In many ways, it’s the best and worst of times for Google. The search-engine giant’s parent company, Alphabet, remains immensely profitable, reporting revenues of $74.32 billion for the fourth quarter of 2021 (up 32 percent year-over-year). But at the same time, Google remains under antitrust scrutiny by the federal government, its workers are upset over ethics and diversity issues, and it’s competing for more market-share against well-monetized, aggressive competitors such as Microsoft and Amazon.
In its unending quest for revenues and competitive advantage, Google continues to hire technologists with a variety of skills. But which skills are in demand at the moment? For an answer, we can turn to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from organizations across the country; here’s a breakdown of the skills that popped up most in Google’s job postings over the past 90 days:
If you want to land a job at Google, you clearly need to master the principles of software development and engineering, along with Python. This isn’t a startling revelation; we crunch these job-posting numbers on a regular basis, and Python and software development typically dominate Google’s listings. What’s changed in this go-round is how far ahead Python has pulled from other programming languages; whereas in past analyses, it was tightly clustered along with SQL, Java, and C++, it now has a comfortable lead.
Mastering key skills can unlock significant compensation, especially at a company like Google with deep pockets. According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data from the biggest tech companies, those Googlers at the L7 level (i.e., senior staff software engineer) can earn an annual salary of up to $270,650 per year, coupled with $406,100 in stock options and a bonus of $81,900. For those Googlers who rise to the level of Principal Engineer, payouts can top a million dollars annually.
But it’s not just a matter of technical skills. Blind (which surveys anonymous-but-verified technologists on a range of issues) recently spoke with an (anonymous) director of engineering at Google who makes $1.5 million per year. This director emphasized that skills such as coaching, communication, and management are immensely important to anyone who wants to ascend the ranks to team leadership and management, which unlocks the big paydays and interesting project opportunities.
“A good engineer is not the smartest, but the one who uplifts the team, understands what managers want, and is a great peer and report to work with,” they said. Keep that in mind when you’re applying for your next job—whether at Google or someplace else.