Although revenue and profits for many technology companies have remained relatively robust throughout 2020, the technology industry as a whole hasn’t been immune from the economic impacts of the pandemic. While third quarter tech hiring showed the continuing effects of COVID-19, as revealed by Dice’s latest Tech Job Report, the data was tempered by encouraging results in terms of posting volumes for top employers and trending occupations. 

Overall, the unemployment rate for technologists remains lower (3.5 percent) than the national average. That’s cause for optimism. Furthermore, some large organizations have increased hiring—of the top 50 employers in the third quarter, 68 percent created more job postings than the second quarter, while only 32 percent created an equal or lesser number of job postings.  In this article, we’ll dig more deeply into the data for top employers, as well as looking at the occupations seeing the highest growth for the quarter. 

The Quarter’s Top Employers

The types of employers who increased posting volumes in the third quarter is also of interest. Consulting and business-services firms remained a significant driver of tech job growth, with  CACI, Infosys  and Accenture  all ranking within the top 10 employers. As large companies and the federal government resume long-term tech projects, they’re relying on these consulting firms to help plan and resource for the future. Here's the list of top 25 employers, by hiring volume:

During the third quarter, Accenture’s federal-services arm won multiple “digital transformation” contracts with the U.S. Air Force, demonstrating yet again the federal government’s outsized role in the tech industry (and tech contracting). In addition,  IBM  won money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for digital health initiatives. 

These new initiatives, combined with existing  private-sector contracts,  power consultancies’ hiring for a number of specialized roles, including data scientists, network engineers, software developers and analysts.   

The top skills listed in CACI’s job postings include Linux, Agile development, Java, Oracle and Python.  For Infosys,  top listed skills include Java, SQL, systems development lifecycle (SDLC) and  Oracle; for Accenture, the top listed skills include  project management, SAP, Java and Salesforce.   

Outside of consultancies, Oracle  ranked sixth in the third quarter, with positions involving product development, Java,  Python and data structures. Disney, despite its recent rounds of layoffs, also has a continuing appetite for technologists, specifically ones skilled in Python, project management, Java, SQL and Linux.   

The Quarter’s Top Occupations

Throughout the third quarter, a number of technology companies (including Twitter, Facebook and VMware) announced that they would allow their employees to work from home on a permanent basis. Others, including Google, revealed that employees wouldn’t be coming back into the office until well into 2021—and even then, they might have the option of a very flexible schedule going forward

In order to build, maintain, and secure these broadly dispersed networks of employees, companies have needed to hire network engineers and systems engineers. They’ve also sought software developers, project managers and senior software developers.

Meanwhile, the rising popularity of roles such as program manager, project manager, product manager and project coordinator suggests that, after a pandemic-imposed hiatus, employers are shifting back to new product development. The growth in IT directors, software development managers, cybersecurity managers, and management consultants between August and September may indicate that employers are building out their development teams from the top-down—and job postings for mid-level roles may soon follow.  

Highly specialized roles also saw a growth spurt between August and September. For example, Python developer and data scientist rose 19 percent and 11 percent, respectively, suggesting that companies may be angling toward resuming business as usual, with a renewed focus on the data analytics and software building so crucial to overall business strategy (these were fast-growing professions before COVID-19 temporarily disrupted operations). Demand for cybersecurity managers suggests a growing need to build out cybersecurity teams, especially given escalating levels of pandemic-related cyberattacks and fraud.

The full Dice Q3 Tech Jobs Report offers even more data including the U.S. cities with the highest apply rates, the most sought-after tech skills among employers, and more. Give it a read!