Developers: On track for high demand in 2014

What job skills dominated the market in 2013? If you are a developer, chances are you already know that your particular skill set is extremely valuable, and end of year data extrapolated by a number of sources would agree with you. According to a survey conducted by Stack Overflow, where thousands of companies use the site’s career search in order to find developers, Java was the most searched for skill:

The job market was absolutely dominated by technology skills in 2013, and there seem to be no signs of this trend slowing down for 2014; in fact, quite the opposite. LinkedIn, a site we’re all probably familiar with that focuses on professional networking, took advantage of having access to the data of over 250 million members to figure out what were the most in demand skills as searched for on their site. From looking at the new jobs that people added to their LinkedIn profiles, along with search activity, LinkedIn determined that social media marketing was the top searched for skill within their member groups, followed closely behind by mobile development, cloud and distributed computing, Ruby, Python and Perl coding language, and statistical analysis.

While training in specific code languages is certainly important and could lead to bigger things down the road, learning to code is so much more than just getting a handle on C#. It’s about learning logical thinking, seeing a bigger picture, and training your mind to move in ways that it’s not necessarily accustomed to. This coincides well with Forbes’ list of the ten soft skills that will get you hired in 2013:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Complex problem solving
  3. Judgment and decision making
  4. Active listening
  5. Computers and electronics
  6. Math
  7. Operations and systems analysis
  8. Monitoring
  9. Programming
  10. Sales and Marketing

This year ushered in a whole new emphasis on coding in particular, as free online programming classes offered by a wide variety of institutions made it possible for more people to learn valuable skills than ever before in history.  In addition, high-profile technology stars such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates came together to launch, a non-profit foundation with the primary aim of getting more people coding. Their basic aim is this: they want to help kids, parents, and schools learn how to program. offers several different ways that interested parties can get involved: you can sign a petition to ask for computing classes be taught in your local school, you can volunteer to teach kids how to code, or you can start with simple lessons found on their site from notable online services that offer free coding classes and get going yourself. As we’ve seen in the statistics referenced in this article, software programming/coding is one of the fastest growing segments of jobs in the country with fantastic salaries, but the demand is much higher than the supply. It’s estimated that one million more jobs than students by the year 2020 are possible, which is an astonishing number

This emphasis on technology skills and the high value that employers are placing on employees that have these is also reflected in a new report from Glassdoor, who released a list of the top 50 employers based on feedback from employees who actually work for these companies. As you can see from this graphic, at least half of the companies on this list are technology-based:

So what does all this mean for 2014? Based on this data, along with information from more than 70 million job postings, Jacob Bollinger, a senior data scientist with, came up with he predicts will be the top five most in-demand jobs for 2014. One of those was – you guessed it – software developer:

Software Developers, Systems Software: Here is where we see the much-ballyhooed boom in tech jobs show up in the actual numbers. Though in 2012 there were only about 300,000 of these jobs, it’s a fast-growing category and one that pays exceptionally well. According to the Labor Department the median software developer made $47.59 per hour, or just under $100,000 per year.” –

Occupational statistics seem to bear this out; for example, in 2010, there were over 900,000 available jobs for software developers, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number is expected to grow by 30% between 2012 and 2020. How does that compare to expected job growth for all other U.S. occupations? According to the same source, software developers will outdo the average growth curve by 16%:

“Employment of software developers is projected to grow 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of applications developers is projected to grow 28 percent, and employment of systems developers is projected to grow 32 percent.

The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software. Mobile technology requires new applications. Also, the healthcare industry is greatly increasing its use of computer systems and applications. Finally, concerns over cyber security should result in more investment in security software to protect computer networks and electronic infrastructure.” Software Developers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

It's always interesting to see what pundits and industry analysts make of trends year over year. What are your predictions for the job market in 2014, specifically, the developer market? What do you view as the most in-demand skills? Share with us in the comments. 



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