Tech jobs have taken over big hit in 2022 According to Layoffs.fy, 424 tech companies laid off 120,253 employees in the first two months of 2023. But it might not be as bad as it sounds. “This kind of realignment happens regularly, and companies often take the opportunity to do it under the guise of an economic downturn,” explains Rachel Bellow, co-founder of Bonfire, a talent development accelerator for the rising generation of women in the workplace.
“If we look at the number of hires and layoffs over the past 24 months, we see that companies like Meta, Salesforce, Microsoft and others have hired far more than they’ve fired, sometimes by a factor of 10.” But according to LinkedIn’s February workforce report, the industries that saw the biggest declines since last spring were technology, information and media (down 41 percent). To remain competitive in these fields, job seekers must keep their technology skills strong.
Whether you want to stay relevant in your current position, survive a company reorganization, or secure a new role, continued intellectual and emotional growth will serve your career well. We asked career experts and tech veterans to weigh in on the skills you need to succeed in tech in 2023; as it turns out, some are not very technical at all.
“As the world – and the way we work – has changed forever, the way we define terms like management, communication and leadership must keep up with the times, as many of our pre-Covid ways have become obsolete,” says happiness at work expert Jenn Lim, CEO of Delivering Happiness and best-selling author Beyond Happiness. “It’s time to remind ourselves that we can be wise how we choose to grow, evolve and re-improve, and if we get better at something automation will never replace – being human – then we’re likely to stay relevant and appreciated it will always be there.”
LinkedIn’s 2023 Most In-Demand Skills Report is a solid place to start when evaluating your experience and where you may need to improve your skills, but it goes beyond that. “Companies aren’t just looking for software developers; they are looking for developers who can weave in their knowledge of finance, sales, operations and cloud computing,” says Lim, “Companies are looking for people with a range of skills.”
Twenty years ago people were told to be specialists, but this is risky in this day and age when a skill can become redundant or automated. “To succeed in tech in 2023, talent needs to have a T-shaped skill set,” says Danielle Boris, CEO and founder of Sandbox, an HR technology company dedicated to harnessing and motivating talent. “People should have breadth of knowledge in their disciplines and depth of knowledge in one area, which makes them more valuable to organizations, especially those that are continuously adapting their workforce,” explains Boris.
Today’s job market is constantly evolving, and many employers have moved to thinking about skills when hiring. “Weighing a candidate’s skills as much as a degree or previous experience levels the playing field for millions of people,” explains Andrew McCaskill, career expert at LinkedIn and creator of The Black Guy in Marketing newsletter. McCaskill suggests thinking of your skills as your “career tool,” emphasizing the skills you already have and making a list to build on the ones you don’t. “Leaning on a skills-first strategy can give you the confidence to navigate the job market, especially through turbulent times,” he says.
Like LinkedIn, Upwork released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2023 and data showing that 60 million Americans (39 percent of the US workforce) did at least some freelance work in the past 12 months. Success for freelancers also means having a complete set of tools. “I’ve developed most of my technical skills through self-learning, through sites like the Microsoft 365 YouTube channel, and through trial and error,” says Ryan Clark, Upwork freelancer and founder of Mr. SharePoint. “The more high-quality skills I have, the more marketable I become, so I constantly stay motivated to learn and stay on the cutting edge of technology.”