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Competition for tech talent is fierce. Is the trend temporary?

Jennifer Van Grove, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Science & Technology News

The pandemic, which forced businesses to switch to online everything, appears to have amplified demand for technology workers.

Last month, employers posted more than 365,000 job openings for IT positions, with software developers, IT support specialists, systems engineers and architects among the most coveted workers by employers.

There is so much demand that the balance of power has shifted in favor of experienced engineers, who are being treated like celebrities and report having to choose between multiple job offers.

Now, to win over a top engineer, companies are offering things like flexible hours, sign-on bonuses and permanent remote work. And employers are using "exploding offers" that self-detonate at a set date and time to force an immediate decision.

Q. Competition for tech talent is fierce. Is the trend temporary?

Gary London, London Moeder Advisors

 

YES: Many factors contribute to deficiencies in talent, but most will be cured over time. Critically, the feeder system has broken down. Our education system must assume the task of readying candidates, as should the companies themselves. Notably, foreigners migrating to the U.S. have historically filled deficiencies, but the absurdly restrictive Trump-era policies, coupled with COVID-related travel bans, have reduced migration. It is worth noting that San Diego has benefited more than other regions from this competition.

Alan Gin, University of San Diego

NO: Technology will play an increasingly important role in peoples' lives, and that will keep the competition for tech talent high. The ability to work remotely has made the labor market for many workers, particularly those in technology, a national one as opposed to a regional one, which further increases the competition for those workers. This makes it imperative to deal with the STEM divide, where poorer education in those areas threatens to leave some people behind and worsen income inequality.

Austin Neudecker, Weave Growth

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