Amazon, Apple, Wells Fargo fueling tech hiring resurgence after coronavirus economic damage

Tech career platform Dice highlighted how data engineers and cybersecurity experts are in high demand.

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Image: iStockphoto/zakokor

The US economy is slowly building its way back up to where it once was earlier this year, according to technology career site Dice

John Sudekum, content strategist at Dice's parent company DHI Group, held a webinar on hiring trends in the technology industry and showed that while there were steep drops in hiring across the country in April and May, things have begun to rebound.

"We've been digging into job posting data to understand the hiring trends amidst COVID-19. When we look through January 2019 through March 2020, we can see that there was a consistent increase in the number of job postings with very large increases in Q3, Q4 of 2019, and Q4 of 2020," Sudekum said.

"When we compared Q1 of 2019 and 2020, there was a 23% increase. For April and May of 2020, we can see that there was a decline. While April was still pretty consistent with earlier months, May dipped further. Yet, there were still 200,000 job postings that month. There was a steady decrease from April till May, yet amidst COVID-19, there were still more than 40,000 technology job postings per week, which is still pretty impressive. Job postings jumped dramatically in the first week of June."

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Sudekum went through data they pulled from their site about national and more localized hiring trends, showing which jobs were in the highest demand, where they were hiring, and what companies were interested. 

The most widely sought-after positions revolved around cybersecurity and data management, two fields that are becoming extraordinarily important for almost every company. 

Due to the quarantines around the world, the increased usage of digital platforms has created a tsunami of additional data that companies now have to manage and protect, Sudekum added.

Tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Wells Fargo, Salesforce, and IBM have continued to hire in cities across the country despite the economic downturn.

Sudekum said Dice has been tracking job postings each week and has seen a steady decrease in April and May but still saw about 40,000 technology positions posted weekly. 

The first week of June saw a huge increase in postings due to more states beginning the reopening process, he noted, adding that the numbers have started to reach where they were at the beginning of April. 

When breaking the data down by city, Q1 of this year saw increases in job postings in every major tech hub outside of San Francisco and Seattle. Cities like Austin and Charlotte saw huge growth in the first three months of 2020 before the virus changed everything. 

In New York, job posting figures fell by 23% in April and 42% in May, yet the city had still had more tech job postings than any other US city. Systems architect, cybersecurity consultant, and software architect positions were the most in demand for New York City. 

One key trend Sudekum saw was that more businesses are prioritizing hiring outside contractors instead of bringing on in-house talent. Amazon, Deloitte, Bloomberg, and Wells Fargo were all hiring widely for tech positions in New York city. 

San Fransisco saw similarly steep drops in April and May of 26% and 51% respectively. Computer scientists, systems architects and vulnerability analysts are the most in-demand positions available in the city, with companies like Twitter and Salesforce "hiring considerably" according to Sudekum. 

Raleigh was another hot spot for tech job postings, showing a 45% increase in postings for the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019. Raleigh was one of the only cities in the study that stayed flat or saw increases in job postings in April and May. 

Companies like Wells Fargo, IBM, and Deloitte have been hiring at high levels in the city, with positions like DevOps engineer, computer programmer, and database administrator seeing the most interest. 

Austin was another one of the few cities that never saw decreases in tech job posting numbers in April and May. Developers, security analysts, and Python developers are in high demand in the city at companies like Apple, Google, and eBay. 

Charlotte also saw high growth numbers and relatively flat figures for April and May, with companies like Wells Fargo, Microsoft, and Lowes looking for candidates for jobs like data engineer, developers, and UX designers. 

Atlanta is another major tech hub that saw decreases during the height of the pandemic, yet still had more than 3,000 tech job postings in May. Amazon is a huge employer in the city, with available roles ranging from network engineer to systems engineer. 

Chicago and Seattle both saw steep decreases in job posting numbers, with Seattle being one of the few cities that had negative numbers in the first quarter of 2020. 

Sudekum said iOS developers, DevOps engineers, and data engineers are highly sought after across the country, and even companies outside of the tech industry like Boeing, Starbucks, Lowes, the US Navy, and Wells Fargo. Many companies outside of the tech space have also been forced to hire cybersecurity teams to deal with the growth in attacks. 

"Cybercriminals are taking advantage of people working from home. Businesses have had to up their cybersecurity strategy and therefore their hiring. With this in mind, we can see that this occupation was at a 7% increase in Q1 and then showed a 19% increase in April which could suggest immediate demand," Sudekum said. 

"Jobs postings for systems engineers rose 8% in Q1, showing increased focus on maintaining work and computer infrastructure. Companies big and small are figuring out how to keep their operations running smoothly and their services delivering without a hitch even when nearly all of their employees are working from home."

Other companies that are hiring widely for tech positions are Accenture, Capital One, Facebook, and Northrop Grumman. 

The report also delves into how people applying for these jobs feel about their roles and work in general. According to Sudekum, many technologists have told Dice that their workload has increased as more companies use this time to beef up their e-commerce or digital offerings.

At least 30% are currently looking for jobs, or will in the next few weeks, with many looking particularly closely at how a company has managed their COVID-19 response and whether they are allowing employees to work from home. 

"A company's COVID-19 response is important to technologists. Technologists believe remote work is more important now. For years, technologists looked for remote work and now COVID-19 forced it on companies. Technologists overwhelmingly enjoyed working from home," he said.

"Technologists don't think it is a detriment to company culture and find it easier to work from home. Saving time on commutes is beneficial to technologists and being able to have control of schedules is important to work-life balance."

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