TALENT ECONOMY SPOTLIGHT
Welcome to the LinkedIn Talent Economy Spotlight.
This is a monthly report that examines the latest labor statistics and combines it with our own data to surface new insights about the regions, industries and skills that are shaping and defining the U.S. labor market.
In this month's report, we explore the major metros where technology talent is flocking, the multi-industry race to hire software engineers and the unique skills these professionals are developing.
Talent continues flocking west to top technology cities
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that from August 2014 through August 2015, jobs in the U.S. technology sector have increased by 4.1 percent, up to 3.8 million jobs.
These jobs, however, are not evenly distributed across the country, and tech talent is often flocking to a select few cities.
A closer examination of LinkedIn member data shows that some of the largest metros for tech talent are places you might expect, cities like San Francisco and Seattle. However, some historically strong tech metros like Atlanta, Boston and New York City are surprisingly flat.
Meanwhile, smaller tech metros like Madison, Wis. and Portland, Ore. have been increasingly attracting talent. If this talent migration continues, these cities have the potential to become the Silicon Valleys of the future.
|City||tech sector membership (in thousands)||arrivals (in thousands)||departures (in thousands)||net migrants (in thousands)||net migrants (pct of tech pop)|
|San Francisco Bay Area||786.2||40.7||17.2||23.4||3.00%|
|Greater Seattle Area||247.7||13.3||6.2||7.1||2.90%|
|Austin, Texas Area||149.3||7.5||4||3.5||2.40%|
|Dallas/Fort Worth Area||266.3||8.2||5.7||2.5||0.90%|
|Greater Denver Area||149.1||5.1||3.4||1.7||1.10%|
|Greater New York City Area||657.1||20.4||18.7||1.7||0.30%|
|Portland, Oregon Area||114.3||4||2.4||1.7||1.50%|
|Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area||105.2||4.2||2.9||1.3||1.20%|
|Greater Atlanta Area||245.2||6.6||5.4||1.2||0.50%|
|Charlotte, North Carolina Area||67.2||2.8||2||0.8||1.20%|
|Houston, Texas Area||147.8||4.3||3.6||0.8||0.50%|
|Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida Area||85.2||2.6||1.9||0.7||0.90%|
|Greater Boston Area||326.5||9.1||8.4||0.7||0.20%|
|Phoenix, Arizona Area||139.7||4.1||3.5||0.6||0.40%|
|Madison, Wisconsin Area||25.1||1.7||1.1||0.6||2.30%|
New (and old) industries collide over software engineering talent
As of May 2014, there were approximately 1.5 million software engineers in the U.S., however, only a small majority (55 percent) actually worked in technology. The remainder worked across a variety of industries representing nearly every sector of the economy.
As we look more closely at the industries employing software engineering talent, there are patterns of hiring intensity in a select few sectors.
Not surprisingly, the technology sector leads the pack — nearly 1 out of every 10 new hires is a software engineer.
Hiring intensity is also increasing in telecommunications where approximately 1 out of every 20 new hires is a software engineer. In the aerospace, automotive and transportation sectors, it's 1 out of every 25 new hires.
|Sector||software engineering hires per 1000 hires|
|Oil & Energy||25|
|Financial Services & Insurance||23|
|Media & Entertainment||18|
|Architecture & Engineering||16|
|Healthcare & Pharmaceutical||13|
|Retail & Consumer Products||12|
A closer look at the hard and soft skills of software engineers
As we noted in our “industries” coverage, software engineers are present in nearly every sector of the economy - not just the technology sector. As a result, these professionals often acquire other industry-specific skills. With this in mind, we've taken a look at some of the ancillary skills that software engineers typically have, and then surfaced some of the more surprising findings.
To accomplish this, we identified the 500 most common, non-software engineering-related skills found on the profiles of U.S. LinkedIn members. We then compared the proportion of the general membership who have a given skill with the equivalent proportion of software engineers.
Not surprisingly, software engineers tend to have a lot of general math and engineering skills (particularly aerospace and civil engineering). For example, software engineers are 7 times more likely to have Matlab on their profile than your average U.S. LinkedIn member. This is one of many reasons why the tech industry is pushing for increased investment in general STEM education. (For reference, jQuery, a common web programming skill, is almost 50 times more likely to be found on a software engineer's profile vs. everyone else.)
|Skill||Skill category||Ratio vs. US general population|
|Systems Engineering||Engineering Systems||6.6|
|Web Design||Digital and Online Design and Publishing||5.9|
|Electrical Engineering||Electronic and Electrical Engineering||4.6|
|Software Documentation||Microsoft Office and General Business Productivity||4.3|
|SolidWorks||Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering||3.9|
|Mechanical Engineering||Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering||3.7|
|Business Analysis||Management Consulting, Business Strategy and Analysis||3.7|
|Engineering Management||Lean Manufacturing and Quality Management||3.6|
|E-commerce||Microsoft Office and General Business Productivity||3.3|
|Project Engineering||Process and Project Management||3.2|
|Electronics||Electronic and Electrical Engineering||3.1|
|CAD||Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering||2.9|
|Aerospace||Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering||2.8|
|Access||Microsoft Office and General Business Productivity||2.8|
|Technical Writing||Microsoft Office and General Business Productivity||2.7|
|Skill||Skill category||Ratio vs. US software engineers|
|Listings||Real Estate, Home Buying||31|
|Family Therapy||Mental Health and Psychotherapy||28.6|
|New Home Sales||Real Estate, Home Buying||27.6|
|Buyer Representation||Real Estate, Home Buying||24.1|
|Adolescents||Mental Health and Psychotherapy||22.8|
|Corporate Law||Corporate Law and Governance||22.5|
|Referrals||Real Estate, Home Buying||22.4|
|Group Therapy||Mental Health and Psychotherapy||22.4|
|Mental Health Counseling||Mental Health and Psychotherapy||22|
|Legal Assistance||Legal Advice and Services||21.8|
|First Time Home Buyers||Real Estate, Home Buying||21.7|
|Treatment||General Medical and Healthcare||20.5|
The “tech sector” contains the following industries as defined on LinkedIn: information services, information technology and services, computer networking, internet, e-learning, computer software, electrical and electronic manufacturing, computer games, computer hardware, semiconductors). Membership data current as of August 2015.
When looking at BLS data, we define high-tech industries using a modification of Hecker (2005). Hecker’s definition includes those sectors with a high prevalence of workers who “in-depth knowledge of the theories and principles of science, engineering, and mathematics underlying technology.” This leads him to include sectors such as pharmaceutical manufacturing and aerospace manufacturing, but we excluded them in our BLS data “high tech” estimate in order to align it to both the common-parlance definition of that term as well as LinkedIn’s own classification.