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Concerns about Tech....Thoughts?

After reading articles about the Tech Industry, I noticed that many tech professionals are concerned about the job market.

Some describe the market as "in a rough place" or "slowing down" due to layoffs from major companies. At the same time, the BLS says that computer and information jobs are expected to grow between 15% and 21%.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. Hearing it's growing yet bad confuses me.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?
Ultimately, what should people pursuing careers in technology keep in mind? Should they stay or go into something else?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Aaron’s Answer

This is a great observation and I'm glad you mention the two conflicting messages. I'm also glad to hear you're reading up and doing homework. This is a great habit to keep up. I see you're located in Detroit, as a fellow Michigander I'll say I was in Detroit when it was at its peak and when it tanked with the crash of Ford, GM, etc. I mention this because it is relevant to your question. Why did these companies start to crash? Ford created the assembly line, a backbone of our economy, GM was an equally impressive company. Almost everyone on my street moved within 6 months, people were selling homes for $1. It was just us for a little on our street. My dad worked for Nissan and we were fine but ultimately things weren't looking good in our neighborhood so we decided to get out to the west coast to some nicer skies. I think that's when it hit us...Detroit...the motor city...had become bland with their innovation. On the west coast you had a lot more electric car companies coming out and innovation. Tesla Car gigafactory, etc. You name it. There's just more of what I would call the "technology" behind the next car revolution on the west coast. Thanks to government bailouts Ford and GM still exist and are finally hopping on board with trying to take over the future electric car sector mostly because the government would never let them fail.

It sounds ironic to say that the tech professionals that are concerned are the tech professionals that are not keeping up to date with the new tech. Professional video editors are losing business to hobbyists using free website editors like canva now. You don't need a fancy editor to get a fancy video or at least a video that is social media worthy anymore. You don't need a custom website developer to make a semi-custom website for your business anymore...Where there is a problem...someone creates a solution. It's important in tech to make sure your job doesn't solely exist because of a problem. Someone will find a solution for your job eventually and then you will be out of a job. This doesn't mean it's wrong to make some money doing things that almost anyone could do. People pay you for the time they don't have half the time and not actual skill because they don't have the time to do it themselves. However, remember, that eventually, you have to accept a software might come out to replace you and you need to adapt or perhaps be the person who created the software to replace yourself.

Here's a couple more thoughts:
1) Staying at the forefront of technology. It's important to learn new things so you don't get outsourced/replaced to new technology. I'm learning all about AI video editors now and AI voice training. I didn't know much about this last month but I have a client that's interest and you just nod your head yes, learn it, do it, and win that paycheck. Eventually lots of videos that are educational really will be AI but someone needs to know how to run the AI so I'm learning and this way I can say...I create AI curriculums, etc, etc, etc
2) Don't get greedy...it blinds you. All the big tech companies are laying off all the developers they were paying 200k a year to over these last few months and at this very moment because the developers created solutions that replaced themselves and the big companies realized they can get kids straight out of college to just maintain the same stuff and keep building on those solutions for 60-90k each.
3) Be versatile. On that last note of web developers getting laid off...many people thought they had found the dream of 200k a year...this leads people to become less versatile, less willing to learn new things, less willing to move or make changes in their career. It's a rude awakening to realize you can't do the exact same thing in your computer programming for the next 20 years. Don't just be a web developer for example...be a content creator too, be a semi good video editor, and have a blog. Don't just be an electrical engineer...be a hobbyist toy maker, etc.
4) Being the historian: The truth is...so many people get caught up with knowing what's new...they forget how any of this even works...there is a growing need of younger folk learning what the backbone of our internet, computer networks, and infrastructure actually is. We can do all these amazing things like AI and blockchain...as long as we have the internet. Take the internet away and we're pretty much a useless civilization. So...lots of the people that built the internet and all this infrastructure that lets us all work from home remotely are retiring and (I hate to say) passing way. What happens if no one remember how all this stuff was built? There is a niche in going this path and learning about the very basic of how everything runs, etc.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your insightful reply! Reading your reflections and advice really helped me. Thank you so much! Tianna
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Amy’s Answer

