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LinkedIn: Machine Learning, Data Science Have Youngest, Highest-Paid Engineers

LinkedIn mined its jobs-related data to investigate the current skills, demands and job desires of software engineers, confirming that cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and data science pay the most.

What's more, because of the high demand and low supply of such specialized engineers, they tend to be younger than engineers in other disciplines.

"Both specialties actually have the least experienced engineering workforces, with the highest percentage of employees with 0-5 years of experience of any specialty at 17 percent, likely due to being emerging fields in the technology sector," LinkedIn said in a blog post this week. "Despite being a newer and more dynamic field, machine learning and data science engineers have the highest compensation level, with a median of $129,000 across the United States."

However, those median salaries differ according to geographic location of jobs, and LinkedIn's data confirms widely accepted knowledge that San Francisco and Seattle are the top two prime locations in terms of growing markets for software engineers and correlating highest median compensation.

Highest-Paid Specialties
[Click on image for larger view.] Highest-Paid Specialties (source: LinkedIn)

Speaking of the country's 1.8 million-plus software engineers, LinkedIn said: "The city they live in, the specialized skills acquired, and experience level are all factors greatly influencing their professional opportunities. Just as some cities are known for attracting engineering talent through high-profile employment opportunities, some sectors have become especially exciting for software engineers due to market growth, innovation, generous compensation, or level of job stability."

Along with the well-known San Francisco and Seattle tech hubs, LinkedIn provided details on the engineering market in other major U.S. cities:

  • Los Angeles and Boston both have become top destinations for engineers relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area and have growing tech industries. Los Angeles is a major hub for mobile engineers, while Boston has the third-highest median compensation rate of any city at $111,000.
  • Dallas and Philadelphia are what we call 'hidden gem' cities: they have relatively low engineering talent supply for the size of their job markets.
Best Places for Software Engineers to Get Hired
[Click on image for larger view.] Best Places for Software Engineers to Get Hired (source: LinkedIn)

Other points of interest gleaned from the business-oriented social site's data troves include:

  • Software engineers frequently identify job opportunities through professional connections, especially with other engineers.
  • More than half (56 percent) of software engineers who changed jobs in the last two years were already connected to an employee at their new company before taking the job, and a bit under one third (29 percent) had an existing engineering connection at their new place of employment.
  • Engineers often engage in passive job search activities, meaning they frequently research job openings, update their LinkedIn profiles and resumes, and keep an eye on companies they'd like to work for.

The site provides software engineering job listings here, along with segregated data science jobs and machine learning jobs.

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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