The software engineer shortage is a real problem that will only get worse in the next few years. But there are ways to take advantage of this shortage and get ahead in your career. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the current and predicted state of software engineer shortage and how you can make the most of it.
Is There a Shortage of Software Engineers in 2023?
Software engineer shortage is at all-time high going into 2023. An astonishing 40 million technical jobs are unfulfilled due to a lack of skilled talent. Furthermore, this number is expected to reach 85.2 million by 2030.
Employers are scrambling to find qualified talent, which drives the demand for skilled engineers to skyrocketing numbers. While we see an increase in computer science graduates across globally, there’s still not enough software engineers to meet the growing demand.
This means software engineers are in high demand and have the ability to command higher salaries. Companies are also offering software engineers a variety of perks, such as flexible work hours, remote working options, and competitive salary packages.
It is an ideal time for skilled developers to seize the opportunity and obtain employment that aligns with their needs and aspirations.
Software Engineer Shortage Statistics
A market intelligence firm called IDC predicts that there will be a lack of four million developers by the year 2025. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics also says that nearly 200,000 developer jobs will need to be filled annually in the next decade. By year 2026, there could be 1.2 million unfilled engineering jobs.
According to the US Labor Department, there are currently 1.8 million software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers currently residing in the United States, which falls significantly short of the present demand.
If you’re a developer looking for work, now is the time. Hiring managers have plenty of open positions but not enough talent to fill them; 35% of employing companies want to hire more than 50 developers this year, and 15% want to hire more than 200.
Almost half of all employers are finding it difficult to locate decent candidates for their tech positions, according to a poll conducted by CodinGame and CoderPad. The survey polled 14,000 developers and recruiters.
According to this survey, 42% of recruiters said they increased their use of freelancers and contractors during the pandemic, which suggests that more employers are turning to them to fill skills gaps.
64% of IT executives say that the lack of available tech talent is a major obstacle to adopting new technologies. The areas most affected are network security, digital workplace, IT automation, computer infrastructure and platform services, and storage and database systems.
Why Is There a Shortage of Software Engineers?
There is a number of reasons software engineer shortage is on the rise.
1. Slow recruitment
Slow recruitment processes are a major contributing factor to software engineer shortage. Companies take too long to fill positions, and software engineers don’t want to wait around for an offer. Technical positions take 50% longer to fill compared to other roles. The average amount of time it takes to find the right software developer for an open position is 66 days.
2. Lack of skilled labor
Another contributing factor to software engineering shortage is the lack of skilled software engineers. Companies are struggling to find software engineers with the right skill sets. A CIO survey showed that nearly half of respondents agreed that the lack of skilled labor hampers their company’s ability to compete and grow.
3. The Great Resignation
A third reason software engineering shortage exists is because of “The Great Resignation”. This is when software engineers leave their positions due to their dissatisfaction with their current roles. According to recent studies, over 47 million Americans have chosen to quit their jobs in the past year. Furthermore, 72% of IT workers say they are considering leaving their positions in the next 12 months. The main reasons for their resignation include limited career progress, lack of flexibility, and toxic environment.
Not to be forgotten, another important element is employee wellbeing. A whopping 42% of American women and 35% of men say they feel burned out frequently or almost all the time, as stated by McKinsey. This burnout causes software engineers to quit their roles and leads to further software engineer shortage.
The software engineering shortage is real and the numbers suggest that companies need to take action soon in order to keep up with the current demand. Hiring managers should invest more time and resources in finding software engineers, and software engineers should feel comfortable speaking up about their concerns and needs.
Countries with Shortage of Software Developers
Software engineer shortage is not limited to the United States. Many other leading countries report struggles related to insufficient engineering talent across the globe.
- USA: Around 1 million IT job vacancies in the U.S. went unfilled in 2019 because companies couldn’t find workers with the right skillsets for those positions, and job postings rose 34% during the first half of that year. The trend has continued to worsen into 2023 and is expected to reach severalfold of that amount in the next decade.
- Sweden: Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) reports that Swedish IT & telecom industries lack 70,000 skilled workers. This gap is expected to grow in the coming years due to rapid technological changes.
- Israel: Almost two-thirds of Israeli businesses, especially in the technological arenas, cannot fill available R&D positions, which signifies software engineer shortage in the country.
- Germany: The number of unfilled IT vacancies in Germany was 96,000 in 2021 – a 12% increase from the 86,000 positions empty the year before. This software engineer shortage is expected to increase even more as the requirement for software engineering skills continues to grow.
The software engineer shortage is a global concern, and it is clear that countries all over the world are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing tech demands. Companies and software engineers need to take action in order to bridge the gap and ensure that the software engineering industry remains competitive in a dynamic world.
What Is the Demand for Software Engineers in 2023?
