Tech jobs dominate the top 25 'best' jobs in the US, Indeed says

Online job site's latest report on the 25 best jobs in the US found that almost half of them are in tech — and layoffs by tech firms are doing little to offset a continuing dearth of tech talent.


Online job site Indeed this week released its list of the 25 best jobs in the US, and the top slot went to full stack developer, which offers a median annual salary of $130,000 and allows for a mostly remote or hybrid workplace.

In fact, eight tech jobs were among the top 10 positions on this year's list, compared to just two tech jobs in the top 10 on last year’s list. In 2022, tech jobs were moving down the top jobs list; now, a year later, tech jobs are surging upward.

This year, 11 of the top 25 jobs, or 44%, were tech positions. By comparison, in 2022, just 25% of the top 25 jobs were tech-related.

indeed top 10 job list Indeed

Indeed's top 10 jobs in the US for 2023

Indeed's 25 Best Jobs list is based on three main factors:
  • Job opportunities: Growth in the share of postings from 2019 to 2022.
  • Salary: Salary minimum above the US national average base salary of $58,260.00, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Workplace flexibility: At least 10% of job postings include terms to indicate "remote" or "hybrid" work

As with last year’s list, tech jobs continue to lead others in terms of pay. Last year, three of the top five highest-paying jobs were tech positions. This year, the four highest-paying jobs are tech-related: director of data science ($174,820); machine learning engineer ($153,252); site reliability engineer ($153,134); and back-end developer ($148,827).

(The last job on in the top five in terms of pay — senior product manager ($147,135) — is a role often found in tech but can also be in a variety of industries, Indeed noted.)

“Even with instability in the market, the demand for tech workers does not appear to be going anywhere and neither is the industry’s trademark high compensation,” Indeed said in the report.

Not only do tech roles offer the higher pay than other industry jobs, but they tended to also offer the most workplace flexibility — an increasingly important trait for job seekers, Indeed said.

indeed tech jobs dominate graphic Indeed

In choosing the best jobs, Indeed this year added “workplace flexibility” — hybrid or remote work — to its list for the first time. Compensation and flexibility continue to be foundational needs for job seekers without which well-being at work is difficult to attain, according to Indeed’s 2022 Workplace Wellbeing report conducted by Forrester Research.

The prominence of tech jobs on the Indeed list comes at a time of cross-currents in the industry. Recent layoffs at a number of large tech firms have made headlines, and are likely to affect workers who remain.

According to Gartner Research, those workers may now fear further layoffs, pushing them to look for work at more stable companies. “Some may convert from being passive candidates to active job seekers or at least be more willing to respond to recruiters’ calls, even if they’re not actively looking,” Gartner said in a recent report.

Tech workers who are on the market are looking for a variety of things, Gartner said, including respect, quality managers, people management, and employer recognition. Also important: an organization’s growth rate, market position, and stability (being recession-proof).

For all the handwringing in the press lately about tech company layoffs, Indeed referred to the trend as “the great reshuffling,” where large companies over hired in 2022 and are trimming back even as there remains a surplus of tech positions companies need to fill.

While tech company layoffs sometimes measure in the tens of thousands, often the positions being cut are not technology related. For example, earlier this month, Amazon announced it was laying off 18,000 employees, most of whom were from its human resources divisions. 

In fact, there are about 200,000 open tech positions in the US, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, research firms, and tech industry associations such as CompTIA.

Last month alone, technology companies added 17,600 workers, according to CompTIA — the 25th straight month of net employment growth in the tech industry. Overall, the IT industry has an unemployment rate of 1.8%, compared to the national unemployment rate in the US of 3.5%. 

“For all the media coverage on tech layoffs in the second half of 2022, tech jobs still dominate Indeed’s list of best jobs for 2023,” Indeed noted. “In fact, they occupy the three top spots in this year’s list when only one tech job made the top 10 last year.”

The top three jobs in Indeed’s report were full stack developer, data engineer, and cloud engineer. Those positions saw a more-than-50% uptick in the number of positions added over the year; in fact, data engineer saw an 80% increase in openings compared to a year ago.

“With previously overconfident tech giants currently overcorrecting, other companies appear to be at the ready to snatch up prime talent, because in reality, every company is a tech company today,” Indeed said. “With this year’s list primarily featuring tech roles, the high demand for technical skills both in and outside of the tech industry is great news for tech workers, but it is also a big sign of where opportunities exist for those starting or switching careers.

Many companies are still suffering from IT skills shortages, particularly for cloud, security, analytics, and automation, all of which call for application development skills, according to IDC. "We expect 9.9% growth year-over-year in the population of full-time developers worldwide as digitization continues to accelerate and permeate all aspects of life," Arnal Dayaratna, vice president of software development research for IDC.

indeeds workplace wellbeing report Indeed

And layoffs from digital companies are expected to eventually ease, but that won't solve the IT talent challenge. In key function areas, such as data science, software engineering, and cybersecurity, talent supply remains as tight or tighter than before, according to a December report by Gartner.

In short, digital companies that have laid off tech talent have essentially released them into a hungry labor market. Tech workers still have a choice of jobs, according to Gartner.

“There are many other innovative tech companies they can join," Gartner said. "In other words, traditional large and mid-size employers haven’t gained the upper hand. The premises of how IT organizations compete in the talent market haven’t materially changed. CIOs should take advantage of the opportunity to hire, if they can.”

To attract workers with digital skills and an entrepreneurial mindset, CIOs must understand the three impacts of the layoffs: their scale and composition, their effect on the employee-value proposition, and new attraction drivers, according Gartner.

gartner top attrition drivers graphic Gartner

CIOs seeking to attract and recruit top IT talent now should:

  • Modify their talent sourcing and recruitment strategy based on the tech/skills category because talent availability varies widely by function and role.
  • Evolve their employee-value proposition by focusing on the factors other than compensation that workers care about, such as flexibility, growth opportunity and organizational stability.
  • Differentiate and strengthen their talent strategy and hiring pitches by highlighting today’s top IT talent attraction attributes that organizations can offer.

“For example, manager quality, respect, organizational stability, growth rate — these are new and important attributes for attracting and retaining IT talent,” Gartner said.

Another attribute that appears to play a role in attracting talent involves corporate diversity efforts. In a 2022 study conducted by Indeed and employer review site Glassdoor, nearly two-thirds (62%) of job seekers said they would consider turning down a job offer or leaving a company if they did not think that their manager (or potential manager) supported DEI initiatives.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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