According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “The only thing constant is change,” and nowhere is this truer than in the world of tech. For example, talking to home devices once seemed impossibly futuristic. Now it’s commonplace, with over 2.5 billion digital voice assistants in use.
New advancements pop up every day, and in the U.S., most of them hail from Silicon Valley: the tech hotspot where titans such as Apple and Google started out. But despite tech’s rapid growth, this area experienced a 3.8% decrease in the share of technology-related jobs from October 2018 to October 2019.
To investigate this and other trends, we used Indeed data to analyze tech job postings and searches in Silicon Valley for 2019. We looked at the most in-demand jobs, the highest-paid roles and which area has the most job openings. We also examined cities outside Silicon Valley where local talent is looking for work.
Engineers and developers are most in-demand
Despite the overall dip, which tech jobs are still in demand in Silicon Valley? To find out, we looked at job titles with the highest share of postings on Indeed. Engineers and developers are the most sought-after positions, making up 14 of the top 20 roles. These technical roles are even more dominant than they were last year, when they made up half of our most in-demand positions.
While their presence here is smaller than on last year’s list, product managers rank third for in-demand tech jobs. Data scientists also creep into the top 10 (in eighth place).
Machine-learning engineers are the top earners
Salary is an important consideration for any job seeker. But this becomes even more essential in Silicon Valley, recently named the most expensive region in the U.S. To explore what tech jobs in Silicon Valley pay, we used Indeed data to calculate average salaries.
Similar to the most in-demand jobs, the top earners in Silicon Valley are engineers and developers, making up 18 of the top 20 highest-paying roles. Topping our list are machine-learning engineers, who do the most advanced artificial intelligence work; they earn an average of almost $173,000 per year. They are followed closely by principal software engineers, who earn about $169,000 annually. Behind them are platform engineers, with an average annual salary of almost $155,000.
Software architects are the highest earners, outside of engineers and developers. They help set standards for software coding, tools and platforms, in addition to making high-level design choices. Software architects earn an average annual salary of $142,372.
All of the jobs on our list pay above the median incomes in Silicon Valley’s major counties, which are already high:
Alameda County: $85,743, encompassing Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley
Amazon, Walmart and Apple are hiring the most
To pin down where the jobs are in Silicon Valley, we dug into Indeed data on which companies have the most tech job postings. Naturally, tech giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google appear near the top of the list. However, companies not traditionally associated with technology such as Walmart and Deloitte are also bringing many of these roles on board.
The top hirer for tech jobs in 2019 in the region is Amazon. Though the retail and software titan is headquartered in Seattle, their broad reach extends to dominate tech jobs in Silicon Valley, as well, accounting for almost 4% of all tech-related job postings. Interestingly, another retailer comes in behind at number two: Walmart, which is better known for its megastores than its tech presence. As Walmart expands in e-commerce, they have vastly increased their tech hiring, with recent plans to add 2,000 more employees to their already 6,000-strong technology group.
Apple, Cisco and Google rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The only other non-tech firm in our top 10, Deloitte follows at number seven, comprising almost 1% of all tech job postings. Deloitte is one of the largest accounting and consulting service companies in the world and has also led the way in cloud computing jobs.
What’s going in different parts of the Bay Area?
The San Francisco Bay Area is large, and tech jobs extend beyond the city limits. Aside from looking at the area as a whole, we wanted to know which specific Silicon Valley locations are home to the most jobs. To figure this out, we looked at the number of tech job postings in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.
In San Jose and San Francisco, we see large tech companies leading the way: Cisco, a major IT, networking and cybersecurity company, has the most tech job postings in San Jose, while Amazon is first in San Francisco. In Oakland, however, we see a different trend: Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare company, is the top tech hirer. Though this finding may seem counterintuitive, it supports Indeed research showing that tech jobs span many fields. What’s more, as the medical industry continues to advance, talent experts predict an increased demand for jobs in areas such as 3D printing and telemedicine.
Silicon Valley tech workers are looking for jobs outside the area, too
The 3.8% overall decrease in Silicon Valley job postings may be related to the Bay Area’s skyrocketing housing costs. Many tech companies have opened large offices in other locations, both to decrease costs and to reach a broader talent pool. For example, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has plans to build a $1 billion campus in New York; meanwhile, Apple will soon open a facility in Austin, Texas, with up to 15,000 positions.
So how are job seekers reacting? A recent poll by Brunswick Insight shows that huge proportions of tech workers plan to leave the Bay Area within the next year: 41% of those age 18 to 34; 26% of 35- to 44-year-old workers; and 7% of those over 45.
For this question, we analyzed Silicon Valley-based candidates on Seen by Indeed, Indeed’s tech hiring platform, to see where they are looking for jobs. Though San Francisco and San Jose are still the top two places, behind that we see New York, Seattle and Washington, DC, as their most desirable locations.
As the tech world and its geographic core continue to expand, we will keep our eyes on the trends. Check back for updates on which jobs are most in demand, how much they pay and where they’re located.