Despite fears of a looming recession and hiring freezes at a number of major tech companies, demand for tech-based roles continues to run high.
Most companies have been forced to increase their reliance on – and investment in – technology over the past two and a half years. That’s left them with a number of gaps in the workforce to fill, whether in IT security, software development, IT support or data analysis.
ZDNet takes an in-depth look at key trends in software development and how developers are changing the tech industry.
Some tech professionals are seeing greater demand than others. An analysis of hiring data by tech training platform CodingDojo has highlighted exactly which roles are on a hot streak and why.
To create its list, CodingDojo analysed Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America for 2022 list and took the ranking of each job that falls under its definition of a tech job. It classified this as “someone who is a technician and works on building and maintaining hardware, software, and other forms of tech development” – meaning it excludes roles that simply exist in a tech ecosystem or at a tech company, such as project managers or data analysts.
From there, CodingDojo counted the current number of Indeed job listings and the projected growth rate given to each role by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each number was then scaled and standardized.
Cybersecurity has become a huge priority since workplaces moved everything to the cloud in 2020. Couple that with growing threats from cyber criminals and other online nasties and it’s clear why cybersecurity professionals are in such high demand.
An information security engineer is a mid to senior-level cybersecurity position that involves building and designing systems that provide security for a company’s network and software.
Information security engineers require good knowledge of Linux, UNIX, and Java systems, as well as knowledge of software writing, SSL, SSH, and SIEM systems. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for this role is $119,000.
SEE: These top 10 tech jobs have the fastest growing salaries
Software and web developers have become critical for any business that uses digital products or services – which is pretty much every business.
Full-stack engineers see huge demand for their skills because they can work with both the frontend (website or UI) and backend (server) side of a business’s tech stack. Employers need this versatility, and hiring a full-stack engineer means they don’t need to hire frontend and backend developers separately. Companies are looking for developers who can be flexible and cover different stacks when needed, CodingDojo said, meaning developers who take time to learn different tech stacks increase their career and income potential.
Data science is a relatively new role but one that is growing rapidly as companies invest more in machine learning and data analysis to learn more about their customers, improve their services and tap into new sources of revenue.
Data scientists typically collect, organize, and display or present data in a way that can be used by the company, which usually involves applying machine-learning algorithms to analyse business decisions and their outcomes. Those hired to work entry-level data scientist jobs can expect to earn just under $90,000 and can earn a lot more in more experienced positions.
A machine-learning engineer is a mid to senior-level data scientist who specializes in machine-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. It stands to reason, then, that these professionals have thorough knowledge of machine learning and are able to work within different data structures and environments.
Machine-learning engineers can typically earn $110,000 per year, with some roles at top companies paying over $300,000.
Java remains one of the most popular programming languages used by software developers and is featured at the top of CodingDojo’s list of 2022’s most in-demand languages. Widely used in Android mobile apps, desktop applications, smart TVs and elsewhere, Java was found in more than 80,000 active job listings on Indeed.
According to Salary.com, the average salary for a Java developer in the United States is $114,000, making it a lucrative skill to have under your belt – although the same could be said for most programming languages.
SEE: Developer jobs and programming languages: What’s hot and what’s next
A data engineer helps companies to collect, sort, and distribute data to the right parts of the business. CodingDojo describes the role as a “person who does the rest of the tasks that a machine-learning engineer doesn’t do”.
While a data engineer and machine-learning engineer are more specialized, a data scientist is more a combination of the two roles. Someone in this profession can expect to make an average salary of $116,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.
Needless to say, cloud specialists have become more important than ever since remote working become mainstream and companies began putting more of their apps and employees in the cloud. This demand is only going to grow, making cloud engineers highly valuable to employers.
Cloud engineers usually need strong knowledge of Linux, which most companies use for cloud development. Knowledge of programming languages like MySQL, SWL, Java and Python is also ideal. Knowledge of AWS, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure will also come in handy.
Backend engineers are involved in the “nuts and bolts” of a company’s website or applications software, and might be involved in building a new product from scratch or improving legacy software. This makes them highly valuable to businesses.
The median pay for a backend engineer in the US is $133,000, with plenty of roles paying over $200,000. Once again, it’s important for a backend engineer to be familiar with multiple different tech stacks, as due to the critical nature of the role and the stuff they are handling, it’s unlikely someone will become a backend engineer straight out of the gate.
Salesforce is an extremely popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by companies to manage interactions with customers and potential clients.
A Salesforce engineer will help companies build and improve Salesforce to specifically tailor it to their CRM needs. This will include integrating third-party apps and fixing bugs.
Becoming a Salesforce engineer requires a decent knowledge of Java or C#, and will also necessitate getting familiar with Apex, a language used specifically by Salesforce. The role carries a median salary of $105,000.
An automation engineer works with a company’s engineering teams to identify issues that can be solved through automation. This typically involves assessing the engineering structure to find repetitive or low-level processes that can be automated. One area with a lot of automation potential is quality assurance (QA), so automation engineers should have knowledge of automation-testing software such as LambdaTest, Rainforest and Cypress.
On average, automation engineers make just over $100,000.