October 15, 2020

Current Job Market for Software Development Professionals

Named among the “best jobs in America” by US News & World Report, skilled software developers earn higher-than-average salaries and can afford to be selective about the companies they work for.

According to the Hired 2020 State of Software Engineering report, the demand for AR/VR talent is 1,400% higher than it was a year ago, while blockchain demand has grown by 517% during that same period.

The report also revealed that demand for both front-end and back-end engineers across all industries rose by 17%. In other words, the demand isn’t just coming from Big Tech; telecoms, financial services, and retailers are quickly scooping up talent, too.

While software developer job growth is great for developers, all signs point toward the IT skills shortage getting serious real soon.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the current software developer job outlook and what it means for companies staring down what could be a long-term skills shortage.

What is the Demand for Software Developers?

While there’s always a need for software developers, digital transformation efforts, rising customer expectations, and of course, the rapid transition to remote work is making it harder than ever to hire software developers.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for software developers is projected to grow by 22% by 2029. To put that figure in perspective, the average projected growth rate across all occupations is about 4%.

Additionally, the BLS projects that the demand for app developers, in particular, will increase by an estimated 26% by 2029, with roughly 310,00 new jobs being added in the coming years.

With so much job growth on the horizon, prospective software developers stand to see a bright future ahead of them. Those with proper training and education not only have great job security and a ton of options but a high-paying, rewarding career path.

That said, it’s important to note that software developers need to continuously evolve their skills if they want to be successful in this space long-term. Developers will need to continue to learn new programming languages and keep up with the latest tech trends to remain on the cutting edge.

The Hired report referenced above found that in 2020, AR/VR development was the fastest growing skill, while Go was the most in-demand programming language.

Software Developer Job Growth Means Higher Salaries

The BLS reported that US software developers earned a median income of $107,510 in 2019, with the top 25% of earners brought home an average of $130,460, while the bottom 25% were paid an average of $79,340 that year.

Of course, salaries range based on where developers are located. According to US News & World Report, workers based out of Washington, California, New York, Virginia, and Washington DC earn more, on average, than their counterparts in other parts of the US.

While it’s certainly not surprising that states with both a booming tech scene and a high-cost of living tend to have higher salaries, it’ll be interesting to see how the pandemic-induced shift to remote work will impact salary distribution within the next few years.

Salary ranges also vary considerably based on what type of developer you are, which programming languages you know, how much experience you have, whether you’re familiar with methodologies like Agile or DevOps, the list goes on.

According to a recent Robert Half survey, firms are competing for developers with big data, AI, and cybersecurity skills. They are also hiring those who can help organizations successfully transition to a distributed, remote workplace in the wake of the COVID outbreak.

The report found that organizations are ramping up hiring for the following roles:

  • AI & machine learning specialists
  • Business intelligence
  • Cloud architects
  • Data scientists
  • Developers
  • Cybersecurity expert
  • Software engineers

Unfortunately, while many organizations understand that they need to address these new needs ASAP, finding room in their budget for multiple six-figure salaries isn’t realistic.

3Pillar Global is a globally distributed, product development partner, delivering high-performing teams. Contact us to learn more.