Are young Europeans falling out of love with tech jobs, asks survey

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Less than a quarter (23pc) of young Irish tech workers surveyed as part of the wider report say their current job is better than expected.

A pan-European report that looked at how young tech workers aged between 20 and 30 are faring in their careers revealed that many are feeling disillusioned and insecure at their current jobs.

The Young Generation in Tech report surveyed 2,005 young people across Europe during July and August – including 205 from Ireland. The report was published today (4 October) by HiBob and Eight Roads.

The survey participants were asked for their views on issues such as job security, job satisfaction and things that might encourage them to stay in their current positions for longer.

The sample included both technical and non-technical roles across engineering and product management, marketing, sales, operations and C-Suite positions.

It’s worth noting that Ireland had a smaller portion of respondents (10pc) than the other countries. The Netherlands, the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Sweden all had 300 respondents (15pc).

Overall, more than a third (35pc) of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with their role, while 54pc said they planned to completely change career plan.

The report indicated that poor job satisfaction across the board was a factor in these responses, as was growing insecurity about lay-offs and redundancies amid the economic downturn. Last week, it was reported that Meta is freezing its hiring plans, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg blaming the economy. This could also include a plan to “manage out people who aren’t succeeding.”

The Young Generation in Tech report revealed that 30pc of young Europeans described their current role as falling below their expectations. For the Irish respondents, only 23pc said their job is better than they expected it to be.

What does this mean for the future of the tech industry? The report also found that feelings of dissatisfaction and disillusionment were the most pronounced in the youngest cohort of 20 to 25 year olds.

Scope for future improvement

However, the survey also provided constructive feedback through questions about what these workers want from employers.

The measures that would encourage dissatisfied employees to stay in their roles included better career progression (37pc), an increase in salary (34pc) and a contract that protected them against layoffs (18pc), according to the survey.

Like older employees, young people have high standards for prospective employers even if their experience doesn’t always match these expectations. To attract the future generation of tech workers, employers know they should offer good pay and job security, but what about retaining talent?

Ireland and the other countries in the report could perhaps learn from France and Germany, the two nations that reported the highest levels of job satisfaction among young tech workers.

Almost a third (30pc) of German workers ranked their experience at work at 9 or 10, while 57pc of French workers scored it at between 7 and 8. In Germany, 80pc of young people also said their work/life balance was just right, or better than expected.

This may be attributed to Germany offering the widest range of working hours and flexible working models. It may be indicative of the reason why three quarters of German workers plan to remain in their jobs for the rest of 2022, or the foreseeable future.

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