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Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Tech is the Most Lucrative Career: LinkedIn Study (axios.com) 252

An anonymous reader shares an article: LinkedIn's 2017 U.S. State of Salary report is out, and tech is on top as the most lucrative career. Computer science majors are paid the most, with a median salary of $92,300. Software and IT services is the highest paid industry, with a median total compensation of $104,700.
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Tech is the Most Lucrative Career: LinkedIn Study

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  • by Jfetjunky ( 4359471 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @09:46AM (#55116381)
    Median of all computer science majors currently working? Or just entry level? 90K entry level is pretty impressive. 90K experienced isn't that impressive considering all STEM.
    • This is the average for all computer science majors. It is very consistent with just about every other salary survey on the subject, if not a little on the high side. Do not put too much stake in the slashdot bubble comments claiming that every code monkey is making mid-six-figures. These are coming from the same people who all claim to be over 6'4" tall with IQ180.
      • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

        Not everyone in IT is a code monkey :)

        [John]

      • This is the average for all computer science majors. It is very consistent with just about every other salary survey on the subject, if not a little on the high side. Do not put too much stake in the slashdot bubble comments claiming that every code monkey is making mid-six-figures. These are coming from the same people who all claim to be over 6'4" tall with IQ180.

        I have 17 years as a software engineer in Utah and don't make 6 figures.

        • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
          Experience is nearly worthless. My brother was making $100k/year working 20 hours per week while in college, placing him in the top 0.1% of the local household income. Then he graduated, immediately with a job for $120k/year plus great benefits. In less than a month, he was promoted to the head of his department. He had the job lined up for over a year. They didn't care how long it took my brother to graduate, they were saving him a position.

          They are not paying top dollar for my brother's experience, but
    • 90K experienced isn't that impressive considering all STEM

      It is compared to almost every other career - even medicine.

    • The question is where.
      90K in Upstate New York is a upper middle class living.
      90K in New York City is living in poverty.

      While the tech companies that get the most media attention are in the big city areas, Paying 90k is more or less ripping off the employees.
      However a few hundred miles away we have the tech companies, who are not under the press, or do things not as exciting. However are paying their workers 90K and are able to make a really good living.

      I pay under 2k a month for my house, with over an acre

  • Sure it is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @09:52AM (#55116405)
    At least until you turn 50.
    • We haven't shoved all our 50+ year old engineers out.

      Well not the ones that have kept up with technology and learning. The 50+ year olds that still only know what they knew how to do when they were 25 are pretty useless.

    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      At least until you turn 50.

      The best paid developers with most job security are ones maintaining critical legacy systems written in Cobol and Fortran.

    • Re:Sure it is (Score:5, Interesting)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday August 31, 2017 @11:47AM (#55117169) Homepage Journal

      At least until you turn 50.

      I'm 48, so I guess I'd better be worried?

      Nah. I see this complaint all the time, but in all my 30 years in the industry I've never actually seen it, at least for software engineers. If you can solve hard problems and write good code, you can work, and get paid well for it.

  • This is Bull Shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @09:57AM (#55116425)
    Right through my high school and university days, I heard the exact same story. It's actually why I switched from my goal of science leading either to research or medicine and went for a career in tech.

    I graduated from a top tier school in May 2000 with a computer science major and electrical engineering minor. In my last year, I was actively recruited, I got flown across the US for interviews with companies everyone here has heard of. I went to one company's 1999 Christmas party including a private concert by an A-list music group everyone here has heard of; they invited a number of seniors in my class as part of their recruitment effort.

    I chose a job that started me just over $60,000 plus stock options which was at the upper end of average for 2000 and had huge potential to take me into 6 figures within a few years. Factoring in my minor, I was writing the firmware for a set top internet appliance (hey it was 2000). A few months after I started the job, the original dotcom bubble burst and I actually only had the job 18 months...not even long enough to cover the cost of my degree.

    This was 2001 it was almost impossible to find tech jobs at the time, after about 3 years of unemployment I gave up and took a job at much lower pay where most of my coworkers don't have any degree at all. So, 4 years working my ass off for a degree which cost me over $100k while the arts students working in the coffee shop were out partying and making fun of us for working so hard. All to work 18 months in the industry. Most of my friends from school had been laid off by 2002 and never worked in tech again. The last one lost his job 2 years ago and has been out of work since. So 40 years old, no job, no prospects to ever work in his field again.

