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Why These 5 Engineering Roles are Most In Demand in 2018

When it comes to recruiting for tech jobs, you only need to know one word: engineering.

New data from Hired found that, while product manager salaries may be higher on average, companies want to hire more engineers than employees in any other role—by a wide margin. In fact, the top five most requested positions by companies are all engineering positions. Here are the top five most in-demand tech roles:

  1. Full Stack Engineer
  2. Backend Engineer
  3. Frontend Engineer
  4. DevOps Engineer
  5. Mobile Engineer

The fuller the stack…

It comes as no surprise that companies are most interested in hiring full stack engineers, as these swiss army knife developers are familiar with all layers of development and can thus adapt as a company’s needs evolve. Luckily, full stack web development is also the most popular developer occupation, with the 2017 Stack Overflow Developer Survey finding more than 70% of respondents to be web developers (as opposed to mobile, app, or other types of specialist roles), and 6 in 10 of those 70% to be full stack developers.


Backend engineers come in second on the list, and were also the second most common type of web developers in the Stack Overflow survey. While backend developers are a step removed from what the company’s users actually see, their work is crucial as it delivers the underlying technology necessary for a smooth user experience.

Frontend, DevOps, and Mobile Engineers fill the last three top spots on the list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re less valued—but likely that there are simply fewer of these roles to fill. The fact that DevOps engineers—skilled developers who automate software delivery and infrastructure—hold the number four spot (overtaking product management, data analytics, and design roles), suggests there to be significant demand for even the more specialized software roles.

High demand bodes well for wages

The average salary for software engineers included in this study in 2017 was found to be $137K. This is up nearly 5% from $131K in 2016, and more than 6% from $129K in 2015.


Compared with national salary figures, software engineers (and, frankly, most tech workers) are in a great place. The global average salary for tech roles in software engineering, data analytics, product management, and design was found to be $135K, while the median U.S. income in 2017 for those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher was reported to be just $61,440.

According to our data, software engineers and data analytics professionals make around the same amount, both earning an average of $137K in 2017 and similarly close salaries in previous years. Design salaries are around $10K lower, coming in at $127K according to the most recent data. Product managers, on the other hand, have seen great growth in recent years, having earned less than both software engineers and data analysts in 2015, but claiming the highest average salaries in 2016 and 2017.

Double down on these skills

If you’re hoping to earn one of these top salaries yourself, you’ll need to be sure your engineering skills are up to snuff—and that you’re well-versed on the programming languages that companies value most highly. Our marketplace data ranks the following tech skills as most in demand right now:

  1. JavaScript
  2. Java
  3. Python
  4. HTML
  5. CSS

While it can be tempting to spend your time on more “trendy” programming languages—and likely a good exercise if you’re comfortable with the classics—keep in mind that most companies are more interested in your mastery of these old(er) standards.

All tech jobs are not equal

If our latest data proves anything, it’s that there’s a good degree of heterogeneity across career types—even within technical roles at tech companies. Unsurprisingly, virtually every type of software engineering role is more highly demanded by companies than any other position, including product management, data, and design.

So if you’re a software engineer, take heart in the fact that your job prospects are looking great, at least in the next few years—and if you’re thinking of getting into engineering, rest assured that you’ll have job offers aplenty if you can successfully demonstrate your software expertise.

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