Amazon Promises 100,000 Jobs. How Many Will Be Tech?


Last week, Amazon announced that it would generate an additional 100,000 “full-time, full-benefit jobs” in the United States over the next 18 months.

That’s a lot of jobs, but how many of them are tech-related? According to Amazon’s own breakdown, a significant portion of these new positions will be in the company’s “fulfillment centers” (i.e., warehouses). As Amazon expands its e-commerce operations, it must either upgrade its existing warehouses or create new ones in order to ship goods to customers on time.

The rise of Amazon Prime, which offers guaranteed two-day shipping to members, has powered the need for still more Amazon warehouses around the country. Amazon’s experiments with package-delivering drones, and even its patents for massive “warehouse blimps” drifting in the lower atmosphere, suggest a company leaving no technological stone unturned in its quest to speed up order fulfillment.

Amazon’s statements about its employment tsunami offer precious little detail about tech jobs. This may be a reflection of corporate strategy; the company may not want its competitors to know that it intends to hire thousands of professionals who specialize in machine learning or (just as a hypothetical example) self-driving vehicles. Amazon’s core tech facilities, most notably Lab126 in Silicon Valley (which developed the Kindle e-reader, among other products), are notoriously secretive.

Nonetheless, it seems that the bulk of Amazon’s coming jobs are warehouse-related. But the company still needs tech pros: as it continues to expand its artificial-intelligence offerings around Alexa, its voice-activated digital assistant, expect to see job openings related to A.I., machine learning, and associated disciplines. Amazon also remains a leader in the cloud thanks to Amazon Web Services (AWS), and thus will need skilled cloud talent in order to build out its products.

Beyond A.I. and cloud services, Amazon’s relentless expansion into new lines of business such as video streaming (via its acquisition of Twitch, essentially YouTube for video gamers) and microprocessors (through its Annapurna Labs buyout) ensures that it will need a constant inflow of technology professionals for the foreseeable future. And as a company that delivers tons of packages to human beings all over the world every day, it needs warehouse and logistics people just as badly.

6 Responses to “Amazon Promises 100,000 Jobs. How Many Will Be Tech?”

  1. Macy’s, Sears, K-mart will be closing hundreds of stores, probably putting 200K out of work. 100K of stock pickers/packers, paid minimum wage, will continue to ruin the middle class.

  2. Seven interviews, three over the phone, four in person. Of the four in person all four wee glued to their computer. So they were either getting questions from some kind of matrix or were not even interested. To add to my frustration it would have been better if I had interviewed speaking Indian. The statement of Mr Bezos hiring veterans is a complete lie. Interviewing with Amazon was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. Should the policies of the incoming administration go forward with the minimum wage for H1 visas jump from 65k to 100k Amazon is going to face some serious “growing pains”.

  3. All of these Amazon “tech” jobs are highly specialized, none for the Tier 1 IT Help Desk workers. I’ve looked and could not find one thing I’m qualified for. They are looking for young guys with college degrees and every certification out there with tons of experience in a particular field. I have the tons of experience in a little bit of everything desktop related but not the “education” they are looking for. Once again, a high tech company that hires H1B college grads from abroad and leave us Americans out of the loop. I do NOT want to work in a warehouse for minimum wage!!!

  4. Electrical engineer

    I interviewed on the phone with Amazon in Seattle last year.

    First of all, the interviewer had a Northern English accent and was 60% unintelligible as he mumbled and was so uneducated he had no clue what Received Pronunciation even is?

    2nd of all, his thinking was entirely “inside of the box”. They’re not looking for smart people who can learn.

    3rd, Amazon sounds like a TERRIBLE place to work with 50% leaving within a year.

    Half of your employees who meet your criteria bail out in less than a year.

    The Clueless leading the Dumb (people who don’t leave) 😀