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Gen Z Software Developers: Early STEM Training Needed Now

Despite the wave of layoffs making headlines at companies across different job market sectors, hiring remains strong, especially in IT positions. 


If the hiring for IT continues for the next decade, which is likely, will the next generation have the skills it needs to fill the roles?

They are interested in coding, that’s for sure.

Focus on digital transformation

According to the most recent Dice Tech Job Report, job postings for tech-focused roles within the U.S. were up 25% from January to October 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.

Tech professionals are in high demand as companies across all industries focus on digital transformation initiatives. Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain tech, and Machine Learning have broken into the mainstream and have increased demand for a more tech-savvy workforce. IT roles such as software development and back-end engineers have more than doubled compared to 2021, at 139.5% and 121.5% growth, respectively.

Despite the evident change in the tech sector, most IT hiring in 2022 came from non-tech industries such as aviation, finance and banking, healthcare, and consulting. As various sectors digitize more of their products and services, the demand for IT professionals continues to grow. 

A report from Staffing Industry Analysts concurs. In 2021, Temporary IT staffing was a $78 billion market globally at a growing rate of 23% and permanent IT staffing makes up 33% of the global professional staffing industry, making it the largest professional staffing category. The uptick in IT staffing is due primarily to the worldwide digital transformation initiatives across industries and promising future demand.

25% Software Engineering Projected Growth Rate from 2021-2031

Software Engineering, for example, is one of the most sought positions in the job market today and will continue to be in demand in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is projecting that there will be roughly 162,900 vacancies for software engineers over the next decade (2021-2031). As businesses increasingly rely on computer-driven operations, the software engineer’s role is crucial in building it. Other IT roles, such as those within Data Engineering, are also becoming more in demand and have a 35% annual growth rate. 

In 10 years, will we have developers trained in the right skills for all these jobs?

Coding in school

Over half of U.S. students see coding as vital for their future, and the numbers continue to grow as 45% of students can currently or are learning at least one coding program.45%-1 Around the same number of students surveyed are looking to or planning on exploring data engineering/software engineering tracks.

However, a primary concern voiced in the KX report from students was that coding needs to be taught at their schools, highlighting the need to focus on digital skills that the students can take with them to launch their professional careers.

A study by Glassdoor also shows that Data/Software Engineers and Java Developers are among the hottest jobs in the US. The research suggests that the main reasons students gravitate toward these roles is:

  • High salary
  • Number of available positions
  • Flexible-WFH policies

As time progresses, it seems inevitable that coding will play a crucial role in future economies, and many students don’t want to be left out. 

Dev10 and the potential of people

For now, Dev10 is doing its part to ensure that our clients have the skilled resources theybTech Talent Development | Software & Data Engineers | Dev10 Tomorrow's Tech Talent Today need for their digital transformation and other initiatives by providing training in the latest technologies to software developers and data engineers launching their careers.

I checked in with Jennifer Turnquist, Vice President of Client Development at Dev10 and Tara Wyborny, Vice President of Talent Development at Dev10, to get their read on the national tech talent market. In her role, Jennifer sees first-hand the strong demand for the latest skills and has worked with clients to bring on junior talent.

“As many people left their jobs post-Covid, many of our clients used the opportunity to hire junior talent that had current industry technology skills and were able to infuse new methods and practices into their respective organization,” Turnquist said.

With an eye toward the consultant, Tara shares that Dev10 hires from many different backgrounds which provides our clients with a diversity of perspectives. “We’ve hired people who evaluated their careers, in such fields as healthcare, during the pandemic and found tech to be an exciting change that provides new opportunities.” 

Whether education systems across the nation come up to speed on teaching coding in schools remains to be seen, but for now Dev10 is helping our clients with the skilled resources they need and can help you as well.