Main image of article If You Want to Work at Facebook, Learn These Technology Skills

Facebook has been in the news lately—and not always for good reasons. An investigative series in The Wall Street Journal revealed some questionable policies at the social networking giant, including a failure to address misinformation and harmful content. While Facebook has tried to frame the Journal series as full of “mischaracterizations,” it’s clear the company faces a PR crisis.

Nonetheless, Facebook remains one of the nation’s largest tech companies, and its teams are working on fascinating projects in some cutting-edge areas, including artificial intelligence (A.I.) and virtual reality. If you’re interested in working for Facebook, you can expect sizable compensation, but also the huge challenges that come with delivering complex products to an audience of billions. 

Which technology skills does Facebook actually want? According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, the company is most interested in software engineers who know Python and C++, as well as technologists skilled in program management, data science, SQL, and machine learning. Check out the following breakdown, which is drawn from Facebook’s job postings over the past 90 days.

For years, rumors have percolated about Facebook’s increasing focus on hardware. Some of these jobs explicitly hint at Facebook’s hardware interest (including consumer electronics and physics), but software-related skills clearly win out in this breakdown. The company recently promoted Andrew Bosworth, its hardware leader, to the role of chief technology officer, suggesting that Facebook is serious about rolling out consumer hardware to supplement existing products, which include the Oculus VR headset and the Portal digital assistant.

But what will that future look like? Facebook recently demonstrated a pair of “smart glasses” equipped with two front-facing cameras that can capture video and photographs. Whether or not they succeed with consumers (Snapchat’s attempt at smart glasses, Spectacles, were a notable failure despite early buzz), they could provide Facebook’s hardware and software engineers with the valuable data necessary to build sleeker, more streamlined VR and AR glasses.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also been pushing the idea of a “metaverse,” which will combine VR, social networking, and devices in an environment that merges physical and virtual reality. It’s an ambitious plan that will require a lot of technology skill. In the meantime, the company is also fighting multiple battles in the public sphere—another element to consider if you’re applying for a job.