After a year when many organizations may have frozen pay increases to preserve cash in the midst of a crisis, the dust is now clearing. While some salaries may have been frozen, the ones that went up provide insight into which skills and jobs are valued the most by organizations, particularly in an accelerated era of digital transformation.
If you are among those who had their pay frozen and are looking for the path to increases this year and beyond, these highly valued skills are the ones you want to prioritize.
A new study from Hired (which was acquired by Vettery in November 2020) and Vettery provides a look at the jobs that got pay raises in 2020 and some of the skills that commanded higher salaries.
Vettery and Hired compiled the study findings from their database of clients, candidates, and other proprietary data. Vettery/Hired provides an AI-enabled talent platform to help organizations vet the right candidates.
The study found that back-end, full-stack, and front-end engineer candidates saw the highest demand, making up more than half of all interview requests for software engineers.
Machine learning engineers were also in high demand, ranking within the top 10 highest paid roles in every major technology hub with salaries ranging between $115,000 and $171,000 per year.
Although the pandemic led many organizations to put salary increases on hold in 2020, the Vettery/Hired report showed some salary increases for the year. For instance, average salaries for top engineering roles in the San Francisco Bay Area increased by 5%. Those top roles saw salary increases of 3% in New York, 7% in Toronto and 6% in London.
"In general, we were encouraged to see the growth in salaries and the growth in demand," said Dave Walters, CTO of Vettery/Hired, in an interview with InformationWeek. "We also saw the demand increase for remote engineers. The pandemic really opened up a lot more companies to exploring that."
Vettery data showed that 24% more employers were open to remote hiring. Candidates in smaller markets were more likely to get remote job offers compared with those in major tech hubs, according to the report.
For candidates in smaller markets looking to boost their salaries, remote jobs may be the road to success. The Vettery/Hired report shows that candidates in smaller markets received a 2% to 5% higher salary for a remote job when compared to job offers in their local areas. Walters said that those candidates did receive lower salaries than if they had been on-site in a major hub, but working remotely for a major-hub company was a way to earn a premium over the typical salary in local smaller markets.
However, candidates based in major markets received up to 5% less for remote roles compared to local ones. That difference indicates that tech hubs like San Francisco and others have started to outsource and seek more remote employees, according to the Vettery/Hired report.
Remote work was a popular idea among software engineers even before the pandemic. In the previous year's survey, 53% of respondents said that they would rather work remotely all of the time than come into an office every day if they were forced to choose. This year, roughly the same percentage, 54%, said they are more productive when they are working remotely.
When it comes to skills and experience for software engineers, those with 6 to 10 years of experience were in the highest demand, receiving 33% more interview requests than all other engineers with more (11+ years) or less (5 or fewer years) experience.
Top coding skills in demand are Redux.js, Google Cloud, React.js, AWS, continuous integration, and Ruby/Ruby on Rails. The top languages in demand across the Vettery/Hired marketplace were Go, Scala, and Typescript.
That's good because branching out from what you know to learn new skills can be the key to finding better jobs and higher salaries as the pace of innovation accelerates. Walters offered that advice to job seekers.
"Continue to learn the technologies that are in demand," he said. "That will give you the most opportunity and the most growth in your salary."
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