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Has the Pandemic Changed the Job Market for IT Pros?

Published:  August 3, 2020

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Hi folks! It goes without saying that it’s been a tumultuous 2020 for everyone.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic effected IT professionals in particular?

Well, for one thing, working from home became the “new normal” and many say it's a trend that's here to stay. Whether you have your own home office or are sharing your kitchen table with your spouse and children, the morning routine has turned on a dime. Most folks we talk to find it is something they want to continue – from the lack of a morning commute to being able to work from the comfort of your own home – there are plenty of advantages to being able to do so. But is it right for you?

Some prefer working with fellow comrades and like-minded technicians and being able to bounce ideas off of someone in the next cubicle. So, perhaps a hybrid model is what works best for you. Either way, we are hearing that many employers are much more open to remote working and it will continue post COVID-19, especially for Software Developers. 

So what does this mean for the IT job market here in Western MA?

It opens up a whole new world of opportunities. For 100% remote work, that means working for a company anywhere in the country – or even the world! Even in a position that only requires 1 – 2 days a week in the office, a job anywhere in New England and NYC is a possibility. Assuming company’s in those markets will offer the same salary for remote workers, that could mean a 33% salary increase in the case of the Boston market, or up to 40% in NYC, while maintaining a lower cost of living here in Western MA. Talk about a win-win! 

What industries are hot and what are not?

Clearly, there are areas that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 – hotels, restaurants, airline, entertainment, etc. and are looking at a long road to recovery, including their IT roles. While others have not had as much of an impact. IT jobs for technology companies, especially those who are providing products and services that are always necessary and in-demand, are stable and even seeing an uptick (think of what this pandemic has done for companies like Zoom). Government jobs should also provide some stability, particularly since we've seen evidence of some critical government systems needing extra support and modernization right now, such as state unemployment systems.

What's another area that has changed and will continue to evolve in the job search process?

In person interviews are no longer the norm and job seekers need to sharpen their phone/video interview skills. Whereas previously, hiring managers would bring in 5 – 6 candidates for on-site interviews, they are now only bringing in the candidates most likely to be hired. This means a shorter window to sell yourself on a phone interview which was previously viewed as a “pre-screen”. So, you need to be crisp in your responses and make sure you are highlighting your attributes in a shorter amount of time. It also means being prepared to answer new questions about your remote work habits. For example, how has working remotely increased your productivity and how have you been able to collaborate with other IT professionals. If you’ve been furloughed, you’ll be asked how you’ve stayed up-to-date with technology during this time as well as what you’ve done with your free time.

For more tips, check out our blog post about how to really sparkle in a remote interview or contact us to connect. Our ear is to the ground in the region, so if you want salary info on what you're worth to companies hiring or just want us to take a quick look at your resume - we're happy to do it! Happy searching!

Jackie Fallon

Director of Technical Staffing

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