When deciding upon a career, there are a number of factors to take into account. Firstly, does the position pay enough and what chance – if any – is there of achieving even a scintilla of job satisfaction? If the role fails to meet either requirement, then the applicant may choose to consider further criterion to help find employment which might in the long-run be right for them. This could include weighing up whether the hours suit or if any commute is involved. Whilst some of us might express a degree of flexibility in terms of wages, fulfilment and travel, none of these ingredients matter a jot if a job fails to provide the one thing we most crave above all else – stability.
With that in mind, the next time you’re trawling through the welter of online job sites; it’s worth noting the most recession-proof of all industry sectors since 2002 is technology which saw the total wage bill rise 82 per cent to £32bn in 2013 as more people poured into all levels of the industry.
According to analysis of the latest official government stats by recruitment firm Randstad, a total of 400,000 additional people gained full-time IT employment between 2002, and 2014 up to 800,457. Despite this tech-based employment boom, overall wages fell by 11 per cent during the same period.
Among the least recession-proof occupation is travel agent, where the aggregate wage bill fell a dramatic 56 per cent over the same period to £420m. In 2014, it was reported the number of travel agents and tour operators which closed down increased by 45 per cent on the previous year as holidaymakers turn to the internet to make travel plans. Figures released by accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy found as many as 77 travel agencies and tour operators went insolvent in the 12 months to March 2014 compared with 53 in the previous year, and 39 in 2011/12.
Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK, said: “While jobs in IT infrastructure and networks may have declined – and some jobs have been outsourced beyond our borders – other areas, such as .net and ecommerce mobile programming, have boomed.”
The technology industry’s durability isn’t limited to the UK. It’s proved equally as robust in the US where software development and engineering jobs held up better than those in finance, marketing, sales and administration during the country’s last economic downturn in the early 2000’s.
But before we in IT circles become too smug about our sector’s resistance to global boom-and-bust cycles, the industry must continue to innovate and engage with consumers to ensure it remains out of reach from future recessions’ suffocating clutches.