Are we in a tech recession? There’s no way around it. News in the tech sector has been troubling, with headlines featuring layoffs at big companies. Tech giants are right-sizing their workforces after the hiring and innovation boom of the early pandemic years, and some are asking: does this mean this is a bad time to look for a job in tech?
The Practicum team has a vested interest in answering this question. Our students are eligible for a money-back guarantee six months after graduation if they have not landed a role in their field of study. We recently spoke with our Career Product Lead for the Practicum Software Engineering program, Anastasia Cherepanova, who had good news to share from her team’s in-depth analysis of the job market.
How is the tech job market really doing?
When analyzing the tech job market, Cherepanova’s team goes beyond the headlines and straight to industry-leading data sources.
“In reality, the job market for tech is very strong”, Cherepanova shared. When we met this with skepticism, she explained why.
When analyzing job trends a key source her team leverages is called Dice, a leading tech career hub. For their most recent 2022 report, Dice analyzed over three million tech job postings in the U.S. Their report revealed some good news. We met with Anastasia to break down the most recent Dice report and understand how Practicum uses it to inform their career program.
The method behind the madness
According to Dice’s report, there is strong demand for tech talent, with tech job postings up 45% since the beginning of the year and up 52% compared to the first half of 2021. “We can see a clear trend,” Anastasia points out. “Lots of ups and downs from the pandemic. However, from November 2020, there has been consistent growth, with an unusual spike in May 2022.” Of course, what goes up must come down. While there was an 11% decrease from May to June, this isn’t a cause for concern. “Summer months are usually slower,” Anastasia says. This reasonable decline was likely an overcorrection to the May spike; postings were still up 60% YoY in June 2022.
Jobs are available and many employers are ready to embrace a wave of tech talent. But what exactly are they looking for? What skills, roles, employers, and locations are turning heads? Dice’s report goes in depth on this as well.
Skills. Dice positions data-related skills, notably SQL, Python, and AWS, as the most in-demand by employers. “[It’s] important for professionals to master these skills in order to open as many doors [as possible],” Anastasia says. And while software engineers and developers remain in strong demand, those who have mastered the essential skills for building and maintaining tech stacks and databases (like SQL) have a good chance of landing a role anywhere.
Dice lists Agile methodology as number one in technical job descriptions (YoY: 68%), followed by problem-solving. The programming languages SQL and Python occupy the second and fourth spots (62%, 78%), and troubleshooting takes third. “Professionals also recommend looking into cloud computing,” Anatasia mentions, while TypeScript, Go, and R are up-and-coming.
Practicum alum Enyel Sequiera learned Agile while studying to become a full-stack developer. “While you are learning [your skill set at Practicum], you are also learning Agile methodology, which is used in most companies out here. And you have a fantastic community and a tutor that is always willing to answer your questions.”
SQL and Python are part of the in-demand professional skillset acquired by Practicum Data students.
Job titles. Although software engineers and data analysts occupy the first and third ranks, roles like data engineers (YoY growth 100%), full-stack software engineers (138%), and back-end software engineers (337%) have seen tremendous growth.“For job titles, honestly, I didn’t see any new information here,” Anastasia says. “We all know that software engineers are tremendously popular, and growth is 70%, which is huge. Business analysts and data analysts are also [in demand].”
Employers. Things are still trending up! According to Dice, 96% of the top 50 tech employers, including companies such as Amazon, Citigroup, Microsoft, and Google, have increased hiring from 2021 to 2022. However, Practicum grads typically find roles outside of this ranking. “I don’t see these employers hiring many SE grads,” Anastasia notes. “Typically we see our grads getting jobs at small companies. However, it’s important to pay attention to [the top 50 tech employers] because they more than likely set the trend.”
Practicum alum Jake McCambley landed a role as a full-stack software engineer at Zencare. And fellow alum Pinwei Wu is crushing it as a developer at Workbay. “Learning to collaborate with others and adopt new technologies to solve unique problems, and [discovering] what it feels like to build real projects gave me a massive leg up in the interview process,” Jake says.
Location, location, location. So, we’ve covered skills, job titles, and employers, but where are the best places to get employed? Of course, traditional tech hubs like NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Austin continue to lead the way in total tech job postings and are showing tremendous growth year after year. However, Anastasia cautions us not to overlook the little guys. “There are [...] smaller tech hubs that are growing a lot: Orlando, Miami, and Detroit. It’s worth paying attention to [these cities].”
Practicum’s part-time bootcamps are 100% online, so delving into a new career starts with simply finding stable WiFi. Plus, finding employment isn’t limited to your city. You could potentially find a role in NYC or San Francisco while living in a completely different state or country.
How we get our grads tech-ready
Practicum positions our students to meet the ever-growing demand, arming them with work experience, well-developed professional skills, and an HR/recruiting professional to coach them through every step of the way. Practicum hosts an array of externships, courses, and other resources designed to foster confident, career-ready grads. “We have great ways of delivering knowledge to students. A combination of engaging content on the platform and live interactions with tutors and coaches create a strong learning experience [for them],” says Anastasia. “It’s not only about the delivery. Rather, it’s the content itself. We closely monitor the tech market and update our course with the [most in-demand skills]. For instance, we have learned that problem-solving and understanding basic algorithms can be very helpful when it comes [to job searching]. With that in mind, we released an additional course about data structures and algorithms that is available to all our software engineering students.”
Externships. Many of our students take on externships with our partner companies. Students can boost their LinkedIn profiles and impress future employers with relevant projects and reviews. These partnerships create opportunities for our students to boost their portfolios and contribute to important causes. They have created websites related to climate change, sustainability, mental health, and LGBTQ+ matters.
“Practicum’s externship has been a fantastic way to put all the things I learned in the Software Engineering [Bootcamp] into practice,” says Jake McCambley, Practicum alum. “Working in teams with some incredible developers felt like a great introduction to the real world and has allowed me opportunities to augment my portfolio with projects of which I'm really proud. Some things are hard to teach on a web platform and are better taught with a fast-approaching deadline. I've learned to ask the right questions in order to learn skills that have made me a more efficient and capable developer.”
Career Prep Course. Our career lessons are seamlessly integrated within the Software Engineering Bootcamp. During each engineering module, students will not only develop tech skills but also understand their new career identity and learn about the job market (typical job responsibilities, salaries for different roles, and tips from the experts).
Our career lessons help students build the bridge between their newly acquired skills and career opportunities. The Career Prep course includes everything from job search strategies and resume building to storytelling and offer negotiations.
Students can also enjoy unlimited 1:1 consultations with our career coach.
Soft skills. We teach our students how to be valuable contributors to the tech community. Effective contribution takes well-developed soft skills, such as learning agility, teamwork, time management, and business thinking. Our carefully crafted content and webinars led by leadership coaches are quite popular among our students.
Acceleration Program. As the name implies, this program helps students accelerate their job search. The program has two core aspects: our community and career coaching. This includes individual and group consultations with a career coach and a tech professional, as well as a series of mock interviews. In their first days, students will receive resume and portfolio reviews, master their interviewing skills, and create solid job search strategies.
Career support. Practicum provides lifetime career-related support to grads. Consultations are held in Slack.
Media headlines may point to a possible tech recession, but the data paints a different narrative.
Dice reports strong demand for tech talent, nationwide job posting growth, an employer need for data-related skills, and traditional tech roles with specialized skills.*
Practicum career programs provide an ecosystem for grads to hone their skill sets, strengthening the bootcamp to tech industry pipeline.
Visit our site to learn more about our top-rated part-time online bootcamps today.
*This article is based on the Dice data report from July 6th, 2022. Current market conditions are subject to change.