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The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the market for software engineers will grow by 22 percent between 2012 and 2022, significantly higher than the average for all occupations in the U.S. Given the strong demand, employers should expect to see increasing software engineer salaries, which, according to the 2015 Dice Tech Salary Survey, averages $101,941 across the U.S.

Not surprisingly, software engineering is set to be one of the most influential roles in the world economy. But with demand for software engineers growing and salaries reaching all-time highs, we took a look at our own data to figure out which software engineering skills are most in demand.

What we discovered wasn’t just a list of top skills, but rather a software engineer skills gap. Our data from more than 350,000 software engineering applicants show that the top skills applicants had were not always the same top skills that employers hired for. Take a look at the results below.

Top 10 Skills of Software Engineer Applicants

Of the applicants who submitted their resume for a software engineer position, these are the top 10 skills those applicants listed.

C—55.7%
JavaScript—50.9%
Java—44.2%
HTML—38.6%
CSS—37%
SQL—34%
MySQL—32.4%
jQuery—30.2%
PHP—29.3%
XML—23%

Now, compare those skills against the top 10 skills that hired software engineers had:

Top 10 Skills of Hired Software Engineers

JavaScript—64.9%
CSS—56.1%
jQuery—49.1%
Web development—43.9%
PHP—43.9%
HTML—43.9%
Java—40.4%
SQL—38.6%
MySQL—38.6%
Git—35.1%

The lists look similar enough, but when you compare the percent of applicants who have the particular skill to the percent of hired applicants with the same skill, what’s revealed is a near-ubiquitous skills gap across those skills that employers have hired for.

Software Engineer Skills Gap

In fact, there’s just one “surplus” skill—Java. In Java’s case, 44.2 percent of all software engineering applicants had this skill compared to 40.4 percent of hired applicants, indicating that employers may value it less (or applicants may have a background in it whether it’s explicitly needed or not).

Other skills like Git, an open source version control system, and web development, a more general skill associated with writing markup and code, indicate a deeper shortage in the market.

While 35.1 percent of software engineers were hired with Git experience, just 17.1 percent of all applicants claimed this skill. As with web development, 43.9 percent of hired software engineers had it while only 22 percent of total applicants did. Maybe it’s time to brush up on (or learn) these higher-demand skills.

The Upshot

If you’re looking to hire software engineers or any technology role (and you likely are), keep up-to-date on both salary trends and skills trends to make sure you’re able to compete for the best talent.

 

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