Tech Exodus: From Silicon Valley to Main Street

By: James Flippin · June 07, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Byte-sized Transition

A significant fraction of the tech industry’s laid-off workforce — 141,000 and counting — have found new opportunities outside the familiar terrain of technology.

According to LinkedIn (MSFT) data from 2023, over half of these tech workers have managed to secure employment in sectors distinct from their previous, tech-dominated roles. They’ve spread across a variety of industries, illustrating the adaptability of a certain skill set in the rapidly evolving job market.

This shift may be seen as a loss for the tech industry. But for other sectors, it’s a major gain, and demonstrates that technology is an integral part of every industry, not just those with “tech” in the name.

Big Tech Antitrust

Regulatory and public scrutiny of big tech companies has led to a general distrust of the industry. In turn, this has influenced the career trajectories of many tech professionals, making it harder than ever to “make it” in tech.

Major tech giants Microsoft, Amazon (AMZN), Meta Platforms (META), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Salesforce (CRM) have reportedly been responsible for 42% of tech layoffs from January 2022 to March 2023. This trend signifies a shifting landscape in which tech companies that previously represented desirable and stable employment are now widely viewed with apprehension.

Main Street’s Makeover

The impact of this shift in the tech workforce can be seen in the hiring practices of traditionally non-tech firms. Companies such as Disney (DIS), Deloitte, and Bank of America (BAC) are now on a hiring spree for software engineers, cybersecurity professionals, and data scientists.

However, insiders note it’s too early to sound the alarm for the tech industry, even if and when widespread layoffs give way to widespread hiring again. Remote work tends to be an attractive option for knowledge workers, and tech companies are better positioned to accommodate it than many other industries. Ultimately, workers may be willing to accept more flexibility for less pay.

Nevertheless, this shift is a testament to the increasing permeation of technology into every business sector. For these ‘displaced’ tech professionals, it presents a unique opportunity to carve out new careers in diverse fields. The more the world changes, the more the value of technology skills remains stable.

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