Software Engineering Statistics: 21 Figures You Should Know About

Software engineering encompasses the development of computer system software and application software. The main principles of software engineering are designing, developing, testing, maintaining, and evaluating computer software. So, if you’re interested in software engineering statistics, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

Top Software Engineering Statistics: Editor’s Choice

  • There are 4.3 million software engineers in the US.
  • One of the most famous software engineers is the creator of XML, Tim Bray.
  • Only 10% of software engineers are part-time employees.
  • 73% of software engineers have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Only 22% of all software engineers are female.

General Software Engineering Facts

Software engineering is currently in high demand due to an ever-increasing need for new software and mobile applications. On the other hand, people are drawn to software engineering due to good salaries and low unemployment rates. Knowing all this, here are some general stats and facts about software engineers.

1. The average base software engineer salary in the US is $120,000 a year.

The average additional cash compensation for a software engineer is $14,649, which makes the total compensation for a software engineer in the US $134,588. Furthermore, the lowest salaries for software engineers can be around $36,000, and the highest salaries can go up to $265,000 per year.

2. The unemployment rate for software engineers was only 1.9% in 2019.

Other than a slight rise from 2014 to 2016, when the unemployment rate was 2.1% to 2.3%, the unemployment rate for software engineers has slowly been decreasing since 2010, when it stood at 4.6%.

3. As of 2021, there are 4.3 million software engineers in the US.

The answer to “how many software engineers are there in the US” is a complicated one. The actual number is closer to 3.4 million people in the US because the 4.3 million we previously mentioned includes hardware engineers, CAD programmers, and others whose job is reading code on a daily basis.  

4. The top-paying metropolitan area in the US is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, with an average annual salary of $145,730.

The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA area is a very close second, with an average annual salary of $145,250. Third place goes to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA area, with a yearly salary of $134,090. According to software engineering statistics, the fourth place goes to the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA area, with an average annual salary of $122,230. And lastly, the fifth place goes to Battle Creek, MI, with an annual average wage of $121,160. 

5. The most used programming language worldwide as of 2021 is JavaScript, with 64.96% of developers and engineers using it.

The second most used programming language is HTML/CSS, with 56.07% of programmers using it. After that, we have Python with a 48.24% share and SQL with a 47.08% share.

6. One of the interesting facts about software engineering is that in 2020 and 2019, with 58% demand, the backend was the most sought-after role in the field.

The second most sought-after role was full-stack development, with 57% of dedicated companies looking for specialists in the field. Front-end developers came next with 30% demand. These numbers come from more than 10,000 companies and 245,000 job seekers in North America and Europe. 

7. The top-paying non-metro area is the North Valley-Northern Mountains Region of CA, with an average annual salary of $125,010.

The second highest software engineer salary in non-metro areas is in West Central-Southwest New Hampshire, with an annual amount of $115,990. The third area on the list is Southwest Colorado, with a yearly salary of $113,280. Western Washington is fourth with $111,910, followed by Hawaii/Kauai, with a yearly salary of $111,740.

8. In 2020, 69% of US employers struggled to fill positions, with tech positions being among the most challenging roles to fill.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the American tech market. Since it accelerated the digitization process, 92% of companies increased their cloud workloads. That resulted in a demand for a larger number of software engineers in the US. 

9. The most numerous subspeciality of software engineers is frontend developers, with a talent pool of over 463,000 members.

Mobile app development comes next with more than 224,000 members, followed by quality assurance with more than 220,000 members. Furthermore, software engineering facts show that infrastructure and cloud devs are fourth on the list with around 175,000 members. The fifth category includes embedded and application devs with approximately 58,000 members, followed by machine learning and data science with 56,000 members.

10. Tim Bray, who made the developer’s tool XML, is one of the most famous software engineers.

While we can’t say that there is a single best software engineer in the world, we can say for sure that this list has some of the best engineers the world has ever seen:

  • Paul Buchheit developed the webmail service Gmail.
  • John Carmack developed the computer games Doom and Quake.
  • Dave Cutler developed Windows NT.
  • Max Levchin created PayPal.
  • Pierre Omidyar created eBay.
  • Alexey Pazhitnov developed the computer game Tetris.
  • Jimmy Wales made Wikipedia.
  • Michael Widenius made the open-source database MySQL.
  • Jamie Zawinski developed the web browser Netscape Navigator.

If you want to know how an average person in the field lives, read about one day in the life of a software engineer.

11. There were over 26.2 million software developers in 2020.

To further answer the question, “how many software engineers are there in the world,” we have these stats that show that out of all software developers, 13.5 million were full-time devs, 7.8 million were part-time devs, and 4.9 million were non-compensated devs. This statistic also shows that application developers account for 72.3% of full-time and 26.2% of part-time developers.

