It Job Market Breakdown:
The world needs IT workers. With the coronavirus pandemic changing our reliance on technology, this is true now more than ever before. The post-COVID-19 environment faces an enhanced threat of cybercrime while millions of workers attempt to navigate new software and technology from home.
The combination of these factors means IT professionals will continue to be an essential aspect of business even as companies tighten their belts. IT workers remain in high demand, a fact unlikely to change any time soon. Now, however, they face unique challenges in remote hiring and working situations.
Here, we’ll discuss the state of the IT job market for a post COVID world, as well as the positives and negatives that come with it.
IT Job Market: IT Shortage
Despite the slowdown of business around the world in light of the pandemic, it won’t make financial sense for companies to drop their IT support. The average cost of a data breach across 2020 was $3.86 million. IT professionals are instrumental in preventing costly breaches, as they ensure that systems are functioning and updated properly.
With millions of people now working from home, the reach of IT support has to go further than ever before, extending across remote desktops and various IP addresses. This presents dangers and problems that will require more and better trained IT professionals.
But there already was a shortage of qualified IT and cybersecurity talent. An examination of the industry long before the pandemic found:
- A general lack of qualified candidates, with positions taking as long as six months to be filled
- A large portion of underqualified IT employees working positions
- An overall lack of resources for wide-spread security training
These are problems that are only getting worse. Around the globe, the shortage of IT professionals with security skills has now reached 4 million needed workers. During the pandemic, cuts may have been made and IT projects restructured, but the outlook for the future of the IT job market remains bright.
Businesses need IT professionals. However, for these workers attempting to navigate the new remote hiring landscape, there may be challenges to consider.
The Challenges of Remote Work
For remote workers, both prospective and currently working, the new job market doesn’t function quite like it used to. On the hiring side, remote working broadens the pool of potential candidates. For the candidates, this means greater competition, especially since COVID.
Luckily, however, the substantial shortage of IT workers means the opening up of the workforce to any geographic location could help you find a high-paying position without moving to a costly location. This has the potential to work out in favor of much-needed IT professionals, however, the ultimate effect of remote work on salaries is undetermined.
Once you’ve secured a job, though, a new set of concerns will occupy your working life. These include:
- The distractions of working from home.
- Dealing with various Wi-Fi networks and supporting your remote coworkers.
- Training or dealing with coworkers with limited or inadequate security awareness.
- Managing BYOD devices and setups remotely.
- Configuring VPNs and firewalls to adequately protect remote access.
These challenges can make for a complex and difficult working environment, defined by communication struggles and technology management. IT professionals will have an easier time navigating this environment—but their coworkers may not.
However, remote work doesn’t have to be as frustrating as it sometimes might seem. Here are a few tips for staying successful while working remotely:
- Organize your files, resources, and tools—then stay organized.
- Focus on your communication skills. Clear communication is essential to remote working success.
- Limit distractions out of your home office space.
- Stay patient, take breaks, and remember to breathe.
- Try to unify the tools and software used across the business.
Remote work may not be the ideal fit for IT roles, but you can confront its many challenges to support a positive environment for you and your coworkers. Dedicate your efforts to clear, empathetic communication and educate your colleagues about safe digital practices.
IT Job Marketing: Open Jobs and Qualified Seekers
There are currently plenty of positions available for IT workers—especially those with cybersecurity experience. With remote work and cybersecurity solutions an absolute demand of modern business, the outlook of IT as an industry is bright—no matter the twists and turns of the stock market.
The IT shortage that existed long before the pandemic has met with the transitions caused by it to further increase the demand for IT professionals. While the new remote working environment can present unique challenges for these professionals, you can prepare your workspace and skillset to accommodate the new normal and enhance the potential for yourself and your coworkers.
The IT job market is thriving. Just take a look at some of the most actively hiring tech companies, and explore your future in the IT industry for job security unlikely to vanish in the foreseeable future.