Main image of article Despite Headlines, Job Seekers Still See the Job Market as Strong

Despite gloomy headlines and worries of a possible recession, job seekers feel the job market remains robust, according to new data from CompTIA.

Some 41 percent of job seekers told CompTIA that the employment market was either strong or very strong. Some 63 percent have searched for jobs within their current or most recent career field, while 61 percent have explored opportunities in a totally new career field.

“Redeploying talent in the U.S. labor market continues to fall short for job seekers and employers alike,” said Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA president and CEO. “Confidence gaps, career transition gaps and reskilling gaps are not insurmountable barriers but rather opportunities to chart a new course for individuals and the companies that employ them.”

Are many of these job seekers considering a career in tech? Yes—but many also fear the prospect of failure. For example, 37 percent of Gen Z workers fear they’d fail in a tech role, versus 27 percent of their Gen X colleagues. This “confidence gap” is also driven by fears of “tech work culture,” although not every tech company—or even a majority of them—subject their employees to crushing hours and insane goals.

Fortunately, even those workers with no tech background can find their way into a satisfying tech career. The first step is mastering skills that employers actually want—for example, popular programming languages that pay high salaries. The path to that mastery can vary; some workers opt to go back to school, while others might attend a coding bootcamp, and still more will self-teach via online materials.

Whatever your educational route, it’s important to impress upon recruiters and hiring managers just how much you care about technology. To that end, it’s always helpful if you have a portfolio of personal projects (whether a personal website, a GitHub repo, an app you built for fun, or something else) that you can present during the application process. Having stories about your tech journey is also important—what challenges have you overcome to learn about new technologies, and how have you executed your tech projects?

Last but certainly not least, researching a potential employer’s business and culture is also key. If you’re concerned about “tech work culture,” you should always conduct a “mini culture audit” during the hiring process; for example, how a company showcases its values on its website is often a huge clue about how things work internally. Hopefully, what you find in your research will soothe your concerns.