While the coronavirus pandemic has battered some industries, others have thrived despite the ongoing crisis, including technology and science. In fact, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for jobs in math, science and technology will continue to surge over the next decade.
Hiring in the computer and information technology fields has faster projected growth between 2020 and 2030 than all other fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that demand for these workers stems from companies’ “greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.”
The coronavirus pandemic has expedited demand for other science and technology roles as well, including epidemiologists and information security analysts. “The prevalence of remote work has created additional need for network security and operations support,” Megan Slabinski, the district president for global talent solutions at recruitment firm Robert Half, tells CNBC Make It. Slabinski specializes in recruiting for technology positions.
While demand for technology talent is high across all industries, Slabinski notes that health care, e-commerce, government and education have the most need. “We’ve seen an enhanced amount of hiring for technology roles within these three industries as a result of the pandemic,” she notes. “We’ve seen the emergence of telehealth and remote patient monitoring in health care, and with traditional retail stores closed or limiting their hours during the pandemic, companies had to think about selling their goods online and enhancing their web presence to capture revenue from people shopping online.” Government and education entities, too, have been forced to update their technology infrastructure as employees and students had to work online.
Even before the pandemic there was a growing interest among companies to incorporate artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and other technologies into their business practices. “Companies have realized that there’s so much power in data and technology to either attract new customers or understand customer behavior,” Slabinski says. “New technologies help keep companies relevant and generate more revenue.”
Though some jobs like information security analysts and data scientists typically require a bachelor’s degree, not all of the in-demand jobs require formal post-secondary education. Slabinski suggests job seekers interested in breaking into the technology field sign up for a coding boot camp, reading books about the industry or volunteering at a non-profit organization to gain real-world experience. ”Most importantly, have a clear understanding of what it is you bring to the table,” she shares. “Are you creating any programs or products you can share with a potential employer? What are tangible results you can share with them, from your work?”
People also tend to underestimate the power of online networking in securing a technology job, Slabinski adds. “You should look within your professional and personal network and tell people, ‘This is the kind of work I’m looking for, who do you know in this industry? How do I go about securing a job?’ she explains. “Just be resilient and aggressive in terms of your communication and follow up until you land your dream role.”