Silicon Valley is the dream for thousands of tech professionals. Big companies, high salaries, great perks, and California weather make it an attractive place to imagine living and building a career.
That said, it’s not easy, either. High cost of living, fierce competition for work, and often penchants for workaholism are the usual trade-offs.
For those who decide the pros of Silicon Valley outweigh the cons, job-seekers in certain careers will have better luck than others. These key findings from an Indeed study on the state of hiring in the Bay Area in 2018 illuminate which careers are most in-demand and which companies are looking for applicants.
1. Overall job postings are down in the Bay Area.
Job growth in Silicon Valley has been on a steady decline since 2015, meaning that there are less overall open roles available there than in the past.
Based on their data, Indeed postulates that the tech jobs could be going to other cities. Seattle in particular has experienced growth, and D.C. and Baltimore listings have increased as well. “There are now more tech job opportunities in other locations such as Austin or Seattle where there weren’t as many before,” says Raj Mukherjee, SVP of Product at Indeed. “Or it could be due to the high cost of living, as the San Francisco Bay Area is noted to have some of the highest housing rental costs in the US.”
So as far as locations go, Silicon Valley is still the tech king–but the competition is rising.
2. The high cost of living requires a career with a high salary.
The housing market in the Bay Area is notoriously brutal–which means that while a $120,000 salary may be impressive elsewhere in the country, it’s downright average in the Valley.
That’s why it’s typically only worth it to make the move if you’re in a high-salaried line of work. According to Indeed’s survey, these are the top ten roles with the highest annual pay in Silicon Valley:
- Product development engineer ($173,570)
- Director of product management ($173,556)
- Data warehouse architect ($169,836)
- DevOps manager ($166,448)
- Senior architect ($161,124)
- Principal software engineer ($160,326)
- Senior solutions architect ($158,329)
- Principal Java developer ($156,402)
- Senior software architect ($154,944)
- Platform engineer ($154,739)
Perhaps interestingly, it’s not the straight technical roles that take the top spots. Rather, it’s those who combine specialties: product know-how with programming or management, technical knowledge with big-picture vision and leadership.
3. These are the titles with the most job openings available.
If you’re pursuing one of the following careers, you’ll have a much greater chance of landing a role in Silicon Valley. These are the top ten jobs with the highest amount of openings:
- Software engineer
- Front-end developer
- Full-stack developer
- Product manager
- Development operations engineer
- Software architect
- Java developer
- Software test engineer
- Senior product manager
- Engineering program manager
Sadly, none of these overlap with the highest-paid roles–but you can always pursue promotions and work your way up. In this case, having those hard technical engineering and development skills will pay off.
4. Big companies dominate in job openings.
It’s up to every individual whether they feel more drawn to small, exciting startups or big, established companies. But the numbers don’t lie: the big companies are where the bulk of open jobs are.
These are the top ten companies with the most job openings in the Valley:
- GE Corporate
Of course, there are new startups every day in the area as well, so you’re not limited to the behemoths. That said, five of these companies are also on Indeed’s list of best places to work in the Bay Area, so weigh that as you will.
If you’re ready to make the move to Silicon Valley, it can certainly be rewarding for your career, finances, and life. But make sure to go in with your eyes open and your skills polished.
I am the creator of Learn to Code With Me , where I help people learn how to code so they can get ahead in their careers and ultimately find more fulfillment in their lives. After teaching myself how to code at 22 years old, I discove…
Laurence Bradford is the creator of Learn to Code With Me, a blog and podcast for those wanting to learn tech skills and transition into a new career.