Once upon a time, positions like data scientist and mobile developer could only be found in the offices of the tech titans like Google, Facebook and Amazon. Fast forward to today, companies of every industry and size are hiring for these highly technical roles, even in more traditional organizations.
It’s a change that’s been happening bit by bit over the years, but the trend was particularly noticeable in 2016, according to Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain. As awareness around how advanced technology can drive business value goes mainstream, every company is transitioning to become a tech company in some way. Healthcare companies bring in economists and data scientists to make sense of the massive amount of data coming out of medical trials and treatments. Financial companies hire developers to build mobile apps and secure their data. And retail companies like Walmart are building full-blown research facilities complete with machine learning experts to increase automation.
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For workers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the benefits are obvious. The choice isn’t just between IT admin and software engineer anymore — there are now more diverse, cutting-edge positions available than ever before. Job seekers no longer have to travel to tech hubs like San Francisco or New York City to find these jobs either. As demand for these positions grows among traditional organizations, job seekers have more choice among where — and for what industry — they want to work. And naturally, with increased demand comes increased leverage to secure the salary and benefits that you want.
But the advantages of a growing number of specialized tech workers aren’t just limited to those with a STEM background. The insights and results that these workers are able to achieve often help the entire organization. Data scientists within a marketing team, for example, are able to sift through the many different metrics around engagement and sales in order to analyze which marketing efforts have been the most successful and why. Ultimately, the team gains valuable knowledge that they can use to optimize their efforts moving forward.
In addition, companies are finding that they have to step up their game in order to recruit talent in a competitive market. More and more employers are attempting to stand out from the competition by offering their workers flexible work arrangements, casual office environments and enhanced benefits packages — perks that trickle down to the entire team. And, at a much more macro level, significant bumps in hiring tend to stimulate economic growth in general, which benefits the country at a whole.
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Major shifts in hiring trends can often cause a fair amount of anxiety, but they also present great opportunity. While the current spike in hiring for specialized tech workers is still in its early stages, there are a lot of reasons for workers across the board to be optimistic. As we’ve seen time and time again, the ones who benefit the most from innovation and change are those who embrace it.