So much for the skills gap

Since the current year’s commencement, over 50,000 employees have been dismissed from upwards of 200 technology firms, as reported by the tracking website Layoffs. fyi.

This trend continues the dominant theme from 2023, a year that saw over 260,000 individuals being made redundant across nearly 1,200 tech companies.

Industry giants such as Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft, along with eBay, Unity Software, SAP, and Cisco, have all participated in the downsizing this year.

Wall Street’s cocaine nose jobs have responded positively to the cost-cutting measures, propelling many tech stocks to unprecedented highs. This is buoyed by the optimism that fiscal prudence combined with efficiency improvements from artificial intelligence will result in increased profits.

Of course, it ignored analysts who had been warning about a skills gap in the industry for decades and the fact that those who had been fired might not be able to return to their old firms.

The industry has yet to see such a mass dismissal of tech workers in a brief span since the notorious collapses of Pets.com, eToys, and Webvan.

The previous month’s tally of job terminations was the most substantial for any February since 2009 when the financial downturn compelled organisations to adopt a “conservative fiscal stance.”  For those not in the know, that is a term used by companies that think firing those who do the work while maintaining their middle and upper managers is a good idea.

Those on the job market find job advertisements demanding precise qualifications and offering lower remuneration than previous roles.

The situation is particularly perplexing for software developers and data scientists, who, until recently, possessed some of the most sought-after and valuable skills globally. They are now contemplating whether to exit the industry to secure employment.

Layoffs. FYI, Roger Lee said that the market was different from what it once was: “To obtain a new role, numerous sales personnel and recruiters are exiting the tech sector altogether. Even engineers are making concessions, accepting positions with diminished stability, more challenging work environments, or reduced compensation and benefits.”

Tech wages have “largely stagnated” over the past two years, referencing data from Comprehensive.io, a salary tracking tool he recently assisted in launching.

Moreover, several job postings now stipulate the necessity for advanced degrees or professional expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence.


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