October 2, 2020
How Tech Salaries Will Change During and After the Pandemic
When it comes to the job market during the Covid-19 pandemic, not much can be discerned besides the fact that it is changing. One change that is quite obvious is the rise in tech-based jobs. This is occurring, mainly, because remote work has become so widespread among companies now.
Many feared that remote work was going to lead to a lethargic and unmotivated workforce, but even before the pandemic, there were astonishing studies that showed employees who worked from home actually got more done than their counterparts. Assuming companies acknowledge this and continue to work from home, tech-based jobs are going to continue to rise while traditional jobs fall as they are unable to adapt. This change will have a drastic effect on tech salaries and will be directly fueled by the pandemic.
More Competition Will Mean Saturated Fields
The rise of tech-based jobs is not a secret. A report by CNN that discussed LinkedIn research on fast-growing job markets resulted in a list that was dominated by tech-based jobs. To get a little more specific, ten out of the fifteen jobs on the list were tech-based. Clearly, people are learning about these fields and pursuing them, something that will only increase in the near future.
Therefore, competition in each tech field is going to increase drastically over the next decade which may result in some tech fields becoming saturated. A programmer’s salary currently sits at about $85,000 on the high end, but as more people learn to program that number may decrease. Why hire a programmer who will cost you $85,000 when another programmer would take the job for $60,000?
As the uniqueness of each tech field declines, so too will the salary that is provided due to that factor. In the end, tech jobs will still have high paying salaries, but some fields may see a marginal drop as the competition within them rises.
New Skills Will Result in New Salaries
If there is one thing that tech teaches us, it’s that a tech job can emerge at any time. Our technology is advancing at an extremely rapid rate and the pandemic has forced us to use some of that technology in new ways. As remote work continues, it is very likely that new skills and entirely new fields will be formed due to the disruption the workforce faces.
Just look at fields of study like machine learning, which have resulted in entire career paths such as data science to explode. Data science as a field has actually been around for 50 years or so but has been completely revamped and changed due to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Becoming a data scientist now requires a comprehensive understanding of machine learning and data analytics, two skills that were not at all required years ago.
As employees enter the workforce with unique and new skills, they will be compensated higher for the value they bring. It’s impossible to imagine what new tech jobs will emerge in the next few years as the world adapts to remote work and technology is fully integrated into the workforce. The only sure thing is that new salaries will be created to match the demand for these new jobs.
Tech Employees Will Be Better Trained
As a whole, the training for tech jobs is minimal at best. Most employees who have tech skills now are typically self-taught, but the rise in tech education has been changing this trend. As many traditional workers lose their jobs due to the pandemic, it is extremely likely that they may consider attending a trade school to gain training in a tech field.
The Atlantic discussed how back in 1999, enrollment for trade schools was only at 9.6 million students, but this number jumped to 16 million in 2014. For perspective, there were just slightly more students enrolled in traditional colleges at 16.9 million students. Technology has made online trade schools accessible to all, and the one-on-one industry mentorship received by trade school students sometimes provides more training than a traditional college experience.
In fact, some trade schools such as App Academy don’t even charge tuition until you land a job as a software engineer. This trend of providing students with a high level of training will result in employees who are highly skilled and would be paid more as such.
In short, remote work due to the pandemic will have an overall positive impact on tech salaries. Jobs that are based in tech have proved to be adaptable in the past and seem to show that same adaptability now. Therefore, tech workers will be high in demand and will be adequately paid for their unique skills. Covid-19 may destroy some traditional career paths, but new and lucrative options will soon emerge.
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