Top 20 Skills Facebook Wants From Technology Job Seekers

Which skills does Facebook want from its technologists? As the social-networking giant attempts to fend off anti-trust actions and retain users, it’s also continuing to push into cutting-edge areas such as virtual reality (via its Oculus headsets) and whatever the next generation of social networks and messaging might look like. In order to face those challenges, it ultimately needs technologists who’ve mastered a variety of disciplines.

An analysis by Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, reveals the skills that have popped up in Facebook’s technologist job postings over the past 90 days. As with other tech giants, ultra-popular programming languages such as Python and Java are well-represented. Here’s the full breakdown of the top 20 skills:  

It makes total sense that anyone applying for a job at Facebook would need to be familiar with, well, how Facebook actually works. It’s roughly analogous to how anyone applying for a technologist job at Amazon needs to know AWS, or Azure if you’re applying at Microsoft. Beyond that, though, Facebook seems to be looking for the same broad technology skills as the other tech giants—which is a good thing, because if you’ve been in the tech industry for any length of time, there’s a high likelihood that you possess some of these skills.

Beyond that, it’s clear that Facebook really wants technologists who can work with data, as suggested by the prominent rankings of SQL (structured query language) and data science. Based on the number of management roles in this ranking, it also seems that Facebook wants technologists who can oversee projects. 

The challenges facing Facebook (pun intended) are immense, but at least the company has a reputation for paying its technologists quite a bit, especially if they stick around long enough to benefit from growing stock options and bonuses. Here’s a breakdown of senior Facebook engineering salaries, courtesy of levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data (yes, it’s not the most scientific way of determining salary, but the levels.fyi data broadly aligns with what’s presented by Glassdoor, another crowdsourced-data site, so we’re inclined to trust it). We’ve also listed the salaries of comparable positions at other tech companies:

However, even the best-compensated engineers make a fraction of what Facebook’s senior management pulls down. Setting aside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who takes a symbolic $1 in annual salary (but don’t weep for him; his stock is worth tens of billions of dollars), Facebook’s second-in-command, COO Sheryl Sandberg, makes $875,385 in salary, $902,740 in bonus, $19 million in stock awards, and $5 million in “other compensation” (which likely includes private jet travel and security). Facebook’s CTO, Mike Schroepfer, makes $785,385 in salary, $1.2 million in bonus, $19.6 million in stock awards, and around $52,000 in other compensation. 

That’s quite a bit of cash, obviously, but those executives have a hard couple years ahead of them as they attempt to navigate some extremely thorny technological and political issues. It seems likely that Facebook will look very different in a few years, as it tries to evolve to meet users’ needs while dodging government regulation—and if it wants to survive, it’ll need all the technology talent it can get.