Big-name tech firms like Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft are undergoing mass layoffs, but job prospects for applicants in the broader tech ecosystem are poised to be among the best of any industry in 2023, according to a new ranking.
Eight of the top 10 “best jobs” in the U.S. this year are technology roles, according to Indeed, which conducts an annual list of the top roles for job seekers.
Those tech jobs, per Indeed’s rankings, are full-stack developers, at No. 1; data engineers (No. 2); cloud engineers (No. 3); senior product managers (No. 5); back-end developers (No. 6); site reliability engineers (No. 7); machine learning engineers (No. 8); and product designers (No. 10).
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Psychiatric nurses and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners were the two nontech jobs in the top 10, ranking at No. 4 and No. 9, respectively.
Almost half, 44%, of the top 25 were tech jobs.
The possibilities in tech extend beyond the traditional technology giants to areas like retail, finance, professional services, travel and tourism — all of which need technologists to build firms’ online presence and business, said Scott Dobroski, Indeed’s career trends expert.
“The tech skill set is very much in demand by companies everywhere,” Dobroski said. “Because every company today is a tech company.”
Indeed’s ranking is based on “opportunity” for job seekers, meaning roles had to be fast growing. For example, there were 1,398 positions available for full-stack developers out of every million listings advertised on Indeed, the highest share among other jobs. (A full-stack developer builds the front and back ends of a website.)
All jobs on the list pay annual salaries that are above the national average. At least 10% of their advertised positions offer remote or hybrid work — an increasingly important metric for American workers, Indeed said.
Tech giants announce mass layoffs
That broad technology roles are poised to be hot in 2023 may seem counterintuitive, at a time when traditional tech giants have announced mass job cuts in recent weeks.
Google announced plans on Friday to lay off 12,000 people, the biggest reduction in the company’s 25-year history. Microsoft said last week it would let go of 10,000 employees through March 31. Amazon said earlier this month it would cut more than 18,000 jobs, the largest in its history. Meta said in November it would cut more than 11,000 roles, 13% of its staff.
In some cases, layoffs are an unwinding of overzealous hiring early in the Covid pandemic, and not necessarily a harbinger of broad economic malaise. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy alluded to this overextension when explaining the rationale for their respective layoff plans.
Company officials are also bracing for a possible U.S. downturn. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, hoping higher borrowing costs for consumers and businesses will slow demand across the economy and beat back high inflation.
However, labor market indicators don’t suggest a recession is imminent, economists said — and, broadly, it’s a good time to get a job.
Job openings (a barometer of employer demand for workers) and the rate of voluntary departures by workers (a barometer of confidence in being able to find a new job) are near historic highs despite cooling somewhat in recent months. Wage growth is still strong — especially for people switching jobs — and the unemployment rate is around its lowest in five decades.
Tech skills are in ‘high demand’
Tech skills are in “high demand across the economy,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, wrote in November. Government agencies, aerospace companies, health systems and retailers are among the employers that “frequently” cite shortages of software engineers, cybersecurity professionals, data analysts and web designers, Pollak said.
“Had tech companies continued growing at the breakneck 2020-2021 pace, they would have monopolized U.S. tech talent and made it impossible for employers in non-tech industries to hire tech talent,” she said. “Now, other industries may stand a chance.”
Aside from good news for existing tech workers, high demand for technical skills is also a “big sign” of where opportunities exist for those starting or switching careers, Indeed said.
Employers are willing to find candidates with skill sets in “nontraditional ways” in the current hot job market, Dobroski said.
For example, workers can often acquire some basic tech skills via software engineering boot camps, online courses, or certificate programs that last several weeks or a few months, he said.
Currently employed workers, especially those at large companies, may be able to leverage mentorship opportunities and new learning programs in the workplace to acquire different skills or pursue different career paths in-house, Dobroski said.
Workers should also consider where their current skills may be able to transfer to another discipline, Dobroski added. Human resources roles, some of which factored among the top 25 best jobs in 2023, may be able to leverage skills from sales and marketing backgrounds, for example, he said.