Main image of article A 'Confidence Gap' is Holding Workers Back from Tech Careers

It’s been a turbulent year for many job seekers in the tech industry. Tech giants such as Meta and Google have cut tens of thousands of workers; at the other end of the scale, many startups have lost their funding. While industries such as retail and manufacturing offer numerous opportunities for tech pros, jumping away from the tech industry can result in culture shock for those unprepared.

Despite the chaos, many workers seem optimistic about their chances of landing another position—and many want to work in tech, according to CompTIA’s latest “Job Seeker Trends” tracking survey. Some 40 percent of those looking for work characterized the overall job market as “strong” or “very strong,” while 26 percent thought it was “weak” or “very weak.” (CompTIA based its data on 1,003 respondents.)

“Putting aside the usual noise of labor market chatter, this latest data confirms the resiliency of job seekers and employers,” Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “Employers across every sector of the economy remain hungry for talent, while job seekers are committed to reaching the next rung on the career ladder.”

Among those respondents who wanted to jump into a tech career, some 57 percent indicated a “confidence gap” as a barrier. Many worry about failure or a lack of math and science skills; still others are concerned that the absence of a four-year degree will prevent them from landing the tech job of their dreams.

“Technology consistently ranks as a top five career choice but given the vast life-changing opportunities in this space, we can do better,” Thibodeaux added. “Barriers such as the confidence gap, unnecessary four-year-degree requirements and inadequate career on-ramps require a full commitment on many fronts to overcome.”

Meanwhile, the tech unemployment rate hit 2.3 percent in June, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s an uptick from May, when the rate was 2 percent, and lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. Despite all the headlines about layoffs, tech pros are very much in demand—and many employers are willing to overlook “requirements” like degrees if you have the right combination of skills and experience.