Tech companies are finally firing tech workers


Over the past 15 years, many people who lost their jobs were advised to "learn to code" so they could acquire more beneficial skills keeping them from being laid off again. But this advice is becoming less helpful. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is currently cutting jobs in technical positions such as data scientists and software engineers, which were previously believed to be secure roles. This is a significant shift for a company that was once offering high salaries for these desired positions. However, due to the "Year of efficiency" plan, some technical positions are being let go, as per Mark Zuckerberg's statement that "We're in a different world." It's not only Meta; software engineers faced an overrepresentation of job cuts in their industry in 2023, according to Revelio Labs. Though recruiters and customer success specialists were the hardest hit sectors in the first wave of tech layoffs last year, software engineers made up almost 20% of the 170,000 tech company layoffs this year, despite only constituting around 14% of tech company employees.

According to Revelio senior economist Reyhan Ayas, layoffs in the tech industry have shifted from primarily targeting recruiters to now including core engineering and software engineering staff. This suggests a change in current business priorities for tech companies. In the past, these companies focused on recruiting and retaining the best talent, regardless of cost. However, now they are more cost-conscious and looking to optimize and economize. This shift in mindset is new to the industry and reflects a departure from the previously revered status of coders and software engineers.

During the pandemic, tech companies experienced a surge in demand for their services as people stayed at home. However, the demand has since decreased, leaving these companies with fewer sources of revenue. Also, the rise of AI at work has allowed employers to reduce their workforce, making it difficult for tech companies to grow. In response, some tech companies have opted for layoffs, taking cues from Elon Musk's drastic headcount reductions. While this may appear to be a short-term solution, layoffs could negatively impact a company's morale and productivity. Despite this, software engineers and other tech workers are still in demand, although their bargaining power has weakened. Other industries are also hiring tech workers and offering competitive salaries, leading graduates to diversify from traditional tech jobs.

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