Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Computer and IT jobs reported a median annual wage of $104,420 in May 2023.
  • In 2022, 108,503 college graduates earned bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences.
  • Tech majors earn a median annual salary of $90,000.

The tech industry drives much of the U.S. economy, with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation reporting that more than one-third of U.S. economic growth comes from tech sectors. And according to the International Trade Administration, the U.S. is home to one-third of the global IT market.

Tech encompasses diverse areas, from software development and cybersecurity to electronics manufacturing and fintech. And a computer science or information technology degree opens the door to many high-paying, in-demand career paths. Compared with other industries, tech reports higher salaries, faster growth and greater job satisfaction.

Is it the right time to pursue a job in tech? Let’s break it down by the numbers.

Tech Industry Jobs

The tech industry continues to report above-average wages and high demand. In addition to median annual salaries of more than double the national median for all occupations, computer and IT jobs will see more than four times as much job growth over the next decade.

Demand for Computer and Information Technology Jobs To Grow Much Faster Than Average in Coming Decade[ ]

  • A projected 377,500 computer and IT positions will open each year from 2022 to 2032.[ ]
  • The fastest-growing jobs in this industry are:
    • Information security analysts (projected 32% growth from 2022–32)[ ]
    • Software developers, quality assurance analysts and testers (projected 25% growth)[ ]
    • Computer and information research scientists (projected 23% growth)[ ]

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 3% growth among all U.S. occupations from 2022 to 2032. In contrast, computer and information technology jobs are expected to see a 14% projected job growth.[ ]

Among the fastest-growing tech careers, information security analysts will see 16,800 annual job openings over the next decade, while software developers and similar professionals will see 153,900 annual job openings.[ ],[ ] These fields, in which a bachelor’s degree meets entry-level job requirements, will see high demand due to an expansion of automation applications and an increase in cyber threats.

$104,420: Median Annual Wage Among Computer and IT Jobs[ ]

Tech professionals earn some of the highest wages of any occupational group, reporting a median annual salary of more than $104,000. That’s significantly higher than the median annual salary for all jobs, which reached $48,060 in May 2023.

The highest-paying tech jobs include computer scientist, software developer, computer network architect and information security analyst. These professionals all earn median wages exceeding $120,000 per year.

4,921,100: Number of Employees in Computer Occupations[ ]

Close to 5 million people work in computer occupations, according to the BLS. That number will grow to 5.6 million by 2032, the BLS projects.

The largest employers of tech professionals include the tech, finance and information industries and the government.

14.2%: Projected Growth in Employment for Computer Occupations from 2022 to 2032[ ]

The tech industry is growing much faster than average when compared to all occupations nationwide. While computer occupations will see a 14.2% job growth from 2022 to 2032, all occupations will grow by just 3%.

Some of the fastest-growing industries for tech workers include renewable power generation, electrical equipment manufacturing, information services and computer systems design.

24%: Share of Total U.S. Workforce Employed in STEM Fields[ ]

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans works in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. With tech jobs reporting faster-than-average growth, and multiple industries showing an increasing reliance on tech, the share of workers in STEM will likely increase in the future.

64%: Percentage of Tech Workers Who Report Being Satisfied With Their Jobs[ ]

Tech workers report higher job satisfaction than other workers, according to the PwC 2023 global workforce survey. While 56% of all respondents said they were satisfied with their jobs, a higher 64% of tech employees reported job satisfaction.

College Degrees in Tech

Most tech jobs require a college degree, and the number of college graduates majoring in computer and information sciences continues to grow. These graduates report significantly higher salaries than the median for all majors.

108,503: Number of Computer and Information Sciences Bachelor’s Degrees Conferred in the 2021–22 Academic Year[ ]

In 1965, just 87 college graduates earned a bachelor’s degree in computer and information science. By the 2010s, the number of undergrads majoring in tech ranged from 43,000 to 88,000, with the number topping 100,000 for the first time in 2021.

More than 108,000 college graduates earned degrees in computer and information science in 2022, a 3.5% increase over the previous year.