Hi Tianna -So you can work in technology but not work at a company in the tech industry. There's definitely many companies continuing to do well but not in the so-called "tech industry". The skills that you discuss are very important/marketable etc. as every company needs people that have these skills as technology is everywhere. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out!
Thank you comment icon Hello! Thank you so much for your reply. What jobs outside of the tech industry comes to mind? Tianna
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Lise-Ann’s Answer

Some of the changes I'm seeing in the IT industry are some of the skill sets are moving out of traditional IT organizations and more into business areas and/or roles requiring strong partnerships with business areas. My advice would be to not to focus just on technology, but how it will be used and applied. Study an area of business/field/industry (hopefully one that interest you!) as well where the tech skills can be applied.
Thank you comment icon Hello! Yes, I noticed that there's more demand for people with knowledge in both business and tech. I'm looking into degrees that will give me a fresh start in these areas. Thank you so much! Tianna
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Erik’s Answer

I have been in the Technology Market for almost 30 years. The tech market is in good shape. It will always have ebbs and flows. However, technology drives all businesses. So, innovation is always happening. The fear that many people have comes from all the news of layoffs. The reality is this:

1) COVID. Technology companies over hired to fill the tech demands of everyone suddenly working remotely. To adapt, businesses had to restructure their IT infrastructure and bring in new tools for collaboration and productivity of remote workers. So, technology vendors went on a hiring spree to handle the influx of projects. This overhiring (think Microsoft, Cisco, Accenture, Google, Amazon down to much smaller companies) correction was inevitable as businesses returned to normal, post pandemic.

2) Weak Economy. The US economy is not strong. All industries are being impacted. When business cut spending, it often starts with IT projects that are non-essential. What this means is, some IT vendors will have their projects cut or delayed, while other won't. However, as the economy rebounds, so will the spending.

All industries have ups ans downs. However, the tech industry always has jobs available because there are hundreds of companies "creating" solutions to solve tomorrow's problems.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this. It's helpful. Thank you! Tianna
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Jason’s Answer

Hey Tianna,

First I applaud you for paying attention to current events and doing some research! great skills to having when looking into tech as a career. The first thing I’ll address is the job market. when it comes to job markets and well markets in general they move in what are called business cycles. Sometimes they’re great and others they’re not so great. there are various reasons for this but as of right now most of it is caused by companies evaluating what is most important (turning profits) and eliminating those business units that are costing the company more than they’re making. Unfortunately that hurts the job market. However that presents the opportunity for the company to develop plans for new ventures and hire more people in the future. This is that 15-21% increase you mentioned. it might not happen overnight but it comes in due time.

I’ve been in the industry 8 years it’s a rewarding and fulfilling. If tech is of interest to you i say go for it it’s one of the best and fastest growing industries despite the current moment in time and looks to be that way for years to come. The biggest thing to keep in mind in any job is to bet on yourself and continue to grow your skillset. While some companies are laying off others are hiring those same people.
Thank you comment icon Your answer is very helpful! I understand better now. Thank you so much for your help! Tianna
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Blakely A.’s Answer

The tech job market is hard right now! As some others have suggested, Covid spiked hiring and, as business is leveling out, companies are finding themselves overstaffed. I know a few people who are struggling to get re-employed after layoffs. However, I believe that in just about any market you want to get into... the market condition may give you higher or lower odds, but a good candidate is a good candidate in any economy. Tech is a good field to get into if you love tech and can show up to interviews enthusiastic about growth, trends, and innovation. If you have a growth mindset and can add value to your teams, you will be fine. Think of what kind of professional you want to be and go into interviews and opportunities knowing your brand. I'm in tech audit and it's a great post-grad area to grow in because I'm constantly learning about different systems, operations, security considerations, and more. Finally, look at companies that invest in educating their employees and you will continue to stay relevant in the tech industry. There are some positions where you are simply there to do a task, but there are other positions where you are able to improve/build/strengthen something. Choose the positions that keep you growing.
Thank you comment icon Hello! Thank you so much! Growth is important and underrated. I'd love to keep learning. I appreciate your perspective! Tianna
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Kate’s Answer

