Digital transformation is making tech workers rich, at least in comparison to their non-geeky counterparts.
In 2016, the average technology professional earned $108,900 while their non-tech peers were paid $53,049.
Not only that, but there's not much competition if you want a job (and have the skills). The tech sector is adding jobs faster than other rapidly growing segments of the economy including construction, finance and insurance, transportation and warehousing, and arts and entertainment.
These are just some of the findings revealed in the CompTIA Cyberstates 2017 report (registration required). The authors based their findings on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US Patent and Trademark Office, Economic Modeling Specialists International, Burning Glass Technologies and Hoovers.
Increased Demand and Increased Pay
CompTIA found that 6.9 million workers occupy tech jobs in the US and that in the fourth quarter of 2016, there were 626,560 open jobs.
Overall job growth (in gross numbers) was found to be highest in IT services and custom software development, but developers who write packaged software were in the highest demand (with job growth at 7.9 percent) — and the salary data backs it.
For the first time, the average salary in the software sector was over $150,000.
Granted, many of these pricey developers work in California, and more specifically in Silicon Valley, where the cost of living is high. But there's increasing demand for these workers in other states such as Utah, North Carolina, Michigan and Washington where you can get a much bigger bang for your buck. South Dakota, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia and Montana paid the lowest wages for tech workers.
The report showed some significant disparities in what these (mostly) well-paid workers take home, ranging from as little as to $39,170 (average) for consumer electronics repair to $201,380 (average) on the high end for internet and search portal services.
So, perhaps, it's a balancing act. Do you want a bigger pay check, smog and crowds (and in many cases great food, culture and the sea) or enjoy wide open spaces, rivers and mountains, but less cash?
Growing Freelance Market
According to the report, those who work for technology vendors make more money than those performing the same, or similar work, for a company whose business is not technology. The tech industry has almost as many jobs as those available in tech occupations, so tech workers have a choice when it comes to who signs their paycheck.
And if the report is right, the signature on your paycheck may soon be yours.
Digital transformation is creating a skills gap, giving workers with the right experience the opportunity to move from customer to customer and name their price. For self-motivators, this is your time: companies often don’t have the luxury to search for full-time employees, especially if they fear they are losing business to the competition due to lack of technological know-how.
'Blended Workforce' Redefined?
So while all is rosy for technology workers, the report included one caveat to keep you up at night: your co-worker of the future could be an AI-powered tool or a bot that won't require anywhere near as big a paycheck as you do. Time to brush up on your bot-building skills.