By Wendy Gittleson
For Hack Reactor
If you’re feeling burnt out on your job, you’re not alone. In August 2021 alone, nearly 3 percent of America’s workforce, or 4.3 million people, left their jobs. Over the last few months, literal and virtual walkouts have become so common that 2021 has been dubbed the year of “the Great Resignation.”
You’ve likely seen the news stories or witnessed the phenomena in real life. Across America, Help Wanted signs decorate restaurant windows, hospital workers are going on strike, and supermarket checkout lines have grown longer due to staffing shortages.
Who’s quitting? (It’s not just frontline workers)
There’s a reason retail, restaurant, and healthcare employees are included among those referred to as frontline workers. They’re not only critical to our survival; they’re the people most visible during our daily lives.
According to the 5th annual Global State of Frontline Work Experience study released this year, 45 percent of currently employed frontline employees are planning to quit their jobs.
Much has been made about the fact that frontline workers are often paid low wages, but that’s not the main motivation for resignation according to the study. Instead, it’s burnout – and it’s easy to see why when considering all that the COVID 19 pandemic has brought upon American society and the world at large.
But what’s perhaps most shocking of all is that those most likely to leave their jobs aren’t on the COVID frontline. In fact, the industry suffering the highest percentages of resignations is tech. In August, 4.5 percent of tech employees left their jobs. And according to Market Watch, 41 percent of Big Tech employees are considering leaving their jobs this year.
What about software engineers?
In a lot of ways, software engineers are in a great place. The career path is well-paid and software engineers are mostly insulated from the angry public. When the pandemic forced many to transition to remote work, it didn’t have hugely negative effects on the industry.
But on an individual level, working from home can come with challenges. When you work in an office, there’s a clear delineation between work and home life. Remote workers can find it hard to juggle childcare, petcare, and all the other responsibilities of home while working more hours than they were in the office.
On the other hand, remote work gives people flexibility to live wherever they want. The ability, or at least the option, to work remotely plays into job satisfaction for many software engineers, some of whom were among the millions to quit their jobs during the pandemic and within the last year.
According to a survey conducted by the small firm Stepsize, software engineers quit their jobs for three main reasons: salary (82 percent), technical challenges and growth opportunities (75 percent), and the ability to work remotely (68 percent).
Often, these individuals go looking for other software engineering jobs. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s plenty to go around. The Bureau finds that openings for software engineers and similar jobs are projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030 – much faster than the average for all occupations – estimating about 189,200 new openings every year on average.
The Bureau also estimates that in 2020, there were 1.4 million more software development jobs than applicants who could fill them.
Coding bootcamps like ours provide pathways for those interested in starting new careers in software engineering, and our Career Services team helps students and graduates land jobs at companies that meet their salary and remote work expectations.
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