Where the jobs are: SF and NYC still top the list but Austin and Charlotte are growing faster


Q2 report from Dice highlights which new tech hubs are adding more jobs and the top 20 skills in Amazon job postings.

Image: Dice

After a slow April and May, job postings in the tech sector started to recover in June with the usual suspects of software, network, and systems engineers in highest demand. Cloud skills showed the most growth year over year. 

The Q2 2020 Dice Tech Jobs Report released Tuesday found that the tech sector is focused on developing new products and services again after a quarter that required an initial focus on supporting remote work.

June job postings went up significantly at the city level compared to May. This is true with those cities which posted Q2 declines, but also with those that showed growth in Q2. While some cities are beginning to return to job posting volumes that are similar to pre-COVID-19 levels, other places are growing faster.

Austin, Raleigh, Richmond, and Charlotte continued to add more tech jobs, while positions in New York and San Francisco fell even though each city had about 31,000 and 20,000 new job postings in Q2 2020, respectively.

In May, tech unemployment dropped to 3.7%, down from 4.3% in April, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 13.3% in June.

Art Zeile, CEO of DHI Group, parent company to Dice, said in a press release, that he sees encouraging growth across areas of the US despite the pandemic when comparing June’s job postings to May’s.

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“The tech industry’s resilience is evident, even in the very challenging conditions we are currently experiencing, which is a testament to the ongoing need for skilled and adaptable technologists,” Zeile said.

Here’s a look at where the jobs are, who is hiring, and what skills are in the most demand.

Cities and states with the most tech jobs in Q2

Only nine states posted an increase in tech jobs year over year, and California, Illinois, Texas, and New York state posted fewer new jobs this year when compared to last year.

The states with the most tech jobs for Q2 2020 were:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Virginia (due to the new Amazon headquarters)
  4. New York
  5. North Carolina
  6. Florida
  7. Illinois
  8. Maryland
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Colorado

In this list, only Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland had year-over-year growth in job postings. California tech job postings declined 28% in Q2 year over year, but the 140,00 jobs posted in the state in the second quarter were still almost double any other state.  

At the city level, New York and San Francisco still led the list, despite double-digit year-over-year drops. Only Austin and Charlotte had an increase in postings in Q2 2020 when compared to this time last year. Here is what the top 10 cities for tech jobs looks like:

  1. New York
  2. San Francisco
  3. Austin
  4. Atlanta
  5. Chicago
  6. Charlotte
  7. Los Angeles
  8. San Diego
  9. Seattle
  10. Boston

Companies doing the most hiring in Q2 

Amazon and military contractors topped the list of tech employers in Q2 followed by Charles Schwab, Infosys, Ramy Infotech, and Dell. 

As usual, Amazon was mostly hiring software developers, network engineers, program managers, and systems engineers. E-commerce specialists are newly in demand for the online retailer. 

According to the Dice report, the top 20 skills in Amazon job posts are:

  1. Java
  2. Python
  3. C++
  4. Project management
  5. SQL
  6. Linux
  7. Microsoft C#
  8. Cloud computing
  9. Product management
  10. Ruby
  11. Machine learning
  12. Program management
  13. JavaScript
  14. Big data 
  15. DevOps
  16. AWS Redshift
  17. PERL 
  18. AWS Elastic Compute Cloud
  19. Data science
  20. NoSQL

In-demand tech skills

At the start of the coronavirus lockdowns, companies had to make remote work successful. As a result, employers prioritized infrastructure, systems, and security over new product development.

By the end of the second quarter, employers were more confident about long-term planning, and shifted hiring plans to developers, engineers, and programmers to build new products and services.

Only four skills showed growth in job postings this year as compared to last year:

  • Kubernetes: +28%
  • Docker software: +26%
  • DevOps: +10%
  • Git: +3%

Except for Python, Java, JavaScript, and Scrum, demand was down by double digits year over year for all of the skills in the top 10, according to the Dice Q2 report:

  1. SQL
  2. Project management
  3. Java
  4. Python
  5. JavaScript
  6. Linux
  7. Oracle
  8. Technical support
  9. Scrum
  10. Business process

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Where is your organization spending its tech dollars? We want to know.


