Silicon Valley Quest for Innovative Talent Continues

What’s New This Quarter

How do we know that things are going pretty well these days in Silicon Valley? Because 23 newly minted billionaires told us so: The most recent Forbes list of the richest of the rich found some of the moguls in Silicon Valley are among the world’s youngest, including the co-founders of both Uber and Snapchat.

The final numbers from 2014 showed that Silicon Valley’s tech economy continues to boom, with 58,000 new jobs and 42,000 new residents over the course of last year. The annual Silicon Valley Index, released by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, suggested record venture capital investment; that means an ever-increasing need for tech pros.

Node.js, Angular.js, and Python remain among the hottest skills in the Valley, according to local recruiters. According to IT recruiting firm Mondo’s 2014-2015 Salary Guide, the top three skills currently in demand in the Bay Area are application and software development, e-commerce, and database administration.

Check out the latest jobs in Silicon Valley.

Among those looking for talent is local behemoth Facebook, which plans to grow its headcount by 1,200 jobs (14 percent) in the near term, according to a review of job listings on the company’s website. Facebook’s new headquarters, designed by Frank Gehry, can accommodate up to 3,000 employees—so there’s clearly more growth to come.

A relatively new arrival is Ford, which has opened a new research center in Palo Alto to come up with ideas for the future of driving. “We want to be viewed as part of the ecosystem in Silicon Valley. The Research and Innovation Center is another proof point of what we’re doing and in a year, we will be one of the largest, dedicated automotive research teams here in the Valley,” CEO Mark Fields wrote in a statement. The staff will include 125 researchers, engineers, and scientists by the end of 2015.

American Express is also devoting funds to “innovation,” with a lab in Palo Alto that will eventually expand to 200 employees. Experience in the payments industry is apparently not a perquisite for developers and others who work there.

Not all companies in the Valley can enjoy explosive growth, of course. Auction giant eBay cut 2,400 jobs, or seven percent of its staff, in the first quarter to simplify its structure and boost profit ahead of a planned separation of its businesses, that will include spinning off PayPal. It may also spin off or sell its enterprise unit, which develops online shopping sites for brick-and-mortar retailers.

Networking leader Citrix Systems, meanwhile, plans to eliminate 700 full-time jobs and 200 contractor positions; the company has headquarters in both Santa Clara and Fort Lauderdale.

Diversity is also a focus among Valley firms. Intel, for example, recently told the Wall Street Journal that it could spend $300 million over the next five years to improve workplace diversity, with a goal of reaching “full representation” of women and minorities by 2020.

Salary Trends

According to CompTIA’s 2015 “Cyberstates” report, California tech industry workers earned an average wage of $139,500 (ranked first in the nation), 147 percent more than California’s average private sector wage.

According to the 2015 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for a Silicon Valley-based IT professional is the nation’s highest at $112,610, up 3.7 percent from the previous year and 25 percent above the national average of $89,450. 

Leading Industries

  • Information Technology
  • Technology Manufacturing
  • Software Development
  • Construction
  • Defense/Aerospace

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3 Responses to “Silicon Valley Quest for Innovative Talent Continues”

  1. Eric Price


    This is not even a good joke on a bad day.
    You are obviously a tech writer and have spent no time what so eve pounding the pavement
    in the Valley looking for a job.

    The Valley’s mantra is “Cost, Cost, Cost”. Most of the companies are infiltrated with Indians
    who will only hire their countrymen at substandard wages, and do not hesitate to treat them poorly.

    Dante said there is a ring of hell reserved for these people.

    The only shortage is of people who are willing to work long hours for low wages.

    … after all we have got to keep the CEO of Google in her 70 Million dollar digs.
    … and let not forget campaign donations to our gutless politicians who are
    “The finest elected officials that money can buy”



    • bluemountain184


      I second you on the Indian thing about Silicon Valley.
      I do not wish to be a racist, but it is nothing short of amazing when an ethnic group from literally other side of Earth can take over so many high-tech jobs in a matter of mere 25 years.
      At one university around Silicon Valley, pretty much the entire EE (Electrical Engineering) department graduate program consists of people from India.
      The other day when there was a project meeting with the professor, only 2 groups out of 18 or so graduate program groups submitted their 80 to 100 page draft report prior to the due date.
      One group consisted of two east Asian (i.e., Chinese) students who already got their design working, and the other group was my partner (American born white guy).
      In fact, these 3 people are the only non-Indian graduate students of this professor’s research group (The graduate program is about 95% Indian.).
      Due to the course format, I did not have to submit the draft report at this point.
      Rest of the graduate student groups did not submit their reports prior to the due date, and they are all Indian.
      I do know for a fact that none of these 3 people who submitted their draft reports currently work, whereas several of these Indian students have full-time internships at various Tier-1 hardware companies.
      Besides, there probably are ones who don’t have jobs that did not bother to write their reports.
      It is very difficult to get an internship around Silicon Valley these days since most internships go to Indian students for some reason (i.e., ethnic preference and the exclusion of all other groups, including east Asians).
      It is simply amazing that the lazy foreigners get rewarded with internships and jobs whereas rest of us have a tough time getting even an entry level high-tech job.
      People can think of me as a racist all they want to, but I certainly don’t think highly of Indian people’s work ethic as a group.
      And please don’t get me started on ethical behavior of Indian students at this school.
      So many of them cheat on assignments, projects, and exams in order to obtain a master’s degree.
      I will keep that story until next time.