If You’re a Millennial, You Switch to a Tech Career. It’s What You Do.

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Feb 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In Job Trends, IT, Candidate

More millennials are moving away from their current positions to work in the technology field. This is due to the emerging variety of jobs opening up in the sector. Millennials are taking advantage of opportunities to make more money and broaden their skills while performing challenging work. Plus, this age group, born between 1981 and 1996, grew up in the digital era. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 12 percent rise in the information technology and computer jobs through 2024. This is higher than the average growth of all jobs

Tech Isn't Just Tech Anymore

No sector appears to be safe from the trend. Even industrial jobs are employing technical professionals due to the part technology has in creating machinery and workflows. In fact, a quarter of a million hybrid careers were created last year, many with higher salaries. This creates boundless opportunities for those who like the challenge of a changing landscape and are able to keep up with new skill sets that must be updated frequently.

For millennials planning to move into advanced careers, the job situation is the best it's ever been because:

  • There is a shortage of qualified workers.
  • Most job seekers are changing careers, keeping the competition level.
  • Data analytics experts say that technology careers are increasing so fast that the lack of qualified applicants is slowing businesses down.

The Search for Qualified Talent

Employers are approaching universities to look for candidates with specific attributes, such as:

  • Qualified persons who can be trained for specialized tasks
  • Trained professionals ready for tech careers immediately

It's a candidate's market in this sector. Demand outmatches supply, and that's expected to last for the foreseeable future. If you're one of the millennials contemplating a change of career, now is a great time to move the process forward. Millennials are increasingly moving into technical fields to remain current in their chosen industry. 

Regardless of the motivation, this trend is welcomed by employers, who need qualified applicants to fill open jobs. Securing a tech position often leads to opportunities to move into a related non-technical role. This is due to the added value placed on those who understand technical jargon.

Millennials, having grown up with uncertainty in the economy, are hyperaware how reality can change in an instant. For this reason, many of them already have a backup plan in mind if their current positions come to an end. This could include the pursuit of additional degrees or certifications desirable in the tech sector.

Salaries Commiserate with Experience

U.S. News consistently ranks the best careers in tech. Average salaries fall between $80,000 and $100,000. Millennials, notoriously unmotivated by the size of the paycheck, are also overburdened debt procured getting an education. As they get older, the pay becomes an increasingly alluring motivator for them. Fortunately, for those going back to school, you don't need the most expansive degree available.

Here's one example. Lindsey Curran is a software engineer at GE Digital. She pursued a BA in humanities in 2016 but was unable to find a job. She relates that even positions she felt qualified for were passing her over. Since graduating, she has obtained the skills needed to become a web developer. This impacted her career options tremendously. 

Curran notes the following regarding her success:

  • Plentiful open positions are available in tech
  • Her income level has increased several times
  • The work is challenging and rewarding

Millennials Prefer Demanding Jobs

Millennials want demanding jobs and tend to quit unless they feel challenged in their roles. This adaptability and adherence to their own core values have a great deal of influence on their ability to move into appealing technical careers. No other field gives jobholders so much opportunity to unleash their creativity and intellectual ability.

Let's circle back to Curran. She remembered being indecisive about how to improve her job prospects. Finally, she chose to pick up programming skills in order to obtain a stable career. Many workers just like Curran never saw themselves in a tech career. However, a lack of job offers in the humanities pushes them to dig deep and shift into more in-demand endeavors.

The Allure of High Tech

Once in a technology job they never envisioned, many find that tech is much more nuanced then they realized. It challenges workers to rise to the occasion nearly every day. Each project brings new challenges, and the pressure of deadlines can often be invigorating rather than just stressful. 
The demands of the field often force individuals to become flexible, well-rounded thinkers.

Practical Motivations

The quest for a paycheck is often about the basics. Many millennials choose tech to pay their mortgage and other bills. As their children become older, millennials want to spare them from struggling their way through college. Others just want to be able to put aside some money for the future or go on vacation with their families. 

There are also more altruistic reasons for picking up technical skills that help those in need. These opportunities might include: 

  • Assisting a charity trying to set up a website.
  • Building apps that help people learn or grow.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is a touted priority for millennials, often based off a survey of this age group conducted by Deloitte in 2016. Findings include the following revelations about their core values and priorities.

  • 8 percent considered work-life balance one of the most important factors in the ideal job
  • 4 percent said growth opportunities were important 
  • 11 percent wanted flexibility in work hours and location, meaning the ability to work at least part of the time remotely

What Didn't Make the Top of the List for Millennials

A prestigious career and obtaining high-net-worth status mean little to many millennials. This means that a fancy house, impressive job titles and fat paychecks don't motivate this generation as much as their predecessors.

Millennials may define success using the following criteria:

  • Having control over when and where they work.
  • Pursuing enriching life experiences.

Tech companies have rearranged their workflow to accommodate these preferences and have attracted more millennials by remaining open and flexible.

The Optimal Way to Switch to a Tech Career

If you are ready to make a career move that involves technology, you should create a portfolio of tech skills. Consider building a website that showcases your skills and gets you noticed by technical recruiters.

Basically, you want to stand out in the crowd in terms of motivation and capability. If you're like other millennials, this may be easier than you thought. Don't be afraid to test the boundaries of what you currently think of as your limitations.

Start by applying to our open roles! Click below to search our jobs and figure out which is the next best move for you. We'd be happy to navigate you to the right company.

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