Race and Age Impact Tech Salaries

Hired study concludes Asian tech workers leapt ahead while their black counterparts slipped further behind; U.S. engineering salaries plateau at age 40

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In 2018, the salaries offered Asian tech workers in the United States surpassed those offered to their white counterparts for the first time. Meanwhile, salaries offered black tech professionals slipped further behind. Those are the conclusions of an annual study of tech salaries conducted by job search firm Hired that analyzed 420,000 interview requests and job offers going out to some 98,000 job seekers during the past year.

In addition to painting an overall picture of the engineering job market in different regions of the world, Hired considered the impact of race and age on salaries. It calculated that in 2018, U.S. employers offered Asian tech job seekers an average annual salary of $137,000, while white job seekers were offered $135,000, Hispanic job seekers were offered $128,000, and black job seekers were offered $124,000. And that gap between the highest and lowest offers had widened significantly since 2017, from $6,000 to $13,000.

The study also took a look at the impact of age on tech salaries, finding that, in the United States, average engineering salary offers hit a peak of $149,000 at age 40, plateaued for a decade, and then started sliding down at age 50.

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Special Report: Top Tech 2021

After months of blood, toil, tears, and sweat, we can all expect a much better year

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Photo-illustration: Edmon de Haro

Last January in this space we wrote that “technology doesn't really have bad years." But 2020 was like no other year in recent memory: Just about everything suffered, including technology. One shining exception was biotech, with the remarkably rapid development of vaccines capable of stemming the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's roundup of anticipated tech advances includes an examination of the challenges in manufacturing these vaccines. And it describes how certain technologies used widely during the pandemic will likely have far-reaching effects on society, even after the threat subsides. You'll also find accounts of technical developments unrelated to the pandemic that the editors of IEEE Spectrum expect to generate news this year.

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