    Now before you say I'm just an unfortunate case...how many 20-something IT workers do you see? Now how many 50-somethings? Where do you think the rest of us are? You hear stories about companies begging mainframe workers to come out of retirement, again bull shit, that friend who's been out of work has been doing mainframe work for the past 15 years, there is no work in the field.

    tl;dr - A tech career is a curse I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Getting a computer science degree from a top tier school is the worst mistake I made in my life.
    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 )

      The only place I've found fifty and over IT workers are in family run companies or the like. Places that value consistency over being on the bleeding edge. I'm such a place now because I'm closer to my 50s than I am to my 20s and went looking for it on purpose. Long term planning, folks. Don't leave home without it.

      In any case, places like /. have the problem of users enjoying the bleeding edge of tech and pie-in-the-sky thinking of how the world could be transformed with it. Rarely does the audience here

      • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

        For another data point, I'm in a fairly large corporation, multiple data centers around the world and in Ops/Eng working on implementing DevOps and CI/CD, moving my stuff from rcs to git, learning CD for our Ops gear, Ansible, Kubernetes/Cloud Foundry, etc. I think there's a requirement to continue to learn and explore in order to maintain employment. If you're not moving forward, you'll be passed and passed over. With the kids long gone, I have lots of time to continue learning and with my income, I can ha

      • The only place I've found fifty and over IT workers are in family run companies or the like.

        Most of my career has been at IBM and now Google, and there were/are plenty of over-50s software engineers in both. They're a smaller percentage at Google, but that's mostly because the bulk of new hires are straight out of school, and because the company just hasn't been around that long. But there are older guys -- I work with one engineer who's in his 70s -- and I fully expect to stay at Google until I retire at 60 or so. Unless I decide to quit and start a company which is a distinct possibility now tha

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        Actually as a long term tech site, there's a lot of both conservative skepticism around technology and enthusiasm around technologies at /.

        So while there are plenty of comments talking about new thing X or thing that is old but somehow new again Y enthusiastically, there are plenty of folks with the skepticism and mocking.

        Of course you are one of those young whipper snappers with an ID over 40,000, not some veteran user like I am ;)

    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross@NospAm.quirkz.com> on Thursday August 31, 2017 @10:25AM (#55116579) Homepage

      As an anecdote, yours is a rough one. But you almost make it sound like the tech industry hasn't existed for the last 16 years, which definitely isn't true.

      My experience started out similar-ish. I had a physics degree instead of CS, but I had several programming classes in college and enjoyed the technical side more. I got a job in '98 building web sites, and was frankly pretty lazy about career development. I knew HTML and some JavaScript, but nothing else. When the bubble popped in '01 I was laid off.

      I was unemployed for a year after that, mostly due to lack of trying, as my health, social life, and financial life imploded for half a dozen different reasons. I still did a little freelance work, and also a little carpentry just to keep food on the table, and eventually got a dollar store job just for something steady. But I also realized I needed to learn more, and picked up some PHP programming and MySQL database understanding, and then got a job at a small shop where I was under-employed, but it was still better than the dollar store.

      From there I transitioned to tech support, which I didn't want to do, but was much more reliable than the previous job. I angled my way from full-time support to half support and half web work at the same company, and put up with that for three years until I had a good enough resume to get a much better second-tier support job, and after two years of that moved up to server admin, which is relatively cushy.

      I'd still prefer to be doing programming or database work, and occasionally I get snippets of that at the office and more at home, but I've also done an admittedly poor job of pursuing those options, instead chasing other hobbies, playing games instead of writing them, and raising a couple of kids. At 42 I'm on the fence as to whether I should get off my butt and get into programming while there's a big enough chunk of time for it to be worthwhile, or whether I should just sit back and ride out the server side of things. (Either way I'm learning things to stay relevant, it's just whether I want to put in a few years of serious off-the-clock work to transition, or take the gentler if slightly less rewarding path.)

      Either way, I don't find the argument believable that the field of tech somehow ceased to exist in 2001, or that it wasn't possible to stay in the field since then, or that it's necessarily a terrible career path.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Maybe it's just the US, there is a boom in tech jobs in Europe at the moment.

      In any case, I think a lot of the reason why tech is well paid in the US is that it tends to be based in areas where the cost of living, particularly rent, is insane.

