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Best Tech Roles and Industries in 2018

This data can earn you the most money

Author avatarLuba Belokon/Analytics/July 19, 2018
Best Tech Roles and Industries in 2018
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Since demand for tech skills is increasingly growing across the US, employers have to come up with competitive offers to get the best talent. As tech folks, we know that there are lots of factors to consider before accepting a new offer. For example, the highest salary is not actually the highest after adjusting for the cost of living. You’d end up with more money working the same position somewhere in Austin with a lower salary than in San Francisco.

So we reviewed the latest industry research and created the dashboard with relevant data, such as the highest salaries with cost of living adjusted, top job titles, hottest benefits, and the best startup ecosystems.

Keep reading this post to get the details of each report of the dashboard.

Top Tech Positions

We have chosen the top tech positions in 2018 according to different types of research, such as the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide and our experience. The average salary for a specific position in the United States is based on Glassdoor data.

As you can see, software architects and data scientists (what a surprise) get the highest salary on average now, which is about $120,000.

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Adjusted and unadjusted salaries

To show the cost of living with adjusted and unadjusted salaries we used the Indeed report from 2016. The salary data may look a bit outdated, but the tendency state over state is still the same. The report below shows a ranking of the average of the 15 tech salaries in each of 15 US cities without the cost of living adjustment.

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Let’s consider the cost of living and track the changes in ranking. For the next report we take cost of living plus rent index, which is an estimation of consumer goods prices, including rent compared to New York City. This means that for New York City, the index is 100(%). For example, if San Francisco has an index of 106.29, then on average the rents in that city are 6.29% more expensive than in New York City.

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Taking this index into account, it’s clear that the salary adjusted report would differ from what we saw. Here are the numbers from Indeed researchers:

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“The unadjusted list is predictably dominated by cities with the highest cost of living—San Francisco, San Jose and New York City,” noted researchers. “With the cost of living adjustment, Austin tops our list with the highest average salary for our tech titles. In fact, Austin has the greatest adjusted salary for seven different titles. However, rising costs in the Texas capital, driven by strong population growth, mean the burgeoning tech hub may not retain this position in coming years.”

You may also notice that demand for tech skills in Seattle and San Francisco is rather strong. These cities stay on the top, even considering high costs of living.

Startup growth per industry

This horizontal bar chart shows startup growth (2008-2016 annual average) for different industries. It’s important to note that global startup growth is 4.5%. Data is taken from the "Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018" by Startup Genome.

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The nature of the growth on this report differs for each sub-sector. We can see that Blockchain, Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics, and Agtech & New Food startups are growing pretty fast. They are still “in the emerging phase of the lifecycle, and are growing from smaller bases in terms of the number of startups,” said researchers. “These sub-sectors have between 0.6% to 1.5% of all global startups estimated from our data.”

At the same time, the Artificial Intelligence industry also shows good growth, but it’s much bigger and closer to the Mature phase, with 5% of all global startups.

Tech Ecosystem

The tech ecosystem report is based on the Startup Genome research as well. They use a very complex system that measures entrepreneurship experience, what supports the performance of local startups, and many more factors. We visualized the most interesting factors in the report below.

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The Practical Know-How Index shows the knowledge of the Customer Development and Lean Startup methodologies and other knowledge keys to early-stage success. Global Avg: 4.8

Sense of Community—“people helping people.” The researchers asked startup founders and executives about the ease of seeking and receiving help and introductions from other founders and investors. Global Avg: 4.9


To make it easier, we collected all these reports on this dashboard.

We hope this will help you with making decisions related to your future job and location. Sure, it doesn’t mean that everyone will rush to become a software architect in a blockchain startup based in Austin. Still, it’s very helpful to know what’s going on in a tech startup industry in 2018 and who is on top.

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