As consumer habits around the world change under the coronavirus lockdown, demand for tech companies that satisfy our needs for virtual work, entertainment, and socializing has skyrocketed. Whether you have experience as a software engineer, data scientist, marketer, UX designer, or in some other area, this could generate new demand for your skills and new opportunities in tech.
Companies like Amazon, Google, Uber, and Facebook are thriving. In March, Amazon announced plans to hire an additional 100,000 workers throughout its warehouses and delivery network. A week later, Facebook reported record traffic for its video calling and messaging services. Meanwhile, viewership on platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Twitch continues to grow.
The big question is whether these involuntary changes in consumer habits and remote work practices will persist in the long-term—and what that might mean for the tech industry as the world heads towards a post-pandemic recession.
“When this is all said and done, I do think the pandemic will fundamentally alter our way of life and we will see new companies emerge from this like we saw Uber, Venmo, and Square come out of the recession,” said Mike Brown, a research analyst at financial services comparison site LendEDU.
In other words, this might be the best time to start looking for a job in tech. Here’s what you need to know.
Remote work is creating demand for new products
B2B SaaS companies are among those seeing a surge in demand from businesses in urgent need of remote work infrastructure for their employees, so you may want to target your job search towards companies that provide those services.
For example, the video conferencing platform Zoom went from 10 million daily users in December 2019 to 200 million in March. With shuttered schools and universities using the teleconferencing service to host classes online, Zoom, which has over 150 open positions at the time of writing, recently posted several job openings for account executives to onboard K-12 and higher-ed clients.
Project management and remote collaboration tools are also experiencing unprecedented interest from new audiences. Slack, an instant messaging platform and app, recently reported a surge in usage and launched a redesigned chat app to help remote workers stay more organized. Microsoft Teams reported 44 million daily users in March, up from 20 million in November, while vendors including Google, Cisco, and LogMeIn are making chat, video conferencing and other collaboration services free as remote work booms—presumably in the hope that the new customers it acquires during the pandemic will continue to use these services in the long-term.
“As more companies explore remote work as the norm, there will be more opportunities where new grads can apply,” said Kelvin Nguyen, a Springboard mentor and former software engineer at LinkedIn and Intuit. “Tech is a segment that is not as deeply affected by the recent changes unless the company works in an industry directly affected like travel or hospitality.”
Consumers are going digital
It’s obvious the pandemic has changed our consumer habits. Many of us are discovering for the first time what it’s like to follow a YouTube workout, interview for a job via video conference, or study online.
You may be discovering for the first time the convenience and cost savings of not having to commute, pay for a gym membership, or shoulder the associated costs of studying on campus, and many of these habits may stick after the pandemic is over.
This demand has led to a growing number of job opportunities in tech.
In a research note predicting which businesses will emerge stronger or weaker after the pandemic, Morgan Stanley analysts indicated that consumers are likely to make a long-term switch to shopping online for groceries and pet food even after the pandemic eases up. Amazon, Uber, Google, Facebook, and online pet supplies retailer Chewy were among the companies analysts slated to emerge “stronger post-downturn.”
Some tech companies are doing better than others
While certain tech companies are thriving, it’s important to note that the pandemic and ensuing economic fallout have just begun, says Springboard mentor Paolo Lucchino, a former labor economist who is based in a small town near the Adriatic coast in Italy.
Even though tech companies that employ knowledge workers are “more resilient” than service sector businesses that rely on low-wage labor and brick-and-mortar locations, mass unemployment could eventually shrink demand even for the B2B SaaS companies that are flourishing right now.
Not all tech companies are rolling in cash, especially those in travel and hospitality. Coronavirus-related cancellations have overwhelmed third-party travel booking sites like Expedia, Booking.com, and Orbitz as thousands of travelers scramble to change their plans. More than 50 startups have cut or furloughed roughly 6,000 workers in recent weeks, according to the New York Times, including travel companies like Vacasa and hiring platform ZipRecruiter.
Nguyen, who is working on a travel startup, said he’s had to delay the launch of his app, which helps users plan personalized vacations. “We’ve already had to make adjustments to our launch strategy and due to the uncertainty around the outbreak, we are not sure when is the most appropriate time to go to market.”
Just starting your job search? Do this first
To better prepare you for the learning and career journey that lies ahead, Springboard has partnered with industry thought leaders in creating a new initiative for our students and the greater Springboard community.
Every week, we’ll be hosting a free, live Career Coach Ask Me Anything (AMA) session, featuring expert advice to offer you job search advice to prepare for a post-pandemic economy. These sessions are free and open to everyone.
Ready to learn more?
Browse our Career Tracks and find the perfect fit for your next career. We offer online courses in UI/UX design, data science, data analytics, software engineering, and machine learning—all with our one-of-a-kind job guarantee. Each student gets a 6-month runway to secure a role in their industry: if you don’t, you’ll get 100% of your tuition back.