If you’re a software engineer at the beginning of your career, and you really want to work for a big tech firm, and compensation is one of your key drivers, give Oracle a look.
According to crowdsourced data from levels.fyi, Oracle pays its most junior software engineers the highest average salary of the big tech companies: $127,450. That’s slightly ahead of Google and Apple ($124,009 and $118,810, respectively) and far ahead of Microsoft and IBM ($105,747 and $91,357).
Oracle also doesn’t skimp on stock, with average annual options worth $32,500 for newbie software engineers; that’s in line with what Apple, Microsoft, and Google offer—and leagues above what’s on the table at IBM.
If there’s one area where Oracle lags its competitors, it’s annual bonuses: the company pays out an average of $4,000 to its newest engineers, well behind Apple, Microsoft, and Google (although on par with IBM).
Check out the chart for the full breakdown:
It’s no surprise that Oracle is willing to pay for talent. Not only is it one of the largest tech firms in the world (with a substantial war chest for hiring tech professionals), but it’s in the midst of fighting an existential battle for its future against Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Oracle might have grown huge off corporate appetite for on-premises datacenters and IT infrastructure, but the world is migrating to the cloud—and Oracle is widely perceived as having a lot of catching-up to do in that category.
Adapting rapidly to the cloud takes engineers of all types; without them, Oracle has no hope of matching Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure feature-for-feature. AWS and Azure are also building out the diversity of their portfolios, increasing the competitive difficulty. All that pressure might be responsible for Oracle’s recent burst of layoffs.
(And that’s before we consider the impact that the cloud is having on Oracle’s traditional sales and auditing system, which generated a ton of profit for the company over the decades, even as it drove sysadmins and CIOs absolutely insane. You can’t discount the idea that clients are using the worldwide shift to the cloud to re-evaluate whether they should deal with Oracle at all. But that’s a narrative for another article.)
Indeed plugs Oracle software engineer salaries at $134,289 per year, which is in line with the above, crowdsourced results. Those with hyper-advanced skills who reach the top architect tier (IC-6) can earn nearly $500,000 per year between salary, stock, and bonus (according to levels.fyi).
In other words, Oracle provides a lot of financial opportunity for younger software engineers. Be aware, though, that it’s very much a company in serious transition—with a desperate need for cloud skills.