- Workers who switched jobs during the Great Resignation gravitated to tech, according to a report by educational technology company Cengage Group published Tuesday. More than one-fifth of 1,200 respondents who quit their jobs and found a new one between May 2021 and May 2022 migrated to tech jobs, the report said.
- Nearly 9 in 10 respondents now working in tech said they were happy in their current position, as compared to 69% in healthcare.
- Despite high-profile tech sector layoffs, IT opportunities remain appealing to job changers. Nine in 10 respondents said they would switch industries if their jobs were eliminated by a recession, with 17% choosing tech as their destination of choice.
Nearly 4.2 million workers quit in November, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, strong evidence that inflation, rising interest rates and economic uncertainty has not yet quelled the Great Resignation.
A significant number of resigners have opted into the tech workforce, according to Cengage, lured by a persistent demand for IT staff, the promise of good pay and unemployment rates that typically trail the national average.
Compensation isn’t the only factor that made tech jobs attractive, the report said. More than one-quarter of respondents who took tech jobs left prior roles because they didn’t feel challenged by their work, and two-thirds said that upskilling opportunities were an important consideration in switching jobs. More than half currently in tech jobs said their previous employer did not offer training opportunities.
While tech employers laid off more than 150,000 workers last year, the broader economy added technology jobs at a rate that offset those losses. In December alone, a down month for added jobs, companies across industry sectors hired 130,000 tech workers, according to a CompTIA analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
The push for business modernization and innovation creates a perpetual need for tech skills beyond Silicon Valley, Jim Chilton, CTO at Cengage Group, told CIO Dive.
“There is demand for technology skills in every sector,” Chilton said, not just at the big tech companies that capture the lion's share of attention.
As the IT talent pool dries, companies turn to nontraditional sources more actively.
An established infrastructure of coding bootcamps, IT certification programs and online skills courses has helped ease the transition to technology work, both for employers who are willing to invest in upskilling and for aspiring workers seeking a career in tech.
“Unlike other high-paying sectors like law or medicine that require years of graduate education, the continuous need for new talent alongside the ability to learn the necessary skills quickly has made technology a popular sector for career switchers,” Chilton said.