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Where are business leaders planning to spend their tech dollars in 2021? TechRepublic Premium is conducting a survey to find out.

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SEE: Tech budgets 2020: A CXO’s guide (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

You’ll be asked questions about the top priorities in your organization’s budget, how COVID-19 is affecting budget planning, how IT vendors can better assist the budgetary process, and how much you anticipate your organization’s fiscal or calendar year 2021 IT budget will be. 

Data from this survey will be used in an upcoming TechRepublic Premium report. 

Visit the TechRepublic Premium survey on Tech Budgets 2021.


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Highest-paying tech jobs: Where to find them


Find out what tech jobs and skills are most in-demand and where the positions are located.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tech jobs remain in demand, with some positions offering hefty compensation. 

According to a Global Knowledge survey, IT professionals in the US are experiencing their highest ever average salary at $113,639. Global Knowledge’s IT Skills and Salary Report determined the average IT salaries in the US, Canada, and Europe, uncovering the highest-paying and lowest-paying locations. 

SEE: IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips (TechRepublic Premium)

Of course, a job’s location also plays a role in compensation. According to Global Knowledge, California is the highest paying state, doling out an average of $134,531 to IT pros. The very lowest IT salary is located in Wyoming, with an average salary of $66,500.

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Globally, the highest salaries in various functional areas included cloud computing ($115,889), IT architecture and design ($98,580), project management ($98,344), and cybersecurity ($97,322), the report revealed.

SEE: IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips (TechRepublic Premium)

In-demand positions

Hired’s 2020 State of Software Engineers report found that 2020 will be a big year for software engineering talent. The influx of digital transformation initiatives worldwide has bolstered the demand for software engineering talent, especially with specialties in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). 

In addition to software engineering, the demand for software developers continues to grow. The US is expected to add nearly 300,000 new software developer jobs in the next 10 years, according to HackerRank’s Developer Skills report.

SEE: IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips (TechRepublic Premium)

Wanted: Top IT skills

Employers want technologists to master certain skills. In an NPower survey of IT leaders from companies including Deloitte, Citi, Microsoft, and Salesforce, 98% said cybersecurity talent would be “extremely important” to businesses over the next six to 18 months as they entered the next phase of recovery from global lockdowns.

Five popular security positions according to a 2020 Cybersecurity Salary Survey from Cynet included: Cloud security architect, network security engineer, penetration tester, security analyst, and security director/manager.

In addition, HackerRank’s Tech Recruiting Benchmark Report shared that big data and analytics are the top drivers of tech hiring, followed by cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

SEE: IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips (TechRepublic Premium)

Certifications increase salaries

For tech pros who want to increase their tech skills–and paycheck–IT certification may offer the solution. IDC surveyed about 1,000 IT professionals and found that people with certifications got promoted more often than their colleagues without them. Certification programs run the gamut from helping you establish your cloud credentials or specialize in machine learning to DevOps and cybersecurity.

Find out which top-ranking tech job pays the most and where it’s located in the IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips ebook from TechRepublic Premium. In the ebook, tech professionals can learn how to negotiate a salary increase, what technology fields draw the highest salaries, top certifications and in-demand skills, the best cities for top-paying tech jobs, and more.

SEE: IT job and salary guide: Highest tech salaries, top-paying cities, and compensation-boosting tips (TechRepublic Premium)

Where to find the best virtual backgrounds for Microsoft Teams


A host of websites offer creative and clever background images for your Teams meetings.


Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams now lets you use your own custom images as your virtual background. Microsoft offers a few built-in images, or you can upload your own from your photo library. But maybe you can’t find the right type of image from your own collection. Whether you’re looking for professional images for a business meeting or fun images for a social call, you can browse for wallpaper and other pictures at a variety of websites. Let’s check them out.

