How has Covid-19 heightened the demand for tech and digital skills?

Posting date: 16 June 2020

Since the start of the Information Age, the technology industry has grown year-on-year and this trend has only been escalated by Covid-19. The industry is playing a crucial part in the response to coronavirus – helping the healthcare sector track the virus, aiding banks at a time of heightened cyber threats and supporting companies across the globe take their operations online.

 

Before the outbreak, Europe’s technology industry achieved an annual investment of $34.3 billion, with $1.7 billion of that capital being invested in Swiss companies, therefore, ranking Switzerland in the top five. 2020 looks set to be a promising year for this industry as companies in every corner of the globe become increasingly reliant of technology professionals.

 

While we only seem to be in the foothills of Covid-19’s impact on the global workforce there are clear trends emerging and tech and digital skills are proving themselves to be more valuable than ever.

 

 

The healthcare sector

Covid-19 has seen the healthcare and life sciences sector become more dependent on technology. As the spread of the virus continued to pick up pace, companies and governing bodies turned to the one thing that could be shared faster – information.

 

New apps designed to track Covid-19 using the Apple and Google Exposure Notification API swiftly entered the scene with the first release in Switzerland. The SwissCovid app has been trialled on a voluntary basis and gained backing from 70% of users. Swiss developers are now looking to roll out the app to the Swiss army and medical professionals. This presents an opportunity for developers to offer their coding skills to fight against the virus – or pick up the basics of coding - but it also signals we’ll see mobile apps as solutions to future global problems and therefore drive up the demand for user experience (UX) skills and cross-platform development.

 

Meanwhile in the US, technology professionals have been pushing their AI skills to new limits to create innovative data platforms that provide information on the availability of hospital beds.

 

The growing ecommerce industry

Covid-19 has not only heightened the demand for tech and digital skills, it has nurtured our developing technology ecosystems. Ecommerce spending was growing at an unstoppable rate well before coronavirus and since it’s unknown when or if things will return to normal many retailers may choose to take their operations entirely online. This $3,535 billion industry will call for more sophisticated websites and high-level digital infrastructure - a challenge for retailers but an interesting opportunity for web developers, software support specialists and even solution architects.

 

A call for data scientists

In a similar way that ecommerce has taken a larger share of the consumer spending pie, banking institutes have resorted to taking their services online too. This ever-increasing digitalisation is generating more data than ever before and causing a swell in data analytics. Employers were already showing an increased interest in data analytic skills, with data science job postings surging by 256% in the last six years, and this demand shows no signs of slowing down. In response to Covid-19, organisations are going face to face with the increasing digital skills gap and actively fostering a digital culture.

 
The cloud has become more important than ever

For many individuals, the introduction of the cloud was the perfect answer to limited storage space, but for organisations, cloud services have proved an essential piece of the remote working puzzle. Within the tech and digital industry, cloud and infrastructure have asserted their dominance as top skills for employees to list on their CVs.

 

The rising threat to data security

Whilst businesses hail the functionalities of cloud services they must also recognise the added threat that cloud storage poses to their documents and data. Databarracks report in their 2019 Data Health Check that from 2016-2019 the number of data loss cases as a result of cyber attacks had almost increased twofold.

 

Evidently, cybersecurity was already proving to be a rising star in the digital and tech skills sphere but Covid-19 has offered a fast-track ticket to the top. The pandemic is not only bringing new tech and digital skills into the limelight but it’s magnifying the need for larger digital teams, introducing new roles such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and creating a boom in technology recruitment.

 

 

How can Swisslinx help you?

Prior to Covid-19, digital and technology was establishing itself as one of our key developing markets and this surge in recruitment activity is only set to increase. We recognise the importance of keeping pace with technology drivers and trends, and our deep understanding of the industry enables us to identify talent from both local and international markets. Contact us to find out how we can help you during the time of heightened demand for tech and digital skills.

How can you stand out in a competitive job market?

