The highest paying industries for software engineers

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Commentary: Developers marque a bully living, but industries that entertain thin to wage better.


Image: iStock/stefanamer

It whitethorn be, arsenic Cloudera co-founder Jeff Hammerbacher erstwhile said, that "the champion minds of my procreation are reasoning astir however to marque radical click ads," but the ones who are getting paid best? Those are the engineers ensuring we enactment fixated connected our integer gadgetry and online amusement similar Netflix. At least, that's 1 large takeaway from IEEE's yearly wage survey data. While we whitethorn similar to opine astir the request to put successful cleanable energy, a robot-driven aboriginal oregon education, bundle engineers successful these industries marque dramatically little than their entertainment-oriented peers.

What we accidental vs. what we wage

Of course, bundle engineers are not, connected average, starving. According to the report, the median income for tech professionals was US $154,443 successful 2020. Hardly poorness wages. 

SEE: Hiring kit: Principal Software Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

We besides cognize from a abstracted Harvey Nash wage survey that definite categories of tech nonrecreational got wage increases past year. According to that report, improvement managers, idiosyncratic acquisition (UX) and idiosyncratic interface (UI) designers, strategy architects and information subject professionals saw the biggest increases, portion crossed the committee astir 40% of tech professionals got a wage bump past year. 

This isn't peculiarly surprising. After all, with companies gathering caller applications to present amended lawsuit experiences, it makes sense, for example, to spot a premium connected UX and UI. What is astonishing are the industries that are getting paid most.

For engineers moving connected user electronics, median wage was $185,000 successful 2019 but jumped to $209,373 successful 2020. Meanwhile, for engineers focused connected broadcast exertion (think: Netflix, HBO Max etc.), an technologist could expect a median income of $148,000 successful 2019, climbing to $209,000 successful 2020. Why are we consenting to wage apical dollar for these 2 industries? According to the study authors, "Though there's nary mode of telling from the information collected, it wouldn't beryllium a immense leap to suggest that our dependence connected location amusement during the pandemic gave these categories a boost."

Or, arsenic Nirvana mightiness sing, "I consciousness anserine and contagious / Here we are now, entertain us."

What astir little connected the list? Into vehicular technology? That volition gain an technologist a median wage of $176,026 this year. Web development? $165,000. Machine learning? $162,948. 

But you person to spell down to the precise bottommost of the database to find vigor and powerfulness absorption engineering ($140,000), robotics and automation ($131,950) and acquisition ($120,000). Things similar artillery engineering feels similar it should beryllium adjacent the top, given its value to electrical cars. Nope. Robotics is big, too, with increasingly wide adoption successful areas similar mill automation. Still, nope. And education, well, that's a perennially underfunded area, contempt its value to informing the adjacent procreation of workers. 

Ultimately, we wage to play. Perhaps that's not specified a atrocious happening successful the pandemic era, erstwhile radical person needed thing to instrumentality our minds disconnected the sadness and/or monotony of COVID-19's impact. Still, it remains to beryllium seen if this imaginable over-investment successful amusement volition wounded america down the line.

Disclosure: I enactment for MongoDB, but the views expressed herein are mine.

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