Main image of article Big Tech's Layoffs are Startups' Talent Gain

Are the country’s biggest tech companies done with layoffs? That’s a critical question for tech professionals everywhere. At Meta, which reduced its headcount by 11,000 employees in 2022, the pain might not be over yet: new reports indicate the company could cut “thousands” of additional jobs in the months ahead.

According to The Washington Post, this new round of layoffs could target employees in a variety of roles, including managers and tech professionals. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously pledged that 2023 would be a “year of efficiency” for the company; he also reportedly wants to flatten the company’s management hierarchy, essentially demoting some managers into individual contributor roles.

Meta hasn’t been alone in unleashing layoffs, of course. Over the past few months, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Uber, and other big companies have all cut thousands of employees. While many of these companies enjoyed outsized revenue and profits during the pandemic, and often used that money to engage in sizable hiring sprees, the current fear of an economic recession has driven executives to reconsider their budgets and reduce headcount.

However, it’s important to remember that, despite these layoffs, the tech unemployment rate fell to 1.5 percent in January, according to the latest CompTIA analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And even as the tech industry readjusted, many industries experienced strong tech job demand last month, including professional, scientific and technical services (40,712 tech job postings, according to CompTIA/BLS), finance and insurance (30,576 tech job postings) and manufacturing (24,269 tech job postings).

Moreover, many of the tech professionals dismissed from the biggest tech companies are pursuing startup careers. According to Wired, “startup accelerator Y Combinator saw applications increase by 20 percent in 2022, getting a total of more than 38,000,” while the number of “late applications, or those filed in January 2023, increased fivefold.”

The biggest tech companies’ loss is other companies’ gain, in other words. If you’ve had your sights on working for a tech giant like Meta or Google, now’s a good time to consider other paths—whether that means a startup or a tech job in a totally new industry. If you have the right combination of skills and experience, you may have your pick of roles.