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Is tech immune to the COVID-19 impact?

Is the technology sector immune to the impact that COVID-19 is having economically? Whilst certain sectors are taking a huge hit – such as fitness, hospitality and advertising – it appears that tech is still going strong, according to a recently published Think & Grow and AWS report. 

Jonathan Jeffries, Director and Partner at Think and Grow, said that despite entering a period of economic decline, the technology industry is still producing career opportunities for Australians, without a drop in salary.

“New data from LinkedIn shows that despite the hiring rate across the economy falling to -2.8 per cent, software and IT is up 17.3 per cent, meaning growth in the sector is strong.

“Even with COVID-19 layoffs, we aren’t seeing current salaries reduce from the salary data reflected in the report.”

Talent in tech is still a premium

“Talent in tech is still a premium, despite economic decline across other industries. Tech jobs are still growing and skillsets are in high demand.  The recruitment work we still have globally shows the same salary levels as it was 6 months ago.

“Instead of salary cuts, current employees (be it executives, key staff) are working reduced hours. While we’re seeing some temporary pay cuts, we’ve not seen a shift as yet in salary,” he said.

“The report should demonstrate to the Government the importance of looking after the tech sector in these difficult times. The tech sector is a driver for the future of Australia’s economy and it’s essential we support this industry for generations to come.

“In light of this situation, work as we know it has significantly changed and we acknowledge that for many of us, this will be a tough time. To support the Australian startup ecosystem during this period, Think & Grow is extending free career coaching services to those in the technology industry who have been made redundant.

“We need to move the Australian ecosystem into the future. The jobs of today and yesterday will be vastly different from those in 5, 10 and 20 years’ time. Globally and locally, we are seeing shortages of skills in product, engineering, sales roles.”

Tech specialists are in high demand

“Specialists across AI, Machine Learning, Data Science amongst others, are particularly in high demand in Australia.

“Once we move out of the current economic turmoil, new roles and needs will appear in the current skillset shortages, as well as new technology needs. We will likely see a lot of jobs become permanently redundant.

“It’s essential that we look at white-collar workers and graduates, and help educate and re-train them into tomorrow’s economy.

“With the amount of qualified, skilled staff being let go, it’s clear we must act now and support in the training of tomorrow’s economy and give those humans hope.”

Think & Grow launched in 2015 with a charter to help technology-driven businesses to accelerate growth. Think & Grow helps build clients’ organisational structures, build their executive teams, recruit rare skill sets, nurture specific talent pools and architect talent strategies. Its clients range from up and coming startups to established names like Canva and Airtasker.

The report also sheds light on many aspects of the startup world, including differences in structure, capital-raising and gender disparities.

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More: “You can still clock-in”: Tech-y ways to overcome COVID-19 disruption

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Loren Webb

Loren Webb

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