Stack Overflow: 79% of Developers Considering A Career Move

Stack Overflow: 79% of Developers Considering A Career Move
Photo by Debby Hudson / Unsplash
A survey by Stack Overflow shows that both young and long-standing developers are increasingly thinking about changing employers.

Whether they are newcomers to the field or seasoned veterans within the developer community, a substantial proportion of developers, as revealed in a survey conducted by the Stack Overflow team with over 1,000 participants, are contemplating a shift in their career paths. The key finding of the survey indicates that a significant 79 percent of respondents are either considering a change or actively seeking new job opportunities.

Finding a job in the tech industry continues to pose challenges.

Over the past three years, there has been a notable increase in job transitions among new developers compared to those already established in their careers, as outlined in a blog post by the Stack Overflow team. This shift is attributed, in part, to the diminishing availability of positions for entry-level professionals and the inherent instability in the tech sector. The issue has been extensively covered in a recent article in Wired titled "Finding a tech job is still a nightmare." Consequently, the survey results from Stack Overflow reflect a trend of developers exiting the tech industry, with skilled professionals contemplating career changes due to prevailing uncertainties.

Who thinks about a new job, when and why?

The report discerns that a considerable number of developers are presently considering new job opportunities. However, variations emerged across different age groups: the inclination to seek new employment initially diminishes with age, dropping from 86 percent to 74 percent. Subsequently, there is a noteworthy resurgence, reaching 88 percent among respondents aged 55 to 64. Individuals within this age group highlighted curiosity about other companies as the second most significant motive for exploring new job prospects this year, trailing only "better salary," which was identified as the top reason across all age groups.

Inquiries into how developers explore potential employers before embarking on a job search revealed that 53 percent of respondents favor job boards, while 39 percent turn to their professional network. The report indicates that company-owned media is primarily consulted once the job search is underway. Specifically, 61 percent of participants expressed a keen interest in delving into the companies' official job pages, while 52 percent are more inclined to rely on third-party review portals.

The Stack Overflow team postulates that the augmented curiosity and evolving preferences of developers, particularly those further along in their careers, contribute to the observed increase in the average number of positions considered. The figures indicate a notable rise, escalating from seven to nine positions. This phenomenon aligns with the increasing interest among developers this year in exploring new job opportunities compared to the preceding year.

Analyzing the job dynamics, the team observes a nuanced trend across different age groups. As per the report, the inclination to seek new employment initially decreases with age, dropping from 86 percent to 74 percent. However, this trend undergoes a significant reversal among respondents aged 55 to 64, where the interest surges back up to 88 percent. Notably, individuals in this age bracket highlight curiosity about other companies as the second most influential factor motivating their job search this year, just behind the universally cited top reason: the pursuit of a "better salary."

Regarding the methods employed by developers when researching potential employers, the report unveils that 53 percent favor job boards, while 39 percent leverage their professional network. Company-owned media is predominantly consulted once the job search is already underway. A substantial 61 percent of participants express a keen interest in perusing the official job pages of companies, while 52 percent exhibit a preference for third-party review portals.

For those seeking a comprehensive understanding of the insights and statistics underpinning these trends, the complete job report from October 2023 is available on the Stack Overflow blog. This detailed resource provides a comprehensive overview of the current landscape, shedding light on the dynamics shaping the decisions and trajectories of developers in the ever-evolving tech industry.

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