Austin, Denver, and Detroit are Good Places to Be a Software Engineer Looking for a Job

Los Angeles, Dallas–Fort Worth, and Philadelphia engineers: It might be time to relocate, LinkedIn study suggests

2 min read
Night shot of Austin Texas from above
Photo: iStock

A study by LinkedIn aimed at recruiters offers a few insights for software engineers.

For one—there are a few unexpected places in which software engineers are a particularly hot commodity, that is, where a lot of jobs are chasing a relatively small community of engineers. These areas, which LinkedIn calls “saturated markets,” include Austin, Denver, and Detroit. Software engineers in those markets just might be in a good position to negotiate a higher salary—or ask for a raise.

The study also spotted a few cities that are perhaps not where a software engineer looking to advance her career might want to put down roots. LinkedIn calls Los Angeles, Dallas, and Philadelphia hidden gems for tech recruiters—places where demand for software engineers is low but supply is high. Engineers in these “buyers’ markets” might be open to relocating, the data suggested.

Map showing Median Total Compensation Image: LinkedIn

And, the study indicated, many software engineers are open to relocating—with most roads leading to the Bay Area but a few leading away.

top paths for software engineers that changed regions Image: LinkedIn

The LinkedIn report showed that engineers are moving to the Bay Area from New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, San Diego, Chicago, and Pittsburgh—and moving away from the Bay Area to Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles (those routes are apparently heavily trafficked in both directions).

LinkedIn also looked at demand and supply for six software engineering subspecialties. The machine-learning and data science category came out on top, with demand far outpacing supply—but you already knew that. Other hot categories identified are mobile development and front-end development, followed by infrastructure and cloud development, test and quality assurance, and embedded and application development.

median total compensation by specialty Image: LinkedIn

Money, according to LinkedIn’s data, isn’t exactly mapping with demand. Though machine-learning/data science engineers command the highest median compensation (US $129,000), those far more available embedded and application developers weren’t far behind, at $118,000, followed by infrastructure/cloud developers and mobile developers (both $116,000), front-end developers ($109,000), and test/quality assurance engineers ($103,000).

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