January 16, 2018

Demand For Software, Data Skills Remains Strong

George Leopold

Cloud giant Amazon Web Services and database leader Oracle are among the most popular employers for recent college graduates while software engineers head the list of highest paying jobs, according to a new employment survey.

Survey results released Tuesday (Jan. 16) by LinkedIn found that median salaries for entry-level software engineers averaged $95,000. That total was substantially higher than median salaries for positions such as project engineer ($73,000) and business analyst ($72,000).

The demand for software engineers reflects the soaring enterprise demand for digital application development skills, the virtualization of IT infrastructure and the rise of big data analytics among global companies. For example, Oracle’s LinkedIn page lists a range of software and DevOps engineering positions along with data science and database engineering openings.

The survey identified more than 50,000 open entry-level positions for software engineers in the U.S. alone.

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) ranked third on this year’s list of most popular companies for recent graduates, trailing only Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and business consultant Ernst & Young. Nevertheless, LinkedIn said Amazon hired twice as many 2017 graduates as any other company on its list.

According to a recent profile of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published in the New York Times, Amazon now has 542,000 employees. It has also expanded its cloud operations to include emerging database platforms running on open-source technologies. The embrace of open-source software by tech giants like Amazon also has spurred demand for code jockeys who can differentiate an open-source distribution from a competitor’s version.

Among the other leading recruiters was IBM (NYSE: IBM), which his seeking software developers for applications ranging from blockchain to new cloud and datacenter architectures.

Military contactor Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) ranked fourth among the most popular companies for recent graduates, reflecting soaring defense spending under the Trump administration.

Last year, LinkedIn reported heavy demand for data engineers, with median base salaries running about $105,000. Top big data skills sought by employers included Hadoop, Hive, Python and SQL. Following just behind data engineers in terms of market demand were the managers of agile development teams, or “scrum masters,” who are attracting median base salaries of about $100,000.

Software engineers were not far behind, according to a separate skills survey, with starting pay in 2017 running about $94,000. Top skill requirements included C++, Java, Linux, SQL and XML.

Meanwhile, data architects with proficiency in data warehousing and modeling along with ETL, business intelligence and databases were attracting base salaries of $122,000, LinkedIn reported. Median base salaries for analytics managers with data mining and predictive analytics skills average about $109,000.

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