It’s a New Year, and in Silicon Valley, things are off to a weird start. Last year ended with a handful of “unicorn” startups either outright imploding (WeWork) or grievously underperforming (Uber), while some tech giants are undergoing a bit of an existential crisis (witness Google’s co-founders deciding to step away from active duties). It’s definitely not business as usual.
Despite those troubles, tech-industry unemployment remains low, and there’s still lots of venture capital for startups that can demonstrate a pathway to a viable product (and perhaps even profitability). The biggest tech firms, meanwhile, are pouring considerable funding into cutting-edge areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (A.I.), quantum computing, and advanced data science.
With all that in mind, which jobs are currently most in-demand in Silicon Valley and nearby San Francisco? In order to answer that question, we turn to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. Over the past 30 days, Silicon Valley employers have posted the following positions the most:
What can we conclude from this list? Although tech companies are willing to pay top dollar for specialists in A.I. and other fields, they still have (and will likely always have) a pressing need for technologists who make sure that company operations run smoothly, day in and day out. This includes software developers (with a focus on applications), web developers (because websites must keep running, no matter what), and computer systems engineers/architects (because IT infrastructure is always evolving).
Analysts and architects crop up on this list at several points, and that’s no surprise, either. Companies need architects to build out infrastructure (and wrangle with the data that infrastructure holds); they also need analysts who can glean effective insights from all the collected consumer and business data.
And which companies are actually doing the hiring? Fortunately, we have a breakdown of that, as well:
Apple, Uber, and Salesforce top Burning Glass’s list of Silicon Valley job postings over the past 30 days. No surprise there: All three companies are fixtures of the Bay Area, and both Apple and Salesforce have considerable momentum behind them at the moment. That Uber is hiring is interesting, considering the firm laid off hundreds of workers last year—but perhaps its executives have decided on a new strategy that requires a new class of engineers and developers.
Although San Francisco and Silicon Valley offer high median salaries to technology workers, there’s a substantial catch: the area’s cost of living is absurdly expensive, and sometimes comes paired with an annoyingly long commute (just ask all those San Francisco residents who must drive down to Mountain View or Cupertino every day). Meanwhile, smaller cities with a lower cost of living are developing robust tech scenes of their own, both in terms of companies and open tech jobs. Silicon Valley looks like it’s going to continue to offer great opportunities in 2020, but It faces a fierce competition for talent with other cities and regions.