Nachshon went through the yeshiva system. While dating, he and his future wife, Leora, discussed their long-term goals at length. They decided that Nachshon would study in kollel for several years, with Leora supporting him, after which he’d start working in his father’s business. Nachshon’s father was nearing retirement age, and he expected his sons to eventually take over the family business.
Nachshon and Leora’s plans came to an abrupt end a few months later. Leora’s pregnancy – with twins – required her to be on strict bed rest. Nachshon took a job with his father, and he quickly discovered the family business was not for him.
“I’m an ideas person,” Nachshon explains. “I thrive on resolving complex challenges. I couldn’t see myself doing inventory or customer service for much longer. It also became apparent that my brother and I had different visions for my father’s company.”
The task of supporting a Jewish family loomed before him. Nachshon admits he spent nights stressing about it. He had grown up comfortably and wanted to provide the same lifestyle for his family.
In Nachshon’s words: “Tuition. Buying a house in a frum area near a shul. Summer camp. Giving Leora the opportunity to do something part-time so she can be there for our children. I needed a job that could support a growing family!”
On a whim, Nachshon decided to take a software engineering course that allowed him to pay whatever he couldn’t afford in tuition once he started working. In addition to in-person instruction, he tells me he spent countless hours scouring online tutorials and practicing the skills he’d learned in class and online.
“It seemed like a great fit for someone who is detail-oriented and a problem solver,” he acknowledges. “It’s a marketable skill. It’s in demand. It’s versatile. And I’m an introvert, so working alone for long periods of time doesn’t bother me.”
The popularity of tech jobs in the frum community has increased exponentially. Tech jobs tend to pay well, and at times allow for remote work or a more flexible work schedule.
Technology is also a field that still is expanding rapidly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology fields is expected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, and the average annual wage for jobs in this field is $97,430.
While software engineers are in demand, it is expected that specialized tech jobs will see exceptionally strong growth over the course of the next year.
For example, cybersecurity specialists – experts who protect and secure organizations from cyber attackers and hackers – are seeing increased interest from companies in the U.S. and around the world, as are professionals in cloud computing. (For those unaware: The cloud is a virtual platform that allows members to store and access data. A cloud architect oversees an organization’s cloud computing strategy.)
Data scientists are expected to see elevated demand as well. Data scientists use machine learning to predict and analyze large sets of data and communicate it to stakeholders, something integral in today’s business and institutional market.
Nachshon tells me he loves his job, although he admits it’s not for everyone.
“Unless you enjoy the actual work, I don’t suggest you go into this field,” he cautions. “It’s detail-oriented. You may find yourself working alone much of the time. There is this perception that tech workers are highly sought after, that you have your pick of work, that you can’t get laid off. Nothing is further from the truth. It’s a job. You have a boss, and a team, and you’re working within an organization, and you need to be mindful of that. At the same time, you have the ability to create something, and jobs in this field often come with many benefits. It really comes down to whether you like the day-to-day work.”
(Note: Names were changed to protect privacy.)