Warning: take care when looking back on the IT job market in 2022. You may experience nausea, dizziness, a racing heart, or other symptoms associated with wild rides. Also, possibly whiplash as we come to an abrupt stop with big tech layoffs at the end of this year.
Heading into 2023 the signals are mixed. On one hand, there’s that huge number of big tech company layoffs that have spilled a great number of skilled tech workers into the job market. On the other hand, there is still a huge number of open jobs.
But before we get to a new year, it’s time to look back on the crazy ride that was 2022.
The IT Job Market 12 Months Ago
It was a job candidate’s market in January 2022. Skilled IT workers were in high demand. That made it easier for IT pros to move to new companies and get sizable salary increases. There were lots and lots of job openings. On the final day of December 2021, job openings in the information sector doubled to 217,000 from 109,000 on the last day of 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau was also reporting higher wages and salaries -- up 4.5% for the 12 months of 2021 compared to an increase of 2.6% the previous year.
Return to Office, Hybrid Work, and Pushback to Stay Remote
Despite very visible efforts by big tech companies to “return to normal” often with a hybrid “back to office” requirement, the dates for those mandatory returns kept slipping in 2022. Google started its hybrid work arrangement of three days in the office per week back in April 2022, but managers reportedly wanted more days a week in the office while some workers questioned the need for returning at all, voicing their objections during a company meeting in March. High gas prices, long commute times, and the productivity of uninterrupted time were all reasons technology workers cited for keeping fully remote work in place as a choice.
Even as tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft were pushing hybrid plans, job postings for remote work continued to grow at an unprecedented pace, especially in high-demand areas such as DevOps, data science, and IT security. As tracked by the Ladders, which monitors jobs that pay $100K-plus at several job posting sites, postings for remote positions increased in early 2022 and in some fields reached a high of 35% to 38%.
It's really what IT pros wanted, according to the 2022 InformationWeek Salary Survey, where those polled rated the ability to work remotely at the top or close to the top of what mattered most to these professionals about their jobs.
This openness to remote work during the pandemic and well into 2022 may have made it easier for organizations to recruit experienced non-traditional labor into the market to help with the talent shortage. For instance, remote work and flexible schedules may appeal to retired IT workers.
Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek.