US job market: Tech skills in-demand post COVID-19
Technology and tech-related skills have become pivotal for the survival of businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting organisations to a digital-first business model, which is heavily reliant on tech skills.
The recent shift to remote work, virtual interviews, and virtual meetings has pushed businesses across the globe to wake up to a new world where tech-related skills and tech infrastructure is pivotal for the survival of their businesses.
We have recently seen the rise of new applications, the growth of e-commerce and online marketplaces, as well as the reliance on virtual private networks (VPN) for safe access to corporate resources.
Gaps in the tech sector have made it difficult for businesses to fill roles that require the skills of software engineers and architects, system engineers, data engineers, specialised developers, and data scientists.
On the other end of the spectrum, the supply of talent with skills in less specialised tech roles is greater than demand. The roles that fall into these categories are in technical support, help desk analyst, and IT technical personnel.
Indeed’s analysis of most in-demand tech jobs until March 2020 shows that there is a 30% growth in new job listings across the ten most in-demand jobs.
Similarly, the most in-demand jobs require skills in WordPress Development, Systems Integration Engineering, SAS Programming, experience in roles like Senior Technical Lead, and SAP ABAP development.
Indeed lists the top ten tech jobs in demand as:
1. Software Engineer Manager
2. SAP ABAP Developer
3. Senior Architect
4. Database Engineer
5. Ruby on Rails Developer
6. Senior Technical Lead
7. SAS Programmer
8. Field Application Engineer
9. Systems Integration Engineer
10. WordPress Developer
This has pushed organisations to revaluate the skills that their businesses require to survive. In fact, many business leaders are beginning to review and update the tech skills of their existing workforce to cater to the demand of the current working environment.
However, the dynamic nature of the tech industry and tech skills has always been a well-known fact. As the demand for different tech skills evolves with time, reskilling and upskilling is essential and many large tech companies in the US understand this.
One example is America’s multinational tech conglomerate, Amazon which announced that it would spend $700 million on retraining and upskilling 100,000 of its employees.
IBM, another American multinational technology company reported that more than 120 million workers across the world’s 12 largest economies may need to be retrained in the coming years
Are tech skills the only key to finding employment in tech firms?
In the tech industry, MBAs who specialise in technology management and work as leaders in the technology sector can make up to US$113,000 a year, with information technology directors earning up to US$147,000 a year.
GMAC has also cited the fast growth of tech companies as the pull factor when it comes to MBAs, making it the perfect grounds for MBA holders to establish their post-graduate careers.
In 2020, tech joins the likes of consulting firms such as McKinsey to become the biggest employers of MBAs.
Technology companies that heavily recruit MBA graduates include Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Intel, and IBM.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer and a prominent cloud services provider, has hired as many as 1,000 employees from about a dozen of the country’s most elite business graduate schools in the past years.
Amazon reportedly hires MBAs from top business schools including Michigan Ross, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, Chicago Booth, and Columbia.
Amazon is now hiring more tech MBAs, from a broader range of schools as the tech giant has plans to hire more than 1,000 MBA employees this year from more than 80 schools across North America.
Companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Cisco also report similar trends, with a large concentration of MBA, hires having gone to school in MIT Sloan and Northwestern Kellogg.
MBAs specialising in technology, technology leadership, and even entrepreneurship are highly sought after by professionals who are keen to find employment with tech companies.
These specialisations give you the advantage of a general MBAs that will cover the key aspects of an MBA with the additional emphasis on technology.
This allows the learner to gain the knowledge and skills related to general business, management, and leadership, on top of the specialisation in technology.
The core curriculum varies by school but in general, these programmes will cover areas of finance, statistics, accounting, marketing, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and ethics.
The added specialisation in technology will set graduates from these programmes apart in areas such as business intelligence, emerging technologies for business, business process and design, database application, as well as information systems.
Quacquarelli Symonds, QS recently released rankings for various MBA specialisations, including the top programmes for careers in technology.
The ranking is based on surveys conducted on employers, academics, and business school programmes, and evaluated MBA programmes on career outcomes in the tech industry, programme reputations in the industry, and research output related to technology.
The top three schools based on QS rankings is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan with 32% of its MBAs going into the tech industry.
This is followed by the University of California at Berkeley (Haas) with 37% of its MBA graduates going into the tech industry. This is followed by Stanford University, the University of California at Los Angeles (Anderson) and Northwestern University (Kellogg).