Recent trends in the digital tech employment market

Although we are nearly halfway through 2021, the pandemic continues to dominate the news, the economy and how we live and work – and the digital technology employment market is no exception.

The sudden shift from working in the office to working at home (or not at all) from March 2020 caught everyone off-guard, and organisations and businesses scrambled to transform their operations. As their focus was understandably diverted to continuity, they shelved any non-essential projects and plans, which had a big impact on the demand for digital tech. Over a year later, this is continuing to impact the jobs market. Here are some trends we have seen in recent months:

  • Businesses are adapting, and digital transformation is coming back online: both planned strategic development and new projects in response to the dramatic operational changes that have been brought about by the pandemic.
  • To support this, there’s been huge growth in demand for digital technology expertise. This has really highlighted the skills gap, which pre-dated Covid. It’s now bigger than ever, so businesses are turning to interim / contractor resources to help them deliver their projects, and that means that jobseekers have enjoyed a boost to the available jobs – a huge change from this time last year.
  • Clients are increasingly looking to open source technologies, due to the flexibility and variety of technology that is available to them: Kotlin, Python and PHP (and its surrounding frameworks) are in particular demand. Meanwhile, React is continuing as the leading JavaScript framework – and we are hearing more about low-code / no-code too, so watch this space.

The biggest shift? More choice for both candidates and employers.

Along with the increase in developer jobs available generally, candidates can now also consider roles that were previously out of reach due to geographic limits: despite lockdown restrictions lifting, many developers will continue to work from home day-to-day, coming in only for key project meetings and workshops, which opens up jobs to a much wider pool of candidates.

The flip side of this is that employers are now able to draw upon a much wider pool of potential candidates, so they can demand and really drill down to find the exact set of skills for their needs, including more UX / end-user experience and soft skills – and this is most notable in the contractor market. In our related blog, we share our predictions and tips for staying competitive in this changing market. You can read it here.