    • Right. No one can get jobs in tech since the year 2000. I hate these whiny "anecdotes". There are literally millions of tech jobs. What "top tier" university did you graduate from?
  • Half of the story (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @10:15AM (#55116525)
    While it might be highest in terms of raw numbers, if you take into effect the cost of living in places where tech jobs tend to be located, the actual standard of living afforded by that wage might be lower than for someone working in a career that pay less but is located in a cheaper area.
    • by Altus ( 1034 )

      Actually I suspect that you would find that the reason this is as low as it is is because there are actually a lot of tech jobs outside of the valley, NYC, Boston, Seattle ect. Places were making 90K, or even less, leaves you with considerable disposable income. The averages in the higher price areas are probably higher than the national average (though in some cases, maybe not enough above). Admittedly there aren's salary surveys that I know of that adjust all salaries to some geographically neutral bas

    • Salary differentials aren't that different with cheaper parts of the country. Posting from NM :)
    • While it might be highest in terms of raw numbers, if you take into effect the cost of living in places where tech jobs tend to be located, the actual standard of living afforded by that wage might be lower than for someone working in a career that pay less but is located in a cheaper area.

      Valid point, unless you can swing a telecommuting job, and can work well that way. Then you can live cheap while making good money.

  • Maybe a few rock stars are skewing the average, but I know lots of programmers and they're lucky to crack six figures if they get into team Management.
  • And yet... (Score:2, Interesting)

    I've been working in IT for 20 years. I would love the median salary mentioned.
    It all comes down to location (MidWest), skills (plenty o' them), and adaptability (plenty).

    I've also, for 20 years, been the youngest member of my team everywhere I go. I'm now nearly 40 and I'm still the young'un.

    Get off the coasts, the rest of the country has plenty of work for people.
    • by garcia ( 6573 )

      There's plenty of great paying jobs in Minneapolis (Midwest). My team's median is 90K.

  • by coolmoe2 ( 3414211 ) on Thursday August 31, 2017 @10:43AM (#55116727)
    Other stories could be

    "Study says petroleum jobs most lucrative" --BP
    "Study says telco jobs most lucrative" --AT&T

    I could go on like that forever but I think you get the point.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like LinkedIn is going to suffer from a huge self-selection bias.

    How many welders, electricians, and plumbers are using LinkedIn?

    Those are all really good paying jobs, and I doubt those are fields which tend to use LinkedIn.

    I have doubts about the value of this survey.

  • What The Fuck? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Most lucrative?

    Oh, you mean after medicine, management, finance...

    This entire article is LinkeIn clickbait pandering to their target market.

  • Pretty sure my plumber is making that much.

    Ditto my physician.

    Perhaps this study is biased?

  • Median income? What?

    I live in Sweden and don't earn more than 40K a year as an 50+ IT supporter, and that's for a LARGE company.

    Who earns these dream figures? And teachers that earn 80K? I've never even encountered one that earns that much.

    • The tech jobs in the US (especially those that end up getting surveyed like this) are concentrated in a few big cities on the coasts, where the costs of living are 2x-3x the rest of the country. Thus the salaries are 2x-3x the rest of the country. Also keep in mind that with minimal social programs, we need to pay for a lot more things, many of them provided by for-profit companies which charge a lot more. And those for-profit companies hire people and pay them lots of money.

  • I was in tech- and as early as 1985 saw older 45 year old programmers dumped and pushed out of the field.

    I saved hard and retired at 51 - when hundreds of co-workers were dumped out on the street (and out of the career).

    IT is a nice 20 year career. After that, you are increasingly likely to be age discriminated out of a job regardless of how current you keep your skills.

    Save hard and be ready when the end reaches you. Be happy if you are one of the lucky few who makes it into their 60s in IT.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      After that, you are increasingly likely to be age discriminated out of a job regardless of how current you keep your skills.

      Part of it is that when one is experienced, it's hard to be exuberant about stupid IT fads that PHB's or bullshit artists push on the organization. "Oh boy! Another stupid fad to drain time and money! Weeeee!" Newbies don't know any better: ignorance is bliss, and it's hard to fake bliss in such a workplace. How does one stay enthusiastic about wasteful fads? Take happy-pills after 45?

    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

      I remain convinced these claims are either exaggerated, or occur in certain pockets/niches, because some people swear they see it a lot, but plenty of other people say they don't. (I definitely never have, but I've also never lived in a major tech center.)

      If you (the general you) are worried about it, maybe a good choice is to arrange to find yourself by age 40, 45, or 50 at a company or industry that seems to value and support older employees. I'm 42, and I'd say I'm almost exactly at the median age of my

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