Conversely, infrastructure developers account for 27.7% of full-time and 73.8% of part-time developers. As of 2022, only 10% of software engineers are part-time employees. Therefore, as software engineering statistics show, a vast majority of software engineers work as full-time employees.

12. As of 2021, the most sought-after cloud platform is AWS, with 40.35% of devs expressing interest in using this technology.

Google Cloud ranked second, with 22.6% of software developers wanting to work with it. Microsoft Azure is next with 21.12%, followed by Digital Ocean with 8.46% of developers wanting to work with that technology. Furthermore, we have Heroku with 7.31%, IBM Cloud or Watson with 3.24%, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with 2.6% of people interested in developing with that technology.

13.  Germany has 901,000 software developers.

These are the number of software developers by country in Europe:

  • 849,000 developers in the UK
  • 533,000 developers in France
  • 412,000 developers in Russia
  • 323,000 developers in Spain
  • 20,000 developers in The Netherlands
  • 314,000 developers in Italy
  • 295,000 developers in Poland
  • 200,000 developers in Ukraine 
  • 179,000 developers in Sweden

14. Employment for software engineers, developers, analysts, and testers is projected to grow by 22% from 2020 to 2030. 

This growth is much faster than the average for most other jobs. This means that the software engineer job growth and opportunities will be plentiful, with over 189,200 job positions for developers, testers, and analysts opening every year. Some job opportunities will result from people switching jobs or retiring. 

15. The most sought-after software engineers are those that specialize in machine learning and data science.

The demand for this specialization is very high, but there is a low talent supply. That means that if you specialize in machine learning and data science, it would be easy for you to find a job in the current market. Furthermore, the software engineer employment rate for this specialization is favorable for another reason—the average salary is $129,000 a year. 

16. The top programming tool for all developers is Visual Studio, with 46.2% of developers using it in their projects.

Sublime Text is a close second, with 38.5% of developers using it. GitHub is the third favorite, with 23.1% of all developers using this web-hosting software, followed by WebStorm, with 15.4% of developers using it. Finally, software development statistics for 2022 round up the five most used software with Ruby on Rails, with only 7.7% of developers using it.

17. In 2021, the enterprise application software market made $271 billion worldwide.

This statistic shows that the global software market has been steadily growing since 2017 when the revenue was $172.1 billion. This survey also shows that global revenue will almost double by 2025, reaching an estimated $421 billion.   

Software Engineering Demographics

Software engineering is a male-dominated industry, like most jobs in STEM, but women are more and more interested in jobs in this field. So, from this global developer population and demographic study, you will be able to see all the different demographics and how software engineers fit into them.

18. 73% of software engineers have a bachelor’s degree.

The second most common degree is a master’s degree, with 20% of all engineers having that level of education. Furthermore, 4% of all software engineers have an associate’s degree, 1% have a high school diploma, and 2% have other degrees. 

19. 22% of software engineers are women.

With the remaining 78% being male, it shows that this field is male-dominated. Furthermore, software engineer statistics also show that women earn 92¢ for every $1 earned by a man.

20. The average age of a software engineer is 34–44.

A very close second is the 25–34 age group, accounting for 36.6% of people employed as software engineers. Statistics further show that the majority of software engineers are in the 34–44 age range. Finally, 45–54-year-olds account for 16.2% of software engineers. 

21. Software engineer demographics show that 52.3% of all software engineers in the US are White. 

Moreover, 33% of all software engineers in the US are Asian, 6.9% are Hispanic, 4.9% are African American, 0.1% are American Indian and Alaska Native people, and 2.8% are classified as Unknown. 

Software Engineering Statistics: Our Takeaway

Software engineers are in high demand, especially in some fields like machine learning and data science. Although more and more women are interested in STEM positions, software engineering statistics show that this field is still very much male-dominated. Furthermore, with high starting salaries and fantastic job prospects, software engineering will only grow in the next decade.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of software engineers have master’s degrees?

In the United States, 20% of software engineers have a master’s degree. The majority of software engineers have a bachelor’s degree, which is 73% according to the latest statistics. 

What is the average salary of software engineers? 

The average base salary of software engineers in the United States is $119,939, with an additional $14,649, bringing the total compensation for a software engineer in the US to $134,588.

How old are software engineers at Google?

Google’s software engineering statistics show that the average age of all its employees is 29. What is interesting about this is that the average age of programmers in the United States is 42.8. Therefore, Google’s workforce is younger than average.