SEE: Microsoft 365: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 


You may not be able to travel to different parts of the world right now, but you can use background images from Airbnb to give your meetings a more exotic look. At this site, you’ll find images from France, Ireland, Norway, Mexico, and other countries showing everything from a bamboo house to a home by the sea (Figure A).

Figure A

Image: Airbnb


Canva mostly offers images for a fee. But you’ll also find several background images for free. Just click on an image that interests you to preview it and you can then download it as a PNG or JPG file (Figure B).

Figure B

Image: Canva

Content Labs

At Content Labs, you’ll discover an eclectic mix of background images from the worlds of business, science, pop culture, and more. Click on the thumbnail for an image you like to download it as a JPG file (Figure C).

Figure C 

Image: Content Labs

Fox Entertainment

If you enjoy The Simpsons, Family Guy, and other Fox TV shows, you’ll find an array of background images at the page for FOX Microsoft Teams Backgrounds. The page even explains how to save and add the images to Teams (Figure D).

Figure D

Image: Fox Entertainment

Getty Images

Getty  is another site that sells most of its images for a fee. But you can grab a small selection of background images for free. In Getty’s library are photos of landmarks, animals, buildings, offices, and living spaces. Just click on an image that intrigues you to download it as a JPG file (Figure E).

Figure E

Image: Getty Images

Hello Backgrounds

Hello Backgrounds is a perfect spot to find business-oriented images for your Teams meetings. The site boasts more than 300 photos, ranging from offices to conference rooms to living spaces to outdoor buildings and landmarks. You can browse the entire gallery or narrow your focus by choosing a specific category such as offices, meeting rooms, or skylines. You can then download each image as a small JPG file or pay $19 to snag the entire library at a higher resolution (Figure F).

Figure F

Image: Hello Backgrounds


Ikea offers a range of images spotlighting offices, spaces, celebrations, and even romantic dates. Pick a category and cycle through all of its photos. Click on an image to download it as a JPG or click the link to download them all as a ZIP file (Figure G).

Figure G

Image: Ikea


Fans of Marvel comics, movies, and superheroes should enjoy the company’s gallery of free background images. You’ll find images from several Marvel films, such as Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and Thor as well as logos from The Avengers (Figure H).

Figure H 

Image: Marvel

Microsoft Pride Images

Microsoft created a series of Pride images in support of the LGBTQI+ community. Scroll down to the bottom of the Microsoft Pride page and click the link to Download backgrounds. Extract the downloaded ZIP file and you’ll find more than 60 images from which to choose (Figure I).

Figure I

Image: Microsoft


Pexels offers a potpourri of background images from offices to outdoor scenes to more artistic designs. You can freely download each image and select a specific size and resolution for the file (Figure J).

Figure J

Image: Pexels

Room for Zoom

Room for Zoom provides a unique cavalcade of images for Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Most of the images are entertainment oriented with photos from popular TV shows and movies. But the site also kicks in images of living areas and famous outdoor landmarks (Figure K).

Figure K

Image: Room for Zoom


Most of the stock photos at Shutterstock require a paid subscription. But the site also provides a variety of free wallpaper images for virtual meetings. You can save each image individually, though you’ll need to set up a trial subscription to do that. Instead, download a free pack to grab them all in one shot. The pack comes as a ZIP file, so just unzip it to set up the individual images (Figure L).

Figure L

Image: Shutterstock


Unsplash offers 114 photos of rooms, homes, offices, landmarks, and other images ideal for Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings. Just click the download arrow for an image you want to use and you can download it as a JPG file (Figure M).

Figure M

Image: Unsplash

Wallpaper Hub

Wallpaper Hub displays an array of artistic and realistic images for download. You’ll find photos of nature, wildlife, outdoor landmarks, TV shows and movies, technology, and famous people (including a few of Bill Gates). Find an image you want to download it as a JPG file (Figure N).

Figure N

Image: Wallpaper Hub


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