The technology jobs experiencing the biggest salary increases between 2019 and 2020 were those that helped organizations process and analyze data, digitize and innovate their product offerings, and ensure that their organizations remained efficient, profitable and, perhaps most importantly, safe and secure during the pandemic. That’s the conclusion of the latest Dice Salary Report, which exhaustively breaks down all the details about technologist compensation.
The widespread adoption of remote work resulted in widely dispersed networks and teams, with many employees working via their personal laptops and phones. This led to increased vulnerabilities, providing hackers with unprecedented opportunities to attack and breach defenses. In response, the need for skilled technologists to identify and plug these security holes saw Cybersecurity Analyst enjoy the largest growth in salary of any occupation (16.3 percent), rising from $88,663 in 2019 to $103,106 in 2020.
This increase outpaces the senior-level Cybersecurity Engineer, which only increased by 4.3 percent, suggesting that shortages in the cybersecurity space have led employers to increase their offers to junior-level technologists.
The prevalence of remote work likely also had an impact on Technical Support Engineer salaries, which rose from $63,420 in 2019 to $68,651 in 2020 (8.2 percent). As many organizations have reacted quickly to changing circumstances, the need to develop and implement long-term strategies has profited anyone working as a Business Analyst, a category where salaries also rose 5.3 percent, from $92,760 in 2019 to $97,633 in 2020.
Across nearly every industry, COVID-19 accelerated priorities with regard to digitization and digital transformation. Whereas e-commerce portals and digital offerings may have once been an afterthought for some organizations, the need for such features quickly became vital to organizational survival, particularly for brick-and-mortar stores that had to temporarily close their doors.
Driven by the need to rapidly retool digital stacks, Web Developer saw an average salary increase from $77,753 to $81,550 year-over-year (representing 4.9 percent growth). Similarly, the ubiquitous tech role of Software Developer saw an increase of 1.9 percent, from $109,198 in 2019 to $111,297 in 2020. Salaries for DevOps Engineer roles also grew 12.2 percent during the same period, from $102,606 to $115,125; companies seeking lower costs and faster product delivery have increasingly gravitated toward hiring DevOps specialists who can help teams innovate faster and become more efficient via DevOps best practices (such as continuous integration and delivery).
As the tech occupation with the highest salary in 2020 (aside from management positions like CIO, CTO, VP, and Director), salaries for Systems Architect roles increased 1.7 percent, reaching $140,658. This comes as many businesses have increasingly relied on these technologists to reduce technical debt by designing more modern platforms that enable innovation. Not far behind, Cloud Engineer roles grew 6.3 percent from 2019 to an average salary of $136,479, underscoring the increasing importance and ubiquity of the cloud.
Overall, average technologist salaries in the U.S. increased 3.6 percent between 2019 and 2020, hitting $97,859. Download the Dice Salary Report for more on the highest-paying tech professions and cities.