A new report has found that Machine Learning Specialists typically have the highest paying jobs among developers in the UK and Ireland.
The Stack Overflow ‘Developer Hiring Landscape Report’, discovered that, on average, developers earn 45% above the national average, and Machine learning specialists earn 25% more than the average developer salary.
In 2016/17 the UK national average salary was £28,000 whereas developers enjoyed a much larger pay of £44,000. At the higher end of the scale the average Machine learning specialist could enjoy a salary of £56,000, and at the lower end graphic designers were paid £35,000 on average – still 20% above the national average.
The Stack Overflow report seems to confirm the findings of the Tech Nation 2017 report, which found that the UK digital economy is currently growing at a rate twice that of the rest of the country, with above average salaries and an increase in job positions.
Kevin Troy, Director of Insights at Stack Overflow, said: “This year’s Stack Overflow’s Developer Hiring Landscape Report is the most comprehensive survey of the developer workforce to date, with more than 4,700 responses from developers across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and more than 64,000 responses globally.”
“Today’s developers can earn almost twice the national average salary, despite many of them being self-taught, with only a few years of coding under their belts. This data should incentivise more young people to take up the rewarding challenge of software development.”
One of the possible conclusions as to why machine learning salaries are that much higher could be to do with demand, as well as skill. 73% of the 4,700 UK and Ireland respondents identified as web developers and a marginal 2.4% stated they were machine learning specialists.
According to Stack Overflow, a huge 94% of developers in the UK and Ireland are partially self-taught and believed that formal education was just one aspect of their education. 43% of those surveyed have a bachelor’s degree, and just 20% have a Master’s degree or higher.
In terms of how the developers view formal education, opinion was split, 64% believed that education was somewhat important to very important, and 36% thought that formal education was either not very important or not important at all.
Stack Overflow believe that the meteoric rise in free online courses and crash courses have been one way in which aspiring developers have been able to fast track their careers.