22.6%: Share of Computer and Information Science Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded to Women in 2021–22[ ]

  • The number of women who earned computer and information science bachelor’s degrees increased by nearly 80% between 2016–17 and 2021–22.
  • The number of these degrees awarded to men increased by only 45.4% in that same time period.
  • Women earned larger shares of computer and information science master’s degrees (34%) and doctoral degrees (25.7%) in 2021–22.

Men continue to make up a disproportionate share of computer and information science majors. In 2022, women represented just 22.6% of these majors.

While the number of women majoring in tech has grown significantly between 2017 and 2022, women actually made up a larger share of tech majors decades ago. In the 1980s, women made up 30% or more of computer and information science majors every year.

Women see better representation at the graduate level than the undergraduate level, with 34% of master’s degrees and nearly 26% of doctoral degrees in this field awarded to women.

$90,000: Median Annual Wage Among Computer and IT Degree Holders[ ]

Earning a computer and IT degree pays off. Graduates report a median annual wage of $90,000, which is significantly higher than the median for all fields of $63,000. Tech majors are also less likely to earn a graduate degree––30% hold an advanced degree, compared with 38% for all majors.

72%: Percentage of Computer and IT Degree Holders Employed in Jobs Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree[ ]

Many tech careers do not require a graduate degree, but these roles are highly likely to require a bachelor’s at minimum. In total 72% of tech majors work in jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, compared with 62% of all majors.

Computer Science Is the Most Popular Computer and IT Concentration[ ]

  • Followed by:
    • Computer and information systems
    • Information sciences
    • Computer administration management and security
    • Computer networking and telecommunications

Within the broad umbrella of computer and information technology degrees, computer science is the most popular focus area. In 2021, more than 60% of tech majors earned computer science degrees. The five most popular concentrations, listed above, make up 98% of all computer and IT degrees.

Computer and Math Occupations: Most Common Field of Employment for Computer and IT Degree Holders[ ]

  • Followed by:
    • Management occupations
    • Business and financial operations occupations
    • Office and administrative support occupations
    • Sales and related occupations

Unsurprisingly, most computer and IT majors work in computer occupations. However, other industries, including management and finance, also employ large numbers of tech majors. While 78% of tech majors work in the fields listed above, the rest work in other fields.

Tech Industry Career Outlook[ ],[ ]

The career outlook for tech workers is strong. Breaking down the overall 14.2% projected job growth by occupation indicates particularly strong demand for developers and analysts; these roles require a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions.

Nearly every tech occupation reports positive job growth projections, with computer programmers the only job with negative projected job growth. That’s because programming work increasingly uses automation tools that require fewer programmers.

However, that offers an opportunity for tech workers in analytical and developer roles. Web developers and software developers both report strong growth, as do information security analysts and computer systems analysts.

Artificial Intelligence and Technology

How will AI change the tech industry? The power of AI has already changed how many tech companies operate, but there’s still room for immense growth in this field.

13.8%: Percentage of U.S. Businesses in the Information Sector Using AI[ ]

While AI has made headlines for the past few years, a relatively small share of businesses say they use AI to produce goods and services. Among businesses in the information sector, 13.8% say they use AI.

However, across sectors a higher percentage of businesses report that they plan to adopt AI in the next six months. In information, 21.8% of companies project adding AI capabilities in the near future. Similarly, 9.1% of professional, technical and scientific services businesses use AI, while 15.2% project they will adopt AI in the next six months.

$500 Billion: Projected Worldwide Spending on AI Solutions by 2027[ ]

IT spending will shift in the coming years, with AI making up a significant share of core IT spending, according to International Data Corporation. In addition to projecting $500 billion in worldwide spending on AI in 2027, IDC expects the world’s largest companies to devote over 40% of their IT spend to AI.

73%: Percentage of U.S. Companies That Have Adopted AI in Some Capacity[ ]

While a smaller fraction of companies use AI to produce goods and services, a much larger share use AI in some capacity. Today, 73% of U.S. companies use AI in some manner, according to PwC’s 2023 emerging technology survey.

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT have the largest footprint, with 54% of companies reporting that they use GenAI.

52%: Percentage of Employed U.S. Adults Concerned About AI Replacing Them at Work[ ]

Americans have reservations about the rise of AI. Just 39% said that AI is safe and secure in a 2023 study, down nine points from 2022. And 78% worry about the use of AI for malicious purposes.

