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How to Map Your Education to High-Demand Developer Jobs

How to Map Your Education to High-Demand Developer Jobs

Published on February 1, 2017

Chief Operations Officer at Coder Camps


Whether your working as a developer or finding your start, the road ahead has never looked brighter. But how do you navigate the overwhelming options of technologies and roles? How can you ensure that, regardless of your experience, your next step is a big one in the right direction? Read on to better understand the technologies that are in high demand and low supply.

You likely know Stack Overflow as a place to ask questions and find jobs. The programmer community is a great resource for both of those need and interestingly, they also ask questions of their developers once a year to gain insight on the year ahead. In 2016, the fourth annual developer survey looked at technologies we love, hate, wish we used and which ones represent the highest paying jobs. More than 50,000 responses from around the globe were tabulated and show some pretty strong opinions on the life of a developer.

(If you’d like to weigh in on the annual survey, data collection for 2017 is now open and can be completed here. Results will be published in late March.)

For as long as the survey has been running, JavaScript has been the most popular technology and that did not change in 2016. Node.JS and Angular are on the rise while PHP continues its decline. Rust, Swift and F# are the top three most loved and (not surprisingly) more developers ‘dread’ using Visual Basic and WordPress than anything else.

Respondents also said cloud technologies represent the highest paying jobs – with Spark and Scala users making an average of $125k annually. When categorized by occupation (full-stack, front-end, mathematics and mobile) the highest paying jobs are for developers who associate with Cloud hosting, React and Redis for positions that pay $105k annually.

Best Jobs in America

The 2016 Stack Overflow developer survey is a nice benchmark for current programmers, and provides important insight on rising technology tools for aspiring developers. Especially when you line that up with the 50 Best Jobs in America which was just released by another popular job search resource, Glassdoor. For 2017, the top three ‘best jobs’ as determined by job openings, salary and job satisfaction are, in order: data scientist, DevOps engineers and data engineer.

We don’t yet have this year’s results from Stack Overflow but it will be interesting to see how well developers’ self-reporting lines up with 2017 job availability, salary and satisfaction as compiled by GlassDoor. But for individual software engineers, survey information is a goldmine that can help you map your education to high paying, enjoyable careers without wasting time and brain power on technology tools that are on their way out.

To ensure there are no gaps between your current education plan and the high paying job you seek, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Align your learning strategy to the technical skills that are in high demand and low supply.
  2. Pursue learning options with an emphasis on effective outcomes, not just a collection of materials.
  3. Don’t over plan your learning; the best approach is to start building something and adapt as you discover.

Best Cities to Work

This is where it gets inspiring…if you’re thinking big. Along with mapping the top 50 best jobs in America, Glassdoor also publishes the top 25 cities to work based on the geography’s opportunity to get hired, cost of living and work/life balance. The good news for rising software engineers is depending upon the specific job role you’re working toward, you have opportunities in nine of the top ten markets. Hot jobs in these cities include software engineer, solutions architect, web designer, UI-UX designer and others.

2017 is a great time to be a software engineer. Never before have there been so many exciting opportunities. Good luck charting your course!


Chris Coleman has been building exceptional software teams and award winning products over his 15 year career spanning education, healthcare and transportation sectors.

Follow Chris on Twitter: @chrisecoleman
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