The Swiss job market has historically been very stable, with an unemployment rate of less than 3.5% since October 2019. However, Covid-19 has hit the global job market hard, and Switzerland hasn’t escaped entirely unscathed. According to Reuters, there were 55% more people out of work in June 2020 than there were in 2020, with the novel coronavirus leaving restaurants and tourist enterprises vulnerable. The Swiss scheme to compensate people working shorter hours to avoid mass layoffs has helped to prevent more widespread damage, however, and we are now seeing green shoots in the local job market. The number of open positions registered with employment agencies more than doubled from May to June, and we continue to see exciting new opportunities open up to professionals. But how can job seekers stand out and secure these roles? Step one: Optimise your LinkedIn In order to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you must make sure you’re easy to be found. Start by looking at your LinkedIn profile and any other professional networking presence you have. Make sure all your recent and relevant work experience is listed in detail, including job titles, key skills, technologies you’ve worked with and any other keywords that recruiters might use to search for you. Take a LinkedIn skills assessment to demonstrate your abilities and add a Verified Skills badge to your profile – research shows that candidates with verified skills are 30% more likely to be hired. Make sure you’ve got a photo uploaded and a title that reflects what you’re looking for and you’re on your way to getting noticed. Step two: Network and make connections Once you’ve polished your online profiles, it’s time to develop your personal brand and do some digital networking. Connect with industry leaders you admire, follow companies and profiles that relate to your sector and don’t be afraid to share your opinions and ideas. You might not quite feel ready to publish your own thought leadership article on LinkedIn, but it’s easy to ask a question of your network or even share a thought-provoking blog. One of the best ways to network online is by joining LinkedIn groups related to your niche – for instance, Life Sciences in Switzerland and Job & Career in Switzerland. And don’t forget to reach out to recruiters and executive search consultants in your industry! Step three: Overhaul your CV Once you’ve found roles to apply to, you’ll want to tailor your CV accordingly. Your CV should act as a snapshot of your career and highlight all your key skills and achievements. Make sure to include any details that might set you apart from another candidate, whether that’s German language skills, recent digital accreditation or success in influencing senior stakeholders. Think of what you’re really proud of and what value you can add in a company, and highlight these in your CV and cover letter. Try to keep your CV to two pages where possible and triple-check it before sending it away, watching out for typos and inconsistencies. Step four: Apply thoughtfully and carefully If you’re looking for new opportunities, it can be tempting to simply send the same version of your CV out far and wide to as many places as possible. However, recruiters and hiring managers will know if you’ve not put any effort into your application. Where possible, tailor your CV or cover letter to the role you’re applying for, matching skills and requirements to those from the job ad. This approach can be more time consuming than a ‘send to all’ strategy, but by showing specifically how your experience aligns with the vacancy, you’ll have a higher chance of progression in the application. Step five: Bring your best self to the interview Whether it’s a video interview or traditional in-person meeting, getting to this stage is a great sign that the company is interested in you. With that in mind, approach the interview with confidence and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Organisations are increasingly looking for cultural and organisational fit, as well as technical and experiential prowess, so it’s important to be yourself at the interview stage. Try to relax and remember that the interviewer will be looking to sell the position, just like you are trying to demonstrate your value. If it’s a good match, then congratulations! If not, continue the above steps until you find a position that suits you. Find your next role with Swisslinx Even in the most competitive job market, our strong industry relationships and understanding our industries means we can offer candidates access to a variety of roles across our recruitment markets. Find out more about being a Swisslinx candidate or view our latest jobs to take your next career step.

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What key skills does the modern developer need?

Information technology departments all over the world have been scrambling in the past few months, with many IT professionals suddenly tasked with the daunting role of mobilising a remote workforce, seemingly overnight. Looking ahead, IT spending forecasts suggest there will be ongoing demand for cloud infrastructure services as businesses continue to work remotely, according to Deloitte. The same goes for communication and telecom services and software. And with more companies using online technologies and software than ever before - to work, collaborate and communicate – we're seeing increasing demand for information technology professionals. Working in information technology recruitment, we make it our business to keep a close eye on market trends and skills in demand by employers. Through this, we’ve seen developers continue to be sought out for companies across Switzerland and further afield. If you’re considering your next career step and want to make sure you stand out to potential employers, consider the following key skills that every modern developer needs. Coding languages Developers and programmers must have a firm knowledge of at least one coding language, such as Java, C++, JavaScript or Python. Most software developers in today’s technology landscape will be expected to know JavaScript, which has been ranked as the most popular developer language for seven years in a row. JavaScript is used alongside HTML and CSS for front-end web development. Meanwhile, user-friendly Python is an ideal language for beginner developers to pick up for back-end development and desktop applications, along with C++ and C# for game and mobile development. Whether you’re a skilled java developer or a creative C++ coder, it’s a clear competitive advantage to have deep experience in at least one coding language, and ideally be familiar with others too. Cloud expertise Cloud computing is one of tech’s biggest boom areas now, with companies of all sizes shifting their environments to the cloud for ease of access, cost-saving and scalability. Many programmers and developers will find themselves needing to work with cloud-native applications in the near future, particularly if they’re working in the development fields of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. There are entire roles devoted to cloud development, where you’ll be expected to have database and programming skills along with Linux and cloud platform expertise, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud Platform. Even if you don’t want to become a dedicated cloud developer, it’s still well worth developing some cloud skills to have access to more programming jobs in the future. Flexibility and problem-solving skills The modern developer needs to be reactive and quick on their feet. This is particularly true in the post-Covid landscape, where many organisations are entering ‘sink or swim’ mode and some are completely reinventing their business models and service offerings. The rise in remote work and conferencing platforms and online cashless solutions have contributed to a predicted tech industry increase from US$131bn to US$295bn by 2025. This boom is creating challenges for developers to react to, but also an abundance of opportunities to be innovative and creative. Modern web developers should be agile and curious, always challenging the status quo and prepared to look for new solutions and ideas. Doing so will help to remain relevant in the changing job market and stand out to IT recruitment agencies. Find your next developer job at Swisslinx Swisslinx has deep experience in digital and technology executive recruitment, helping to match brilliant candidates with exceptional companies. If you’re looking for your next programmer or developer role, we’d love to help. View our latest digital and technology jobs here or contact us to see how we can help.

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