Finally, when it comes to work, many Americans fear that AI could negatively impact their jobs. More than half of employed adults in the U.S. say they’re concerned about AI replacing them at work.

Diversity in Tech

Diversity in tech is a persistent challenge for the industry. White, Asian and male employees are more highly represented in tech, while women, African American and Hispanic employees make up a smaller share of the industry.

White Employees Are More Highly Represented in Tech Careers Than Other Careers[ ]

By comparing representation in the tech sector with overall representation in the workforce, the data shows that white employees are over-represented.

White and Asian American employees are generally overrepresented in tech. While white employees make up 63.5% of the overall private workforce, they represent 68.5% of the tech sector. And while Asian American professionals make up 5.8% of the private workforce, they hold 14% of tech jobs.

African American and Hispanic workers are underrepresented in tech, making up a smaller percentage of the tech workforce than the overall private sector.

Similarly, men make up 52% of the private workforce but 64% of tech workers, while women hold 48% of private jobs but just 36% of tech jobs. The gender gap worsens at the executive level, where 80% are men and 20% are women, compared with 71% to 29% in the overall private sector.

65%: Share of STEM Jobs Occupied by Men[ ]

  • Men are employed at a higher rate in STEM fields than women, at 65% vs. 35%, respectively.
  • Comparatively, the total workforce comprises 52% men and 48% women.
  • Twenty-nine percent of men work in STEM jobs, compared with 18% of women.

Looking at the STEM workforce more broadly, women continue to hold a disproportionately low share of jobs. In 2021, men held nearly two-thirds of STEM jobs, while women held the remaining one-third. That represents a 3% increase from 2011.

Women’s Employment Rate in STEM Is Growing at a Faster Rate Than Men’s[ ]

While women make up a smaller share of STEM workers, the number of women in STEM continues to expand. In 2011, 9.4 million women worked in STEM, a number that grew 31% to 12.3 million by 2021.

In comparison, men held 19.7 million STEM jobs in 2011 and 22.6 million STEM jobs in 2021, representing 15% growth.

24%: Percentage of Tech Workers Who Reported Experiencing Racial Discrimination in 2022[ ]

Discrimination is a problem in tech, with 24% of tech workers saying they have experienced racial discrimination. Further, 53% of Black tech professionals said racial inequality occurs often at work, with only 18% saying inequality occurs rarely or never. In contrast, 37% of white tech workers believe inequality is rare or nonexistent in the industry.

26%: Percentage of Tech Workers Who Reported Experiencing Gender Discrimination in 2022[ ]

The underrepresentation of women in tech correlates with more than 1 in 4 tech workers reporting gender discrimination. While 51% of women in tech saw gender inequality in their industry, just 30% of men agreed. Further, 38% of men categorized gender inequality as rare or nonexistent, compared with 22% of women.

The Bottom Line

The tech industry continues to post strong salary and employment numbers. With a bachelor’s degree meeting the entry-level educational requirement for most career paths in the industry, tech is an attractive option for undergraduates entering the workforce.

However, before investing in a computer or information sciences degree, consider which fields report the strongest growth and the challenges of breaking into the tech industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Tech Industry Stats

Is the tech industry doing well?

Yes, the tech industry continues to expand. More than 4.9 million Americans work in computer occupations, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the industry is expected to see a 14.2% projected job growth from 2022 to 2032.

How big is the tech industry?

The tech industry employs more than 4.9 million Americans, the BLS reports, and the global IT market is a $5 trillion sector, according to the International Trade Administration. Tech makes up more than 10% of the U.S. economy.

Is the tech industry oversaturated?

The tech industry continues to evolve, with many fields seeing strong job growth projections. However, the BLS expects the number of computer programmer jobs to shrink over the next decade, indicating a change in priorities for jobs in tech.

What percentage of people work in the tech industry?

STEM jobs make up 24% of the American workforce, according to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Computer occupations account for nearly 5 million jobs, while millions more work in non-technical roles in the tech industry.

Categorized in:

IT and Tech,

Last Update: June 20, 2024

Tagged in:

, ,