What’s the Career Outlook for Developers in 2020 and Beyond

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the future is bright for software developers. Not only is the job outlook expected to grow by 21% between 2018 and 2028, but the career is perfectly suited to remote work, which is good news in 2020.

It’s hard to say what the career outlook for developers will be given the current pandemic and looming economic crisis. The good news is that developers are a core function in the digital economy.

What can you expect for the next year and beyond? Here are a few predictions.

The Tech Skills Shortage Will Come to a Head

For years now, there have long been more in-demand jobs than there are skilled workers to fill them. These two forces aren’t unique to tech, development, and IT, but the scale is something to be in awe of.

It is possible that demand could shrink, but it also seems unlikely given they’re looking for specialist skills. What’s more, in the period just before lockdowns swept the nation, there were 114,000 job openings for software and application developers, making them the most in-demand IT staff in February and March.

Did all of those openings result in a hire? Probably not, but they did exist. What’s more, there was a huge influx in job posts that noted the option to work from home, which signaled that industry knew what was coming.

Expect Contract Work to Pick Up Eventually

If you’re in a top, senior-management position and you’re on the hunt for a new job, then you may find you need to wait. The inability to meet and travel will likely mean there will be an informal senior-level hiring freeze — at least for a while. 

Even still, while permanent positions might slow altogether, you might expect contract work and temporary jobs to pick up. Choosing contractors means employers can skip the long-term commitment and need to pay benefits. It will appeal to employers navigating economic recovery and dealing with tight budgets. 

Though, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economy (CARES) Act Paycheck Protection Program doesn’t allow employers to use loans to pay for contractors. So, the recovery funds might not be spent on your services just yet.

Developers Are in a Strong Position Going Forward

The good news is that developers are an essential role, and you were on an upward trajectory until the pandemic stood in your way. Whether and how those new jobs appear over the next five to ten years largely depends on what happens over the next few months.

Are you a developer looking for work? Contract work may be the way forward, at least for now. At RightStone, our goal today and always is to connect the right consultants with the right clients. Get in touch to learn more about how we’re weathering the storm.