Expert opinion: How the new normal has affected Tech Wages

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted almost every sector around the world. It’s changed the way we live, learn, and work. Today, most companies are hiring remote workers as a reflection of working from home becoming the new normal. As world-class companies are changing their work policies, for many employees, this is a dream come true with increased flexibility and freedom. But for others, working from home might become less attractive, driven by personal work-life balance factors, lowered salaries and diminished team communication

Tech wages have grown consistently year after year, and during the lockdown, with remote work being proven as effective, salaries increased and are still set to increase with the rules of the game changed. If you want to know more about the Covid-19 effect, here’s how wages in the tech industry have been affected by the new normal. 

Diversity and inclusion

The coronavirus pandemic has been an excellent opportunity for those who are looking to diversify more. The current situation has forced organizations to go out of their comfort zone and look for talent outside the UK or freshly-trained talent. Coding schools are offering online courses to enable unskilled professionals to get in the market. Online coding bootcamps have become very popular, and more people are now willing to get an online certificate. Exceptional coding schools like Thinkful and General Assembly have allowed professionals to stay relevant and land the job of their dreams. 

Despite many companies taking action to diversify more, Hired’s 2021 State of Salaries report showed that existing strategies are not making a meaningful impact. For example, the data shows that Black tech professionals are still on average offered lower salaries than white and Hispanic employees. In other words, if you seek to become a software engineer, your salary may depend on your race. 

Added compensation

Over the past few years, world-class companies have offered amazing perks and salaries to tech professionals. Nowadays, they are still doing it but, while more people work from home, employers have considered reducing in-office perks. To put it differently, those who enjoy on-site gym and spa benefits may get a new offer. They will probably get a higher salary if they want to keep a full-time remote position. On the other hand, some workers may experience a pay cut.

According to Hired’s report, more than half of tech employees would forgo added compensation if they keep a remote position. But 43 percent of surveyed candidates would expect to receive added compensation equal to their on-site benefits. Clearly, this is just the beginning of the remote era and companies are still rethinking their strategies. 

Remote work is here to stay and it has proven to increase productivity. Nonetheless, Hired’s report shows that more than 50 percent of tech professionals would prefer a part-time remote position over a full-time remote job.

Adjusted salaries

For many tech employees, working from home was a dream come true because they were able to get a great salary and move to a city with a lower cost of living. Imagine that you get a job in San Francisco and you move to a city in the UK. If you keep your SF salary, your net earnings would be significantly higher. This might become a reality only for some but some top-notch companies are already taking action. Facebook, for example, is adopting location-based policies to adjust offered salaries. As a result, no matter where you live, you will get a salary based on your location. 

The wage gap and the impact of expectations

Many people don’t believe that the wage gap is real. But, Hired’s State of Wage Inequality report has proven its still there and having a negative impact. The lack of transparency in the workplace has also affected tech professionals’ expectations. Tyin back to the previous example, Black tech professionals’ preferred salary is $9,000 lower than the preferred salary of their white counterparts. This is mirrored with gender also, with female professionals generally expecting lower salaries than men with the same role and job title. It is very discouraging for many people and it only proves that more action is needed.

To wrap up, the tech industry is transforming the world and there’s no doubt that salaries will continue to grow. However, the growth rate may decrease in the following years based on some of these trends. The need for tech professionals and new technologies will also continue to increase, so there remains a need to be ready for coming challenges, and an opportunity for those who want to start a new tech career. If you would like to become a software engineer or a web developer, take a look at Computer Science Hero that helps individuals find a career to fit their requirements. 


Written by Artur Meyster CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

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