• Login
  • Get Started
Back to Blog

Tech Industry Insights: US 2018-2023 Salaries and Industry Employment Trends


Employment trends in the Information Technology (IT)1 sector offer rich insights when juxtaposed with the evolving trends from Codesmith’s Software Engineering Immersive data.2 We delved into the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)3 data and the median salaries of graduate data to uncover the nuanced interplay between salary and industry employment trends.

IT Job Dynamics: A Deep Dive

IT Industry

  • Period of Growth (Q1 2017 - Q3 2019): From Q1 2017 to Q3 2019, IT job openings exhibited high growth, moving from 244K to 470K. This 92.6% increase over two years underscores the industry's consistent demand for tech professionals. Concurrently, IT sector employee resignation remained relatively stable, hovering around 140K. This stability suggests a content workforce, with limited external factors prompting job switches.
  • Pandemic Disruptions (Q2 2019 - Q2 2020): The period from Q2 2019 to Q2 2020 witnessed a seismic shift. Employee resignation within the IT industry plummeted by 35.3%, dropping to below 100K. This decline might be attributed to the uncertainties introduced by the pandemic,4 with professionals opting for job security over potential opportunities.
  • Resurgence (Q1 2022): The aftermath of the pandemic saw a dramatic surge in IT job openings, peaking at 747K in Q1 2022 – a staggering 155.8% increase from pandemic levels. Employee resignation also rebounded, albeit modestly, in this period (now referred to as the Great Resignation5) indicating that professionals were leveraging the booming market to transition to better opportunities, and ultimately to better paying jobs.
  • Stabilization in 2022-2023: Post the explosive growth, both job openings and resignations began to stabilize, with resignations reverting to pre-pandemic levels and openings settling slightly above their pre-pandemic numbers.

Quarterly Base Salary Analysis

Median Base Salary per Quarter

  • A Year of Steady Trends (2018): The median observed base salary for 2018 was $110K throughout quarters 2-4, with no fluctuation across these quarters. The unwavering trend across the three-quarters signifies a stable market demand for graduates throughout 2018.
  • Perseverance and Global Obstacles (Q1 2019 - Q4 2020): Between 2019 and 2020, the median observed base salary showcased a blend of stability and resilience. In 2019, the median base salary fluctuated quarter-by-quarter between $115K and $120K. These fluctuations may be attributed to various factors, including market dynamics and inflation. The growth between 2018 and 2019 mirrors the stable demand for IT professionals during this period as illustrated above. In the face of obstacles, base salary stood firm the first three quarters of 2020. Base salaries during this period hovered steadily around $120K. However, by the year’s end, the broader implications of the pandemic began to surface, nudging the median salary back to the prior level of $115K observed in Q4 of 2019.
  • Climb and Stabilization (Q1 2021 - Q3 2023): Emerging from Q4 2020 lows, the subsequent periods saw the highest levels of quarter-over-quarter growth of base salary since the start of 2018. In just 5 quarters, the median base salaries had a 17.4% growth rate at the peak in Q1 2022, highlighting the IT industry's swift resurgence. As 2022 progressed, market stabilization became evident. The median base salary fell slightly by 3.7% the subsequent 2 quarters. The first quarter of 2023 saw $110K base salary. This corresponds to a 8.3% decrease from the previous quarter. Nevertheless, the following quarters showcased a revitalized growth trajectory. Quarter 2 of 2023 experienced a 4.5% increase to $115K. This upward trend was further accentuated in Q3, reaching $122.4K, a 6.4% increase quarter-over-quarter.

2023 Compensation Analysis

Bonus Compensation Base Salary

Breakdown of 2023 Compensation Beyond Base Salary

2023 Salary Dynamics Base & Bonus

With the backdrop of 2023’s market stabilization, we dissected the 2023 median values associated with bonus compensation and base salary to derive key insights about current compensation dynamics. Bonus compensation was subjected to rigorous scrutiny. It is important to explain that while elements such as stock options, equity, and RSUs have been methodically excluded due to their intricate valuation complexities, our methodology was anchored in the aggregation of quantifiable bonus figures. Our observations for 2023 indicate a median base salary of $115K. However, it’s in the realm of bonuses and additional compensation where the landscape becomes multifaceted: 

  • Over 60% of offers in 2023 include bonus compensation. Direct cash bonuses accounted for 26% of bonuses. The median base salary for this group was $110K, and an average of $118K. This disparity between the median and average points to a diverse salary distribution, suggesting that while many earn around the median, there are also individuals with significantly higher earnings, thus elevating the average.
  • Moreover, approximately 14.7% of bonuses were in the form of percent bonus and profit share. This signifies that a substantial share of 2023 workplaces value a collaborative and productive working environment. This group saw a $105K median salary and an average salary of $111.9K.
  • Approximately 19.4% received stocks, equity, options, and RSUs (Restricted Stock Units). This emphasizes the industry’s strategy of directly linking individual rewards to the company’s sustained growth and performance. Within this group of graduates, the median base salary was $125K, indicating a higher median salary compared to other bonus structures.
  • Approximately 37.6% did not receive additional compensation. This group, despite not receiving bonus compensation upon signing, had a median base salary of $110K, and an average salary of $111.6K in 2023. 

Synthesis and Implications

The data presents a compelling narrative of the tech industry's resilience and adaptability. The correlation between IT job dynamics and Codesmith graduate salaries is noteworthy. The post-pandemic surge in IT job openings directly correlated with an increased demand for skilled professionals, resulting in higher salaries in the market. As the IT industry navigates a phase of salary normalization, a data-centric examination is essential to discern overarching patterns. 

For tech professionals and industry stakeholders, these trends underscore the importance of agility and continuous upskilling. In an industry marked by rapid technological advancements and external disruptions, the ability to adapt and evolve remains paramount, especially as job growth predictions for the IT sector remain strong.6 In the 2023 compensation analysis, we observed that many companies are using bonus and other types of compensation beyond base salary to attract and incentivize top talent and to adapt to these dynamic conditions.

We received raw data2 from Codesmith to enable this study. We analyzed data based on ‘date of offer’ rather than ‘date of graduation’ and included all first offers received, which was more pertinent to our industry analysis. Council for Integrity of Results Reporting is expected to publish Codesmith outcomes results in Fall 2023.

1 “Industries at a Glance: Information: NAICS 51,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag51.htm.

The data analyzed was from a survey of graduates who received their first offers post-Software Engineering Immersive. The survey tracked graduates with offers from 2018 - 2023. The sample size was 1830 graduates. For the 2023 compensation analysis section, the sample size was 259 responses.

3 “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS),” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/jlt/.

4 Elissa El Khawli, Anita C. Keller, Maximilian Agostini, Ben Gützkow, Jannis Kreienkamp, N. Pontus Leander, Susanne Scheibe, The rise and fall of job insecurity during a pandemic: The role of habitual coping, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 139, 2022, 103792, ISSN 0001-8791, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2022.103792.

5 Parker, Kim and Juliana Menasce Horowitz, “Majority of workers who quit a job in 2021 cite low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected,” Pew Research Center, March 9, 2022.

 6 Computer and Information Technology Occupations,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Last Modified September 6, 2023.