Demand For Web Developers Grows in The Big Apple

By BrainStation September 17, 2018
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In case you haven’t heard, these are good days for New York City’s ever-expanding tech scene. Already home to a wide variety of locally grown tech and media companies – including FourSquare, Kickstarter, Blue Apron, Buzzfeed, FanDuel, Etsy, Warby Parker, WeWork, Vox Media, and Refinery 29 – tech giants like Facebook and Google are now also opening new offices in New York. 

And as all these companies move in and develop, the competition for local talent, and in particular web developers, has grown more intense. In fact, it’s been suggested that a “shortage of educated, experienced tech workers has led to a recruitment war” among companies looking to scoop up top talent. 

Here are some reasons why New York’s unique tech sector is creating opportunities for web developers.

New York’s Tech Scene is Diverse

To understand the developer crunch, it’s important to consider the complexion of New York’s tech industry.

There are now 7,500 New York-based tech companies – defined as companies whose main business is tech and its applications – employing 120,000 people, which is 60 percent more than a decade ago. That boost was powered by $38.4 billion in investment from accelerators, incubators, and educational institutions.

What stands out beyond the immensity of the growth is that – unlike the heavily start-up focused Silicon Valley – New York offers a stunning variety of tech companies looking for talent.

As just one example, New York has become one of the world’s most dynamic digital media markets in the last decade, with media startups including BuzzFeed, Vox Media, and Vice Media helping to generate more than $923 million in investment funding in four years leading up to 2017.

According to the 2016 NYC Startup Report, the fastest-growing sectors are business-to-business, consumer web, HealthTech, and FinTech, but the rise in consumer web, ride-sharing services, and big data companies also can’t be ignored.

In other words, all manners of tech companies are looking to do business in New York, and the number is only growing with increasing investment.

According to a 2018 study, New York-based start-ups raised $11.5 billion in venture capital in 2017, which is a whopping $8.9 billion more than in 2012. With that, New York surpassed San Francisco and the North Bay Area for top spot.

To put that in further perspective, 36 percent of all U.S. funding for tech companies in April 2017 was raised by New York-based companies.

With all of that money flowing in, it makes sense that salaries for Developers in New York are accordingly high. Front-End Web Developers, for example, make 20 percent above the U.S. average ($111,728), while Senior Front-End Web Developers average $142,940, 19 percent above the national norm.

Developers Are Hard to Find Everywhere – but Especially in NYC

Recently, Indeed reported that Front-End Developers were the second most-difficult job in tech to fill, with Full-Stack Developers coming in at the fourth hardest to fill. Meanwhile, the U.S. Bureau of Labor forecasts that the job market for Web Developers will grow another 15 percent by 2026. Already, Mondo’s annual Tech and Digital Marketing Salary guide lists “Web Developer” as the most in-demand title in digital marketing.

The scene is no different in New York.

According to CBRE’s 2018 Tech Talent Report, the number of Developers in New York grew 21.8 percent over the period covered – the highest rate of growth of any tech category – while average wages rose 18.1 percent, to $112,172.

Even with that growth, New York has relatively few Web Developers compared to the country’s other biggest tech hotspots.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the metropolitan New York City area has 10,240 Developers, which is the most in the country due to the sheer size of the market but amounts to only 1.53 Developers per thousand jobs. That’s far behind tech hubs like Seattle (2.85), San Francisco (3.46), and San Jose (2.17). The government’s “location quotient” measure, which compares the local concentration of employment to the national average, further illustrates how few Developers there are working in the Big Apple at the moment – New York City doesn’t even make the Top 10, lagging far behind San Francisco, Seattle, and Madison, WI.

It’s clear more web development talent is needed in New York.

New York Need More Developers, but the Developers it has are Talented

An analysis by HackerRank confirmed that New York might be lagging behind other parts of the country in terms of hiring Developers – as a state, New York was 33rd out of 51 states in year-over-year growth in quantity of Developers – but the quality of that talent was top-notch. The study found that New York’s Developers were the best of any East Coast state.

If you’re a Developer hoping to get your skills up to snuff – or if you want to dive freshly into a booming field – there are a number of certification courses and digital skills training options available to upgrade your skill set. BrainStation, for example, offers full-time and part-time Web Development courses at our SoHo campus in New York (as well as Toronto and Vancouver) and online.