Navigating the Storm: The Reality of Pursuing a Career in Tech During Times of Uncertainty
With the continued possibility of massive tech layoffs sweeping across the world, there are growing concerns about the future of tech professions and how this might affect those who are interested in building a career in this field.
A wave started from tech giants: Meta, Amazon, and Twitter
We’re no strangers to the headlines that have been front and center every day. The global wave of layoffs has hit many US tech companies like Meta, Amazon, and Twitter and now this uncertainty is presenting itself in Southeast Asia.
While most of us in the industry view the recent wave of layoffs at major tech companies as a discouraging sign for those wanting to start their tech careers, experts argue that these fears are overdone and that tech talent is still in high demand and “desperately needed” across many industries.
According to the most recent 365 Data Science study, it’s interesting to note that the most affected positions from the layoffs wave have been non-tech positions. More specifically, the largest group is HR & Talent Sourcing (27.8%), and followed by Marketing (7.1%), Customer Service (4.6%), and PR & Communications (4.4%), etc.
So, where do we go from here?
CNBC reports that non-tech companies in industries such as education, healthcare, and government are competing with larger pure-tech companies for talent. Despite recent layoffs, data from LinkedIn still shows a high demand for engineering specialists, software engineers, and data analysts. What’s more, a study from Fortune revealed that there is still a robust demand for students who are eager to break into the tech field, with data science ranking as the most popular online master’s degree program, with a 20% increase in enrollments between 2001-2022.
Even in the midst of disruption and turbulence there are ample opportunities for those with technical skills. For example, Glints Singapore – a leading job recruitment platform has found that technology businesses are looking to Vietnam and Indonesia for tech expertise so that they can create and benefit from a decentralized, superior workforce, with higher productivity.
How to navigate the layoff storm?
Nonetheless, this current layoff wave is a reflection of the rapidly changing world around us. For tech professionals, it is essential to continue to develop skills and stay on top of emerging trends and technologies while simultaneously building out your capabilities to meet future demands.
To build a career in the tech industry, many professionals would support the idea of combined learning across multiple specialties in order to better collaborate and solve real world problems for consumers. By cross-learning and information sharing, professionals can build out a robust knowledge base across key areas in demand such as programming, data science, software engineering and more.
The first step to securing a job in the tech industry is to develop the robust skill sets and competencies to excel in your career. All the demanding technical professions nowadays include programming, data science, data analytics, software engineering, development, etc.
For example, according to Fortune, within the data science field in 2023, the jobs will shift away from a generalist approach, and technological skills will ramp up. As a result, tech experts predict that data scientists will need to specialize in business and market analysis, AI and machine learning, infrastructure, and data cleansing.
Speaking about starting a career in the tech industry and specifically, data science on the latest episode of Commerce Talk with SmartOSC, Akanksha Rastogi, Head of Data and Insights at Foodpanda Thailand also gave some interesting advice for beginners:
“Data science is something which is as much a science as much an art, a field moving so fast that by the time you learn the latest, there’s a new latest. If you want to get into this field, be sure that this is something that you genuinely inspire because we’ve created a whole lot of buzz about how this is such a lucrative career. It takes an incredible amount of conviction, hard work, and love to solve problems that are unique and don’t have a standard outcome. The first thing for people who want to go for the career is before making massive changes and committing themselves, experience it. For an internship, do a project, just learn. There are so many resources out there, experience it and make sure you like it because then you’ll be able to do wonders.”
Hear more about Akanksha’s thoughts on the data science career in tech in our CommerceTalk podcast.
While world-wide layoffs at this rate can be extremely challenging, they also present opportunities for growth, clarity and change. By embracing new skills, seeking out new opportunities, and supporting one another, tech professionals can not only survive but also thrive in their careers.