas.

About 24% of all workers performed their job using some telework in July 2020, according to the BLS. And one survey has indicated that remote work will likely increase in tech through 2025, which could help diversify the workforce since employees do not have to live in the same location as the company.

Priorities in tech have also shifted with the pandemic. Increased use of remote technologies caused companies to invest in secure networks. The pandemic also created demand for specific roles in tech.

Read on to find out more about the tech hiring trends and the impact of COVID-19 on jobs, demand, and working conditions.

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Tech Hiring

The tech industry, much like all sectors, felt the impact of COVID-19. However, tech fared better and perhaps even benefitted when the pandemic disrupted business around the world and forced companies to use technology to communicate, conduct business, and shop.

In the United States, e-commerce grew 44% in 2020, with consumers spending over $861 billion, according to estimates fromDigital Commerce 360. The increased use of remote technologies in the workplace also put pressure on companies to invest more in cybersecurity.

The pandemic affected tech in four key ways:

Specific Roles in High Demand

Tech hiring needs changed because of COVID-19. Professionals skilled in cloud-based systems that could help companies transition to remote work were in high demand early in the pandemic.

Employers now need more software developers, cybersecurity experts, and data scientists. Even before COVID-19, demand exceeded supply. According to Forrester's analysis of BLS data, the amount of tech positions increased by about 60,000 from May 2019 to May 2020.

Data science jobs increased by almost 94%, and information security analyst positions grew by about 10%. Computer managers, software developers, web developers, and computer network architects all grew by about 5%.

Flexible Schedules and Remote Work

The BLS reported that in August 2020, about 1 in 4 professionals worked remotely that month because of the pandemic. Large tech companies embraced the trend early in the pandemic and sent their workers home.

Now, Slack and Twitter will continue to let employees work part time or full time from home, while Google and Apple will allow workers to work remotely two days per week. Other companies will likely follow suit.

An Upwork study found that 36.2 million Americans will work remotely by 2025, an 87% increase from pre-pandemic remote work levels. The increased use of telework could create a more diverse workforce in tech, making it easier for people who care for children or other loved ones to work full time.

More Applicants for Open Positions

The pandemic dramatically affected all sectors across geographic barriers. The unemployment rate in the U.S. hit a record high of 14.8% in April 2020. But by June 2021, the unemployment rate leveled off at 5.9%, according to the BLS.

Now, with a more stable economy, the tech industry has a surplus of qualified candidates vying for vacant positions. Many of these individuals became unemployed when their employers laid off their workforce or shuttered their business.

Non-tech candidates also joined the job hunt to change careers. The pandemic changed tech industry recruitment practices, with many companies in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Poland, Portugal, and Australia now hiring internationally.

Workforce Development

The pandemic created instability in tech and elsewhere. Because of COVID-19, many businesses halted tech industry recruitment and opted to reskill their current workforce instead. Internal mobility increased by 20% since the pandemic, according to a LinkedIn study.

Companies used their internal human resources departments and learning and development teams to offer professional development opportunities. This effort helped employees boost their qualifications and secure new or expanded internal positions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tech Hiring Trends

true Has COVID-19 made tech companies more willing to consider candidates without computer science degrees?

Yes. Tech companies have been increasingly accepting of coding bootcamp graduates who do not have a computer science degree, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. Employers want to hire people with classroom and hands-on experience in Java, HTML, CSS, and Python.

true Am I going to be able to find a job in tech if there are so many more applicants?

The increased tech talent pool can make finding a job more competitive. However, despite the rise in people seeking tech work, the demand for qualified tech professionals exceeds supply, particularly for jobs in software development, cybersecurity, and data science. The BLS projects 11% growth for computer and information technology jobs between 2019 and 2029.

true How do data science and data analytics careers differ?

Whiledata analysts and data sciences both work with data, they may perform different tasks. Data analysts collect and examine data to answer questions or solve problems. Data scientists do that too, but their jobs include more programming, statistical modeling, and predictive analysis. Coding bootcamps in data science often teach both data analysis and data science skills, such as how to use SQL and Python.

Similar to the FAFSA, the CSS Profile is a financial aid application required by certain colleges for the purpose of awarding nonfederal aid. Learn about the top online bachelor's in accounting programs of 2021 while also familiarizing yourself with common courses, career options, and helpful info. Whether you're looking for an online, in-person, or hybrid coding bootcamp, we've compiled a comprehensive list of the best bootcamps around.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.