In September 2021, then-new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced that the e-commerce giant would hire 55,000 technologists and corporate employees over next several months. How is that effort going, and what sort of skills is Amazon looking for?
For an answer, we can turn to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country. We decided to focus on data extending back to November 27, or roughly 90 days. During that period, Amazon posted some 11,500 technology jobs—a sizable fraction of that 55,000 target.
Which skills does Amazon want? Based on the Emsi Burning Glass data, it’s clear that the company is still on the hunt for technologists skilled in software development, Java, Amazon Web Services (AWS), C++ and Python. This is in line with Amazon’s talent demands in previous quarters; while the rankings of some skills change, the company’s needs are remarkably consistent in the short- to medium-term:
Keep in mind that Amazon is also interested in highly advanced skills such as cloud, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (A.I.) as it attempts to keep pace (and keep ahead of, in the case of AWS) other tech companies in the space. However, it might not need to hire quite as many A.I. researchers (for example) as it does software engineers and developers, even though the former role is just as critical.
Amazon was on an aggressive hiring spree throughout 2021. In a May 2021 corporate blog posting, for example, it detailed an intent to hire 1,900 employees for “HQ2,” its giant “second headquarters” in Arlington, VA, across the river from Washington, DC. In September, it announced job openings at a new facility for “software development engineers, technical sales representatives, program managers, and solutions architects on teams across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Care, Global Immigration, Alexa, IMDb TV, and more.”
Amazon is also competing against companies large and small for that talent, which is one of the reasons why it recently bumped its maximum base pay for corporate and technology employees from $160,000 to $350,000. According to levels.fyi, which crowdsources salary data for a wide range of tech companies, an entry-level Amazon software engineer can expect to earn an average of $128,304 in base salary, on top of stock worth roughly $23,163, and a bonus of $19,096, for a total of $170,563—depending on how well the stock is performing when shares are sold, of course.