Tianna, Tech is still growing faster or at a similar pace as other industries, it's just not seeing the "hyper growth" tech experienced in the last 10 years. Most folks in tech have never had to even consider the possibility of layoffs in the last 10-15 years, but like every industry, they are now a reality in tech. This period was inevitable, but tech is still a high-paying industry with very rewarding careers. And, for how large the tech sector is in all American jobs, there are still many more tech jobs than other industries. You have the opportunity to invent technology that real people will use and benefit from. If that's your passion, go for it without fear. Layoffs are a reality in all careers.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Appreciate these thoughts! Tianna
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Mrinalini’s Answer

Hi Tianna! It's fantastic to see how well-prepared and forward-thinking you are about your career options. You're absolutely right about the data you have, but always remember that change is the only constant in life. It's true that every job comes with its own set of challenges and fluctuations. While government jobs may offer more job security, private sector positions can sometimes involve the possibility of layoffs if needed.

Given your remarkable awareness and maturity, you're definitely equipped to make the best choice for yourself depending on your priorities and concerns.

On the other hand, the tech world is a dynamic and exciting space to be in! You'll constantly be on your toes, working hard, upgrading your skills, and embracing healthy competition that keeps you engaged and growing. With this mindset, you'll never find yourself stagnant, always looking towards the future and considering what more you can achieve.

Based on your insightful thought process at this age, I truly believe you'll be a valuable asset to any organization you join. Keep up the great work and continue to stay proactive about your career choices. Chase your aspirations and flourish in all that you do. I wish you all the very best on your journey ahead!
Thank you comment icon Hi! I appreciate your thoughts around the tech industry. I'll keep your words of encouragement in mind. Thank you so much! Tianna
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Dino’s Answer

Hi Tiana,

First of all, I want to congratulate you on being so forward-thinking and proactive in researching the future of technology programs – that's an excellent quality to have! It's inspiring to see someone like you who's passionate about their education and career goals.

Now, about twenty years ago, IT, computer science, and computer engineering gained immense popularity among students who excelled in mathematics. They all aspired to be part of the IT revolution. It's true that some big tech companies have faced closure, teaching us that nothing is permanent in this world. But remember that change also breeds innovation and growth.

Technology holds the power to make our world function more efficiently, and it is unlikely to be replaced anytime soon. The fact that you're considering your future and questioning the long-term stability of a career in IT shows that you have the foresight needed to stay ahead in this ever-evolving field.

Rest assured that universities and colleges are aware of the changing dynamics within the IT landscape. They'll adapt their programs to meet the challenges that arise and ensure the future success of their students, like yourself. So, while uncertainty may be a constant, you can definitely trust in your abilities to adapt, grow, and excel in your chosen field.

Lastly, it's always a wise move to keep a Plan B in mind, as it'll ensure that you'll stay resilient and open to new opportunities in these fast-paced times. Keep holding onto that forward-thinking attitude, Tiana – it will carry you far in your career!

Best of luck and remember, you're on the right track!
Thank you comment icon Hello! Thank you for this. I appreciate it! Tianna
Thank you comment icon Tianna, you are an amazing person. It's my pleasure to be a part of your career journey! Dino Ubalde
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Dennis’s Answer

