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Are Tech Jobs Recession-Proof?

There are some industries that are seemingly protected from the impact of recessions. So, are tech jobs recession-proof, and realistically, what does this mean? Let’s dive in and find out! 

It’s never a good sign when we hear the word recession used online, in the media, and around the workplace. A recession normally means prices are going up and wages are either staying the same or getting lower against inflation. It also normally means redundancies, hiring freezes, and a lot of budget cuts.

What Do We Mean by Recession-Proof?

When we say recession-proof, we mean that a business, industry, or role isn’t likely to be massively affected by a recession. Where a recession might be crippling for some industries, other essential services are less likely to be subject to mass layoffs or even going into administration. 

While recession-proof doesn’t mean completely immune to the effects of the recession, these industries aren’t going to be brought to their knees by one.

Effects for recession-proof companies are likely to be hiring freezes and budget cuts for marketing and additional spending, rather than making people redundant or closing whole offices.  

Industries That are Recession-Proof

So, there are quite a few industries that are considered recession-proof. Most of them are in the public sector like healthcare professionals, law enforcement, fire services, and things like that. No matter the financial landscape, people still get ill, people still commit crimes, and fires still need putting out.

While there isn’t likely to be growth in these industries, it’s not going to be super negatively impacted either. Recession-proof industries are all based on necessity. 

Other industries that are often recession-proof are things like education. Teachers are still needed by law, but further education may take a hit, especially to its support staff if enrollment rates drop.

Postal work is also considered recession-proof as much of what we buy now is online, and those packages and letters still need to be delivered. 

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Industries that Aren’t Recession-Proof

So, the first industries that tend to get affected by recessions are banking and investments first. Depending on the market, house prices can plummet, interest rates can rise, and it can cause havoc in financial services.

The banks tend to take action by adjusting rates to mitigate the effects of a recession for certain populations.

If the cost of living rises, which is often the case in a recession, the next industries to be impacted are the “nice to have” style industries. Certain retail segments and hospitality often take a hit.

Travel tends to drop because it becomes unaffordable once all our bills go up and our wages either stay the same, or we’re made redundant. During a recession, it’s what we need, rather than what we want. That’s probably the easiest way to determine if an industry is recession-proof or not. 

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Is Tech Recession-Proof?

So, based on the parameters we’ve outlined so far, is tech recession-proof? A lot of the tech industry is now fairly robust and recession-proof. However, it comes down to whether the product is more of a necessity, like the emergency services and teaching, or is it more of a bonus benefit like your fancy morning coffee from the cafe or the newest pair of boots.

It all depends on the product itself. 

On the whole, many of us rely on tech to get through the day. If you think about it, the systems that healthcare uses, for example, are all reliant on the tech that needs to be updated and maintained, so it becomes integral to the successful running of a hospital.

Of course, this is an extreme example, but many of us rely on tech for work purposes. If Skype or Google Docs or Sharepoint went down, plenty of people wouldn’t be able to do their job. If a retail website’s checkout kept crashing or looping, that would massively affect business.

Although a lot of big tech firms like Apple, Twitter, and Google have been announcing pretty large-scale layoffs, this isn’t a sign that tech isn’t recession-proof. These are huge companies and corporate restructures are likely, especially when money is getting tight.

With growth expected to slow rapidly, big firms are hedging their bets to minimize impact and conducting widespread hiring freezes. Despite sounding like drastic methods, these are likely to be preventative measures, rather than having to react even more drastically further down the line. 

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Tech is More Recession-Proof Than Other Industries

No industry is 100% recession-proof. That is clear. Even in the most robust industries like healthcare, wage freezes are happening and support staff is starting to be cut.

However, some industries are more recession-proof than others and due to our increasing reliance on technology, the tech industry is definitely one of them.

If you’re looking to move jobs into an industry that’s relatively well-protected, tech is a good way to go, and there are still plenty of firms that haven’t hit the hiring freeze button yet. Have a look around and see if a position in tech is the right move for you. 

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