Job Data Shows Spike in Android Skills Demand, but Mobile Job Searches Are Down

Employer interest in mobile developers -- especially for Android -- climbed from May of last year to this year, but job seeker interest significantly decreased during the same time period, according to internal data from careers site Indeed.

That information comes in a report titled "Trending Now: The State of Mobile App Development Jobs."

"Outfitted with Indeed data, we discovered a decrease in job seeker activity and uptick in employer interest," the company said of its examination of internal data from May 2018 to May 2019. "Looking closer, we see that search results from this time period show iOS searches down 25.61 percent and Android 26.34 percent. Overall, job searches for mobile developer roles have also declined on the job site by 32.89 percent."

From the perspective of developers, Indeed speculated that several trends might lead to its findings, including:

  • Advantages of Web development vs. the smaller arena of mobile development
  • The rise of mobile Web sites in general and responsive Web sites in particular
  • Improvements to hybrid frameworks such as Xamarin and React Native

"Not only is Web easier for companies to adopt, but it reaches a much wider audience," Indeed said. "Plus, it's generally easier to pivot into mobile development as a web developer versus the other way around."

Speculation was also offered from the consumer side of things.

"From a consumer point of view, the overall usage of apps could be affecting job seekers," Indeed said. A report by comScore shows that primary app users (those aged 18 to 24) dedicate two-thirds of their digital time on smartphone apps -- and they're willing to pay. In fact, 70 percent claim to always be on the lookout for new apps to try, compared to only 37 percent of users aged 35 to 54. But while younger generations are driving app interest, they don't make up for the majority. The hard truth is that most US smartphone users download zero apps in any given month. Job seekers own waning interest in apps could cause a similar dip in app development interest."

Mobile Dev Skill Demand
[Click on image for larger view.] Mobile Dev Skill Demand (source: Indeed)

As far as the increased enterprise interest in hiring mobile developers, Indeed noted job postings for iOS developers increased 1.79 percent during the same May-to-May timeframe, while Android postings increased 10.61 percent.

Indeed speculated that the rise of Kotlin as an easier alternative to Java for Android development might be a contributing factor to the greater demand for Android talent.

"To learn more, we uncovered which iOS and Android skills really make an employer's head turn," the post said. "Not surprisingly, the skills listed within job postings during that same time frame reflect the higher demand for Android and lower interest in iOS. Mobile skills trending upwards include Android SDK (2.81 percent increase) and Kotlin (89.41 percent). On a very slight downward trend are iOS SDK (3.46 percent decrease), Cocoa (12 percent) and Objective-C (3.18 percent)."

In listing potential salary data for mobile developers, Indeed listed these numbers:

  • Android: $120,000 per year
  • iOS: $110,000 per year
  • Mobile: $102,000 per year

The post also listed some of the top companies seeking mobile development skills, a list headed by Apple.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.