Tech Industry Salaries Continue Upward Momentum Despite COVID-19


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, tech industry salaries last year were up 3.6% to an average of $97,860.

That’s according to the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report. The annual report covers tech industry salaries and compensation trends across the United States.

Dice administered its 2020 salary survey online among registered Dice job seekers and site visitors. A total of 9,143 respondents completed the survey.

Key Takeaways

Additional key takeaways are:

  • The Lone Star State continues to compete with California. Texas continues its journey toward becoming a premier tech state. Both states’ tech hubs saw high salaries and steady increases. But Texas also boasts an inflow of prestigious companies.
  • Better compensation or lowered expectations. Some 55% of technologists said they’re satisfied with their salaries. However, given the economic uncertainty from the pandemic, technologists may have lowered their salary expectations. This led to higher levels of satisfaction, even if they felt they were underpaid.
  • Technologists eye staple benefits. The latest report highlights the re-embrace of staple benefits such as health insurance and 401(k). This is likely a collateral effect of COVID-19.

Art Zeile is CEO of DHI Group, Dice’s parent company. He said the tech industry salaries data is a testament to continued demand for highly skilled technologists across the country. It also shows how the pandemic accelerated remote digitization and remote work in organizations.

Dice's Art Zeile

Dice’s Art Zeile

“With an incredible number of technologists working remotely, lifestyle and work-life balance are increasingly important, which will likely remain the trend as many companies settle into hybrid or fully remote work situations in 2021,” he said.

Hot Roles

Cybersecurity analysts saw their average salaries increase to more than $103,000, up more than 16%. Cloud engineer roles grew more than 6%, to over $136,000.

The prevalence of remote work likely also had an impact on technical support engineer salaries, which rose to nearly $69,000, up about 8%. The need to develop and implement long-term strategies has positively impacted business analyst salaries, which increased more than 5% to almost $98,000.

Driven by the need to rapidly transform digital stacks, web developers saw an average salary increase to more than $81,500, up nearly 5%. In addition, software developers increased about 2%, to roughtly $111,000. DevOps engineer roles grew 12% to more than $115,000.

“The traditional principles that drive salary growth remain firmly in place,” Zeile said. “Despite many businesses tightening their budgets to weather COVID-19, these organizations needed skilled technologists capable of everything from digital transformation (including moving on-premises tech stacks to the cloud) to ensuring that infrastructure was secure against a rising number of cyberattacks. That demand, combined with a comparatively low tech unemployment rate … led to rising salaries as companies competed for top talent.”

Texas vs. California

At the state level, Texas continues its rise to prominence as a premier tech state, with salaries up nearly 6% year over year. This is sparking conversations about competition with California – with salaries up about 2% – as a primary hub. Both states’ tech hubs saw high salaries and steady increases. But Texas boasts an influx of prestigious companies – including Oracle and Tesla – building new headquarters.

DHI Group's Michelle Marian

DHI Group’s Michelle Marian

Michelle Marian is DHI Group’s CMO.

“In Austin, 39 technology companies or venture capital firms put down roots in the state in 2020 alone, cementing Austin’s ongoing presence as an established tech hub,” she said. “Texas also boasts emerging hubs like Houston and Dallas. And the state government’s pro-business stance has continued to entice large California-based tech companies to consider Texas for business operations.”

There’s a world of opportunity out there for skilled tech professionals seeking new roles, Marian said. That’s due to increased demand for technologists who can establish, secure and maintain virtual cloud environments, provide IT support, and digitize and innovate existing and new product offerings,

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