As tech companies continue to layoff employees, many workers are beginning to shift to military-industrial workplaces, including the Pentagon.
- One-third of tech workers say they are more likely than they were a year ago to consider working for the military, according to a recent survey by Morning Consult.
- The survey also shows that nearly half of the tech workers are reportedly OK with their work being used on the battlefield.
- In January, amid the mass layoffs, the National Security Agency (NSA) announced what it called “one of its largest hiring surges in 30 years with openings for over 3,000 new employees.”
Why it’s news
Military defense jobs are not typically sought-after for tech workers, but as layoffs continue to surge through the market, the Pentagon and its defense contractors have acquired top talent to fill roles.
In years prior, tech workers were often able to be choosier when selecting their jobs, but mass tech layoffs have been leaving workers unemployed and hunting for employment in an oversaturated market. This has been good for military-industrial workplaces looking for experienced tech workers.
One-third of tech workers say they are more likely than they were a year ago to consider working for the military-industrial complex, according to a recent survey by Morning Consult.
Since the layoffs began in November 2022, government defense workplaces have seen a large rise in applications from tech workers looking for jobs. The unemployed quickly seek a job, and most defense workplaces are hiring openly.
In January, the NSA announced what it called “one of its largest hiring surges in 30 years with openings for over 3,000 new employees,” with nearly half of the roles being in tech.
“We absolutely are trying to take advantage of these tech layoffs,” Molly Moore, the agency’s deputy director of workforce support activities, told Nextgov.
Government defense jobs cannot pay as much as the typical high-paying, remote-friendly workplaces that many tech industry workers are accustomed to, but in desperate times the applications are piling up with laid-off workers.
The survey shows employees are starting to become less reliant on money and are beginning to look for more job security. 60% of tech workers say they’re actively or passively looking for a new job, and the factor they’re most likely to consider important isn’t salary or benefits, but job security, the survey says.
The Pentagon’s push for workers
The Pentagon is aiming to add new cyber work and compete with others by introducing a new cyber workforce strategy, including training programs, recruitment process changes, apprenticeship programs, and remote work.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has a 25% vacancy rate in its cyber workforce across military and civilian roles, according to the principal director for resources and analysis, Mark Gorak.
To compete with others, the Pentagon has created a strategy with four goals: identify what skills are needed, recruit more talent needed, develop a cyber-minded workplace culture, and retain the talent it has.
Although the government cannot compete with higher salaries, it plans to introduce training sessions and remote work, which has been proving to work as employees are becoming less reliant on high salaries.
The Department of Defense recently released a cyber workforce strategy that it plans to implement between 2023 and 2027, although not all of the goals will be able to be met.
“We have chosen specifically to be bold,” says Gorak. “We’re going to try new things, and we’re going to try innovative things, which not all will work, and that’s OK.”