Computer science students feel ‘discouraged’ about the tech job market


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Jamir Grier, a junior computer science major and president of Pitt’s computer science club.

By Elizabeth Primrose, Senior Staff Writer

Will Knipe, a senior computer science and math major, previously worked as a software engineering intern at Lockheed Martin, Kognition and the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Despite having plenty of work experience, Knipe said he is “discouraged” about the current state of the technology market.

“I feel really unlucky to be graduating at the height of a tech recession, especially looking back at how high-paying tech jobs were basically handed to new grads in the past,” Knipe said. “It now feels like the process is mostly out of my control, and that you need hundreds of applications and a lot of luck to find a job in the current market.”

Knipe applied to different tech companies last fall, but said he did not find a position. He now plans to start graduate studies for computer science this fall if he gets into Pitt’s graduate school. 

Tech companies have laid off more than 100,000 employees in 2023 alone. These layoffs include a 12,000 person cut from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, which was announced in January, and Dell’s 6,650 person cut announced in early February. In 2022, tech companies laid off more than 150,000 employees according to Forbes, including Meta’s layoff of 11,000 employees.

Computer science students, such as Knipe, feel uneasy about the job market in the tech industry due to these increased layoffs.

Knipe said he first heard about the layoffs in the tech industry when he started applying and interviewing at different tech companies in the fall.

“The layoffs made me worried because they could mean that the hiring market would be flooded with lots of talent, making it harder to land a new-grad position successfully,” Knipe said. “I am a little bit discouraged about the current state of the tech market, but I am hopeful that it will soon return to normal.”

Jamir Grier, president of Pitt’s Computer Science Club, interned at Google Cloud in the summer of 2022, but did not receive a return offer to intern there this summer. According to Grier, he will intern at PNC this summer as a software engineering intern.

Despite securing an internship for the summer, Grier said he is concerned about the job security in the tech industry. 

“The layoffs are quite sad to hear in terms of how they were performed with no notice or specificity,” Grier, a junior computer science major, said. “But, in certain ways, I understand that a lot of companies have emboldened themself with unrealistic and maybe even unethical pursuits for technology that has incurred a cost that they are now seeking to offset.”

Major tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon are seemingly following the layoff trend as Microsoft announced it will lay off 10,000 employees by the end of the third quarter of this fiscal year, and Amazon announced it will lay off more than 18,000 employees within the next few months.

Panagiotis Moisiadis, a junior computer science major, will work as a software development engineer intern at Amazon Web Services, whose parent company is Amazon, this summer. He 

said he is glad he started the application process in July because he does not believe that Amazon hired as many interns for this summer as for the previous summer.

After Amazon cut 10,000 jobs in November, Moisiadis said he felt nervous about the possibility of AWS rescinding his internship offer. However, Moisiadis said he felt more reassured after spending time reading information on various online communities, including the Amazon intern and the new grad discord.

“I was pretty nervous around December and January about rescinding offers, because I know it happened at other companies,” Moisiadis said. “But, now I’m a little bit more confident.”

Moisiadis said he thinks the tech industry layoffs were probably bound to happen.

“Some people just doubled in size over covid because their growth was insane,” Moisiadis said. “That growth just didn’t continue past COVID. I guess layoffs were kind of inevitable, but at the same time, not every company has done layoffs.”

According to Grier, technology is needed in all industries. While layoffs have mostly affected big tech, Grier said all fields need cybersecurity employees and software developers, so he hopes layoffs will balance out with technological growth in other industries.

“I try to avoid concerns too far in the future, but I trust that my skills and previous experience will put me in a competitive position in my post-graduation job market,” Grier said. “Right now, I just need to graduate.”

Editor’s Note: Jamir Grier worked at The Pitt News as a videographer.