On average, organizations use software for 90% or more of the workload. This means that it is vital to have software engineers and IT professionals on staff in any company.
As software engineering continues to develop and expand, software engineers will be in demand more than ever. The US Labor Department predicts that job postings for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers will expand by 25% from 2021 to 2031.
They also say that Software Developer is one of the top four in-demand professions over the next 10 years with almost 200,000 difficult to replace openings every year.
The software engineer workers will continue to be in demand in the coming years as software engineering becomes an even more critical component of many businesses. Companies need software engineers to do everything from developing software applications and websites to testing software and troubleshooting software related issues.
Which Software Engineers Are Most in Demand?
While software engineers are globally in demand, some careers and tech skills are sought after more by the employers than others. Below are some of the examples.
If you’re looking to land a job in the tech industry, brush up on your web development, DevOps, and AI/Machine Learning skills. These are the areas that hiring managers are most interested in. Among web developers, full-stack and back-end engineers are the most in-demand professionals.
The majority of managers who responded to the Reveal survey stated that they are looking for skilled developers in Blazor (64%), followed by .NET (48%), Angular (40%) and React (37%). These platforms are all in high demand as companies look to build software faster, better and more efficiently.
4. Business Analytics
The Reveal survey discovered that business intelligence and data analytics tools are growing in popularity due to their ability to solve problems and drive the decision-making process. 71% of software developers said they expected their focus on business intelligence to increase, 45% planning to use embedded analytics in the future. More than three quarters (77%) of software developers are currently incorporating business intelligence apps into products developed for end users.
Cloud computing, such as AWS, Azure or Google Cloud Platform, is another software engineering trend that employers are looking for when hiring software engineers. Cloud technology allows software engineers to develop applications in a more efficient, flexible, and cost-effective way. In 2023, software developers will continue to be in high demand as organizations look to leverage the cloud for software development projects.
Using containers like Kubernetes and Dockers can simplify the deployment process and make it easier to test within a unified environment. This makes these platforms desirable among employers and software engineers who are looking to develop software in a more efficient way.
How to Take Advantage of Software Engineer Shortage?
There are several ways software engineers can make the most of job opportunities in the software engineering field.
1. Attend a bootcamp
Attending a coding bootcamp is a fast-track way to becoming a software developer in 3-6 months. While it does not fully take the place of a traditional college degree, 80% of US tech managers have hired graduates from coding bootcamps. 99.8% claim they are prepared to hire such candidates again. Interestingly, 72% of surveyed managers think that coding bootcamp graduates are just as prepared to perform at a high level as computer science grads – 12% even say they are more likely to excel.
A large majority of senior HR professionals, 57%, agree that the current four-year degree requirement to qualify for many jobs should be eliminated. The way we learn needed skills is rapidly changing, so companies will also need to change if they want to remain competitive in attracting top talent.
2. Seek flexibility
The pandemic has popularized the idea of remote work, and most tech workers would like to see this continue even after things return to normal. 70% of developers surveyed said they want to work remotely, with 33% preferring to telework full-time and 37% wanting to split their time between home and office. This is consistent with what recruiters are offering; the survey found that one in three employers are offering fully remote roles while 29% are offering flexible ‘hybrid’ options.
3. Be competitive
As an aspiring software engineer, you should work on acquiring highly sought-after skills like collaboration, cyber security awareness, natural curiosity, constant learning, etc. These abilities will make you competitive in the software engineering field and can also help you stand out when applying for jobs.
What Is the Salary of Software Engineers?
American software engineers earn, on average, $109,000 per year – more than double the average American salary. Some senior developers working in Big Tech firms earn severalfold of that and make a considerable income from their profession.
Why are software engineers paid so much? Employers are willing to pay software engineers well for their expertise, as software development plays an integral role in business success. Organizations need software engineers to build software applications, websites, and software systems to keep up with the competition.
The software engineer shortage has caused a significant surge in demand for software engineers and software development skills, driving software engineer salaries up.
The software engineer shortage is an ongoing concern for many organizations. While software engineers are in high demand, this has also caused a subsequent increase in software engineer salaries.
To take advantage of the software engineer shortage, software engineers should consider attending a coding bootcamp, seek flexibility with remote work options, and cultivate highly sought-after skills to remain competitive in the software engineering field.
With the right preparation, software engineers can make a good income from their profession and benefit from the software engineer shortage.
Elmar Mammadov is a software developer, tech startup founder, and computer science career specialist. He is the founder of CS Careerline and a true career changer who has previously pursued careers in medicine and neuroscience.
Due to his interest in programming and years of past personal experience in coding, he decided to break into the tech industry by attending a Master’s in Computer Science for career changers at University of Pennsylvania. Elmar passionately writes and coaches about breaking into the tech industry and computer science in general.