What’s going to occur to Neatly-behaved Tech’s laid off workers?


150,000 tech workers have been laid off in 2022alone. Amazon today announcing it's going to cut 18,000 workers. And we're going to seemore, it's goingto continue to weave through thepublic and private market. Is the tech bubble bursting again? The layoffsin big tech, which started in 2022 leftmany wondering if this is just the tip of the iceberg. So what does this mean for these workersas well as those aspiring to join the tech industry, especially when the economic outlook remains uncertain? Technology is a part of our everydaylives anda necessity for most societies to simply function.

This increasing dependency hasseenhuge growth in the tech sector and with it, a proliferation of high paying jobs. But followingthe industry's recent struggles, those exorbitantsalaries are now being scrutinized like neverbefore. In early 2023, California, Washington and RhodeIsland joined several other U.S. statesand cities in enacting salary transparency laws, which requirecompanies to post salary ranges forjob postings. In California, which is home to more than20% of the world's Fortune 500 companies, aprogram manager at Apple canmake between $121,000 and $230,000, a mid-career software engineerat Googlewill receive between $126,000 and $190,000, while a software engineering director atMeta can draw aminimum of $253,000 and as much as $327,000 per year.

But following mass layoffs fortech workers,are these wage expectations still realistic? Ben Leong is a professor of computer scienceat the National University of Singapore. What has happened in the last three or fouryears is that pay for the other non big-tech companies have got up and many of thestartups are really upset because they can't burn cash at those rates. They can't pay $7–8k to freshgrads. The big tech companies will continue to paywhat they used to pay. They always pay a lot. I suspect that the growth in the median paywill either stagnate or may even drop. Teoh Shun Jun falls within the bracketsof the median pay earner. The former Tencent data analystengineer was let goby the Chinese tech giant at its Singapore office in 2022.

Around end of September,I received a news via my agent so she dropped me a textasking me if I'm free to chat. At that time I was halfway through my contract.She had totell me that Tencent was laying me off because of cross-cutting exercises. It was quite sadto be honest, and it wasn't just me that was affected, at least five of my teammates alsoreceived the same news around the same timing. While drawing a healthy salary remains important, that isn't a priority for Shun Jun. When I finished my diploma, I honestly didn'tknow that data personnels were being paid that high. I do it out of passion instead of the pay.You definitely can find higher-paying jobs in bigger tech companies.

But, at my age, it'sbetter to just develop my soft skills and my technical skills first before I move onto bigger roles and more responsibilities. Against the backdrop of a shrinking job marketin the tech industry, some software engineers and data scientists are reassessing theirfuture career plans. According to a report by executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray &Christmas, U.S.-based employers in the technology sector announced nearly 53,000 job cuts in November 2022 alone, the highest monthly total for the sector since the company began trackingindustry data at the end of the 20th century. A separate report found that tech occupationsin all industry sectors grew by 137,000positions in the same month, the top threeU.S. employers hailed fromthe Health Insurance, Defence and Banking sectors respectively.

There are more jobs that are software engineering jobsoutside the tech industry thanin the tech industry. So to some degree, I would say the labor markets are much more resilient.There's not an auto company that doesn't need software engineers, there is not an energycompany that doesn't need software engineers, there's not a retailer or a bank that doesn'tneed software engineers. So, I would imagine to the degree to which there's over supply inone, there will be more even distribution. Shun Jun's own research has yielded similar results. I know that the market right now is hard but I also keep my eyes open to other industries. Healthcare and banks are definitely stable in Singapore. The property industry in Singaporeis starting to boom. The friends that were affected, a few of them landed in banks, it sounded likethey were contract roles.

I have a friend that went to a decent local IT company here. He managedto find a job before he received the news. Hence, he was able to get a decent salary. Before the recent round of layoffs, fresh graduates and mid-career professionalslooking to break into the tech industry were attending specialized training courses, includingcoding bootcamps in droves. But are these boot camps still relevant? According to marketresearch firm HolonIQ, more than 100,000 professionals enrolled in tech boot camps globally in 2021, up from less than 20,000in 2015. John Fong is the vice president and chiefoperating officer for APAC at General Assembly, one of several schools offering such bootcamps.

Whenever there are mass layoffs, we typically see an increase in theinterest in our programs. One of the main criterias that we have for instructors isthat they need to be industry practitioners. They need to have been there done that, bought thet-shirt, so to speak, for them to be able to bring the real-world, those projects, those portfoliosinto the classroom; it's really important for that curriculum. 90% of our students get a jobwithin six months of graduation. According to 2021 data, four coding bootcamps had employmentrates of at least 80% in a related field within a year. Three of these four reported better ratesthan graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins University's four year degreeprograms. But some questioned the effectiveness of these boot camps compared with universityprograms in preparing students.

For higher-profile jobs that rely onadvanced knowledge and skills. Fundamentally, for coding bootcamps, you are actually running up to the kind ofthe limits of human learning. Six months, you just can't learn enough.And there's alsoa problem of market readiness. What the bootcamp is trying to do is they try to train students to getthe jobs right away. Most of the jobs that they can do will be what's called the front-end jobslike HTML, CSS, some JavaScript, maybe. So it's very difficult, I think for the bootcamp folksto learn enough to do the back-end work. There is a class of companies that don't pay so well,and they kind of get the best engineers anyway, so they may make do with the good campus. Nevertheless, John remains steadfast inhis view that General Assembly's courses.

Arecomprehensive enough for its prospective students. Yes, we provide the fundamental skills. We alsoprovide career coaching services. When the students come through to us, ourcareer coaches work withthem from day one, brushing up their LinkedIn profiles, their resumes, interview skills,and so on. Looking at the networking that we have, the alumnithat we have, it's a cult-like followingfor us. To date, we've got more than 1.4 million peoplethat have attended our classes, workshopsand events. 80,000 alumni all around the world. The outlook for big tech's laid-off workers hingesin large part on the complicated relationship between the U.S. and China, which could benefitjob seekers in certain parts of the world..

I think one of the major factors today is theU.S.-China relationship. After their relationship soured, both sides have sort of given up on each otherand they decide to come to Southeast Asia, which is another big market. From a macro perspective,I think many companies both Chinese as well asU.S., would use Singapore as a base. China hasbeenmaking some really surprising moves in recenttimes. You see them clamping down first ontuition industryand so they overnight killed all the big tech companies. Question marks remain over how long these layoffs will last. But Ben is hopefulthat the job market will bounce back even if the industry has to reinvent itself. Even if Meta goes under tomorrow, there will bea new company that will take its place, they will stillhire engineers at high pay.

There's this company called Sun Microsystems,which was the biggestthing when I graduated, they were the Facebook of that era, and then they were no more. The currentFacebook campus is actually the previous Sun campus. If the recession comes fine, two, threeyears,they're gonna recover and then hiring will start again. And as long as those guys are goodwith what they do, I think they can still find jobs.

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3 thoughts on “What’s going to occur to Neatly-behaved Tech’s laid off workers?

  1. So many of these laid-off tech workers are genuinely transient overseas workers on H1-b or diverse visas. They KNOW they have to return to their nation of citizenship IMMEDIATELY upon lack of their job, and in no case later than expiration date of their visa IF the job continues till expiration date. They are attempting to screw the gadget. Employers ought to be made accountable for guaranteeing these overseas workers return to their nation of citizenship IMMEDIATELY when they are laid off, ship out the day after final day of work. Rapid workers are attempting backdoor immigration or reside illegally (overstay expired/revoked visa).

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