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February 28, 2019updated 29 Jul 2019 10:02am

Software engineers earn significantly more than average as demand soars

By Ellen Daniel

Since 2008, software developers have topped the list of the hardest to fill jobs in the United States, with he tech industry struggling to attract enough talent to fill a growing number of jobs. However, with developer talent now a top business priority, this demand has meant that the average software engineer salary has risen as businesses seek out those with the technical expertise to fill roles.

This is according to job search website Hired, which has found that software engineers can expect to earn well above average.

Hired’s State of Software Engineers Report 2019 found that the UK’s highest-paid developers, embedded engineers, earn an average of £71k; 145% more than the UK average of £29k. Blockchain engineers and data engineers are also rewarded for their in-demand skills, earning £71k and £68k respectively.

Even the lowest software engineer salary of those surveyed, front end engineers, are paid significantly above the central London average of £34,473, with an average of £57k, .

This may appear impressive, but is still significantly lower than the average software engineer salary in the US, with blockchain engineers in the Bay Area of San Francisco earning £118k, a 66% pay increase over UK counterparts.

Demand for developer talent

Engineers with security expertise are in high demand due to an increased awareness of data breaches and consumer privacy. Over the past 12 months, company demand for security engineers has increased by 132%.

Individuals specialising in data analytics and machine learning are also sought-after, due to an increased demand for predictive customer experiences. Demand for engineers with those skills has increased by 38% and 27%, respectively.

Commenting on the report, Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired, said:

“Empowering tech talent with data that helps them understand their market worth and reveals hiring trends will help them have a more seamless job search experience. We hope this insight will fuel thoughtful career conversations among the developer community and provide actionable data that will help software engineers reach their goals.”

What skills do you need to become a software engineer?

The report also shed light on the skills needed to excel in software development. There was an explosion of demand in the past 12 months for developers with blockchain skills, which increased 517% year on year. This is expected to continue growing as businesses begin implementing the much-hyped technology in a variety of use cases.

This demand is reflected in the global average salaries of blockchain engineers, who earn £118.48k in the San Francisco Bay Area, £103.39k in New York, £67.92k in London, £59.62k in Toronto and £50.56k in Paris.

Interestingly, a degree in computer science or a related field is not always necessary, with one in five software engineers being self-taught coders and less than half have a computer science degree.

However, a robust knowledge of coding is a must. The world’s most commonly used coding language is JavaScript, but the most in-demand languages are Go, Scala and Ruby. In the UK, the most in-demand coding languages are TypeScript, Scala and Go.

Alternatives to university education are also emerging as popular routes into software-related careers. 76% of people who graduated from developer bootcamps (such as General Assembly and Hack Reactor) said it helped prepare them for a software engineering job.

Verdict deals analysis methodology

This analysis considers only announced and completed deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and excludes all terminated and rumoured deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage.

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources.

More in-depth reports and analysis on all reported deals are available for subscribers to GlobalData’s deals database.