Hi Tianna,
" The only thing constant is change." I may have heard that sometime or other. Over 100 years ago, people relied on horses to get work done or to travel. Now we rely on gasoline-fueled vehicles, but the next new thing looks like battery-electric powered vehicles, or maybe some vehicles will be Hydrogen-fueled.. But, something better may be waiting in the wings. Before 1950, most radios and TV (tv, sort of got started just after WWII), used vacuum tubes. Today, all of our electronic devices use "chips" which have "Solid-state" switching devices in them. That change from Vacuum tube to "transistor" occurred over about 20 years. What did all of the vacuum tube workers do? Diesel engines replaced steam engines on railroads in about the same time-frame. Where did all of the steam engine workers go? Before 1980, we didn't have personal computers or cell phones. What technology died out because of cell phones and PCs? What's next? That's up to you and your peers.
What hasn't changed? The basic physical laws that explain how things in this Universe work. So, getting an education in the technology area is good, if it allows you to grow and adapt and contribute to the next new thing. Whatever you decide to study should allow you to adapt to new ideas, new methods, new materials. That's how technology changes. And, to continue to be useful and employed, you need to be able to adapt and change as well.
When I was a high-school student, I saw the beginning of the Space Race between USA and USSR (now, Russia). It was not clear to me, then, that I would become an engineer (or, even, what kind of engineer), but I knew that I enjoyed science and math. I was fortunate to get a very good technical education that served me well during my career. Technology did not by-pass me. I did not work in the aerospace or electronics industry, but I could have. If I were a student today, I think that pursuing a technical degree would still be a good choice if I had the interest in that area and I would not worry about losing a job because the technology changed. I would be more concerned if I knew that my technical skills could not be adapted to a different job or technology.
I hope that helps answer your questions, Tianna. And Good Fortune to you!
Thank you comment icon Reading your personal story helped put things into better perspective. Thank you! Tianna
Thank you comment icon Thank you for saying that, Tianna. I wasn't sure if it would be relevant. Dennis Taylor
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Tianna, Stay positive and keep your spirits high! Remember that even during the pandemic, I was able to secure my first Data Scientist role after completing my Master's. The demand for tech workers keeps growing, and there are endless opportunities out there!

To make the most out of it, focus on these key points:

1) Enhance your relevant skills: Continuously learn and refine your expertise as a Data Scientist. Never stop working on projects or sharpening your skills. Numerous courses on Udemy and Coursera are available, and you can practice on Fiverr, Kaggle, or by offering freelance services on social media.

2) Embrace the ups and downs: Some companies may be laying off tech workers, while others are hiring. This alternating pattern will always be there, so stay optimistic and pay attention to your personal growth and development. Rest assured, there are countless tech roles waiting for you out there!

3) Record your experiences and observations: Jot down your thoughts and the market fluctuations, as you might notice patterns over time. This insight could prove valuable when the tide eventually turns in your favor.

As someone who started their career amid a challenging period, I'd like to emphasize: Focus on yourself and keep developing your skills! Have faith in your abilities and remember that you can succeed even when others say you can't! Keep believing in yourself, Tianna, and amazing things lie ahead for you!
Thank you comment icon I'm glad that you found a good role in your industry. I'll keep your advice in mind. Thank you so much! Tianna
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david’s Answer

Hi, Tianna,
I agree that there are contradictory opinions, but that will always be true. On the flip side, if everyone was saying that tech jobs are exploding everywhere with thousands of job openings, you would find that the truth was somewhat less. As it stands, STEM careers are the best bet you have. There will be ups and owns throughout your life, but learning a career of important skills will always carry you. Our future is dependent on technology, so do stay the course. Good question, though. All the best to you.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your perspective! Tianna
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Brent’s Answer

Hey Tianna,

This is a really great question - it can be hard sometimes to separate facts from opinion. The facts are that there are a LOT of jobs in technology, it's a huge field with many different outlets to work in. There are also a lot of people in the industry, and so there will be competition. A few things to remember as you look at any industry -

- Focus on roles and career paths that "fill your buckets". They make you happy, you want to go do every day. You will be most successful when you enjoy what you do (You can't enjoy it if you aren't good at)

- Stay current, stay fresh. Technology changes rapidly. Make sure you are either the best at something hard to do, or very good at something there is lots of interest in hiring for. For example, Generative AI is very hot right now. if you understand it, can program to it, can sell it, can position it, you will find work.

- Network network network - people hire people. Most of your jobs will come from people you know, who know you, and respect what you can do. Don't forget that it's not just about being good at your job, but who knows your good at your job and can help you succeed.

- Most companies are a business, they hire and fire based on their business. Make sure you understand who you work for, what makes them successful, and recognize the signs that they may not be and get in front of it.

I know it can be scary looking down a path, but technology is a great path with many opportunities, and that makes it a wonderful road to walk on. All industries have their ups and downs, they all go through hiring booms and firing valleys. Pick something you enjoy that has opportunity (there are only so many jobs in the world for very unique skills) and you will ride through the ups and downs.

Good luck!
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