The State of The Job Market for Junior Software Developers

May 21, 2024
John Wark

Are you concerned that now’s not the right time to switch to a tech career because of the job market? Between layoffs, companies managing expenses very tightly over inflationary and recessionary concerns, and the other things weighing on the job market for junior software developers, that’s understandable. If you believe Reddit, you’d think there had been no junior developers hired anywhere, ever. Well, we’d like to share some facts about placements of software developer grads from NSS so that you know what we’re really seeing. 

Lower number of graduates to match slower job market

First fact, during calendar 2023, NSS software development program grad placements were down by 35% compared to the prior year. More specifically, we placed 80 fewer in 2023 than 2022. As a result - and because we could see no reason to believe that 2024 would be meaningfully better - we pivoted and will graduate 100 fewer software developers in 2024 so as to better match graduate numbers with the current job market.

We’re also adjusting our Full-time Web Developer Bootcamp schedule in the second half to more evenly space the timing of graduations in 2025. The July cohort will now be starting on July 22, 2024, the cohort originally slated for August is moving to September 3, 2024, and our November cohort will remain on November 4, 2024. Our website will be updated with these new dates this week.

Hiring in 2024 stronger so far than 2023

Second fact, during the first four months of this year, we have seen 50 software developer placements. That’s compared to 33 in the same period last year. In other words, placements so far this year are up approximately 50% over the same period last year. While it’s true that the market is slower compared to the last few years, it’s also clear that companies are still hiring junior software developers. By the time the newly enrolled students in our cohorts that start the rest of this year graduate, we’ll be into 2025 and (hopefully) a job market that is continuing to improve. 

We can tell from our application rates that a lot of people are holding off from starting the journey to a career in software development. We know that fear of the job market is just one of the reasons. The facts we’ve shared above give reasons for optimism about there being jobs in 2025 for new software developers from NSS. 

None of this is to diminish the impact that the weaker job market - both the impact of layoffs that some NSS grads have suffered and the impact of longer average job search times - has had on some of our graduates as well as other members of our tech community. We hope that a recovering job market benefits them first. But, we’re trying to keep a balanced view relative to all of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that is circulating - placements down by 35% last year over the year before isn’t great but it’s also not catastrophic. And 50% more placements this year to date compared to last year is at least a glimmer of hope.   

New Scholarship Announced

Another reason people are holding off from starting a career in software development is that they are really feeling stretched financially with inflation, high interest rates, student loan payment resumptions, etc. To help address the financial barriers, today we are announcing that all regular tuition students for both full-time and part-time Web Developer Bootcamp cohorts, starting between July and November 2024, will receive a scholarship worth $2,000. You can learn more about our new scholarships here.

We encourage prospective applicants to join our monthly info session (every 3rd Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. CT) to get the latest on what we’re seeing in the job market. See the dates and RSVP here.

We believe now is a good time to start a tech career. Ready to start?

Topics: News, Community, Technology Insights, Web Development