COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global economy, with thousands out of work and companies adjusting to their employees working remotely. For the tech industry, there was a rush to boost digitization efforts so businesses could survive the sudden shift in work patterns, including an increased demand for software and social media platforms.
That didn’t mean the sector was completely immune to the economic downturn. In fact, the U.S. IT and telecommunications job markets are expected to shrink by 64,000 jobs in 2020 compared to last year.
Luckily, things do appear to be on an upswing. CompTIA’s analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' monthly report shows that although there was an increase in the unemployment rate for IT occupations, there were notable job gains in the IT services sector.
"We saw gains in manufacturing in the IT services sector," said Tim Herbert, EVP for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "It was encouraging to see both manufacturing and IT services returned to the positive. There were quite a few months where those were trending down."
A recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates also found that one third of the IT jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to come back by 2021—although many companies are waiting for until after the election to make any expansion plans.
One key factor in the recovery is the increase in the demands for cybersecurity. The World Economic Forum’s COVID-19 Risks Outlook recently reported that 50% of enterprises were concerned about increased cyberattacks due to the increase of people working from home. As a result, eight of ten cybersecurity markets are projected to grow faster than the market average.
In addition, an increased need for cloud services has also played a role in IT’s job gains, with recent data showing that the cloud computing market is expected to grow from $233 billion in 2019 to $295 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.5% during the forecast period.
Despite the problems brought on by the pandemic, the IT industry is still expected to grow from $131 billion in 2020 to $295 billion in the next five years by 2025.