Are Tech Jobs Really Recession Proof?

  • September 16, 2022

When we’re facing a recession, naturally the first thought on most of our minds is whether our jobs are safe. There’s a widely held belief that certain careers are recession-proof. We’ll always need healthcare, education and law enforcement, for example. But outside of the public sector, there are some careers that fare better than others. Tech jobs are generally considered to be virtually recession-proof. But, is it true? And are we really headed for a recession anyway?

The economy has certainly gone a bit loopy. A housing market crash is forecast, yet there’s unprecedented demand for homes. There’s apparently a recession looming, and the US is already technically in recession. However, salaries are on the increase and there are about a gazillion jobs out there owing to the talent shortage.

All other signs of recession are there. Decline in GDP, spiraling inflation and subdued consumer spending. The cost of living crisis means that whilst salaries are increasing, in real terms wages are falling by record percentages.

So, a recession is probably likely, it’s just that it’s an odd scenario. It’s all part and parcel of the post-COVID, post-Brexit, amidst-Russia-Ukraine and continued global supply chain disruption “everything is just weird now” economy.

 

So, if the recession *is* coming, how recession-proof is the IT jobs market really?

Well, the answer is it’s fairly well-armoured, though not entirely impervious.

Research by CommsCo has shown that 83% of UK tech leaders are concerned about a looming recession. Their plans to protect their business against it include price hikes for their clients and consumers. Cuts to the marketing budget are inevitable, although there was no revelation of plans to cut headcount.

Despite concerns, more than half of respondents claimed to be optimistic for 2023. CommsCo MD Illona Hitel commented, “It’s a testament to the UK tech sector’s resilience and entrepreneurship that its leaders are still optimistic about 2023, despite the triple challenges with Brexit, the Ukraine war and the threat of looming recession.”

Optimism certainly reigns in the UK tech sector, but a healthy dose of realism never hurt anybody. No sector, business or job is 100% recession proof. Where costs must be cut, hiring freezes and redundancies are often the unfortunate consequence. And we need only look over the pond for evidence that the tech sector can be as tumultuous as any other during a period of economic turmoil.

 

US tech giants have announced redundancies and hiring freezes

In the US, widespread pessimism surrounds the announcement of multiple tech giant layoffs and hiring freezes. Oracle, Apple, Shopify, Meta, Intel, and Tesla all hit the headlines when they slashed jobs. Microsoft announced in May they would be slowing hiring, citing a need to realign staffing levels.

The tech sector may not be totally spared from the impact of a recession, however, the future isn’t all bleak. It’s expected that the sector will still display significant growth in multiple areas despite an economic downturn.

So, while we can’t promise anyone that their or any job is recession-proof, we do have some insight into areas of the market than can expect to benefit from the projected growth into 2023. A move into any of the following areas may provide a competitive advantage as we weather whatever economic storms are to come for the remainder of 2022 and beyond.

 

1.   Cybersecurity

Research shows that the job opportunities for cybersecurity professionals are virtually limitless. Meanwhile, the workforce capable of ensuring data and network security is very much limited. Where there’s demand like this, no skilled cybersecurity professional will be left out of a job in 2022.

2.   DevOps

COVID is really behind the fact that DevOps Engineer climbed the ranks to the most in-demand job title in 2021. The DevOps philosophy was rapidly growing in popularity. The advent of a global pandemic fueled unprecedented digital transformation, resulting in massively accelerated widespread adoption. The only thing standing in the way of rapid progress is hiring the talent needed to activate it.

3.   Development/Programming

The skills shortage means that developer roles are still very much in demand. With businesses citing their greatest struggles in recruiting for the following:

  • Full stack engineers
  • Back-end engineers
  • Front end developers
  • Application developers

A skillset and experience in any of the above roles should see you sail right through a recession with a safe job.

4.   Cloud architecture/administration

Virtually no businesses in 2022 will be able to execute on their digital strategies without the use of cloud-native architecture and cloud computing experts. That means cloud computing experts have not only a recession-proof skillset, but a future-proof career and the remuneration package to match.

5.   Data analysis

A report published by the World Economic Forum this year showed that 85% of companies are going to adopt big data and data analytics technologies. All industries across the world are looking to hire analysts to fuel innovation and inform business decisions.

 

Take a look at our current vacancies to see if we can tempt you into a role with a secure future.

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