15 unfilled tech jobs that cost the U.S. billions

What's the overall cost of unfilled technology jobs? New research from Glassdoor shows it's in the billions.

unfilled tech jobs
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Unfilled tech jobs that are costing the U.S. billions

With IT industry unemployment hovering at around 2.8 percent (as of Q3 2016) and organizations struggling to land talent, many companies find themselves with unfilled jobs. That's a problem not just for individual companies, but for the U.S. economy as a whole, says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.

"Filling open jobs doesn't just help workers. It also helps companies and the broader economy. Every job that's open is money left on the table, in the form of lost productivity for employers and earnings in consumers' pockets. When more open jobs are filled with the right people, economic gains include greater business productivity and consumer spending, thanks to more people earning wages, then saving, investing and spending those wages," Chamberlain says.

In IT, a combination of rapidly changing markets, incredible demand for and short supply of talent means thousands of open, unfilled roles are costing companies -- and the economy -- money every day. In fact, the value of the approximately 263,586 unfilled IT jobs posted by employers in the U.S. adds up to $20.1 billion, according to the Glassdoor research.

The value of unfilled U.S. jobs is based on unique, online jobs that are open, direct from employers, in the U.S. on Glassdoor as of December 9, 2016. Glassdoor used a proprietary machine-learning algorithm to calculate salary estimates, based on millions of salary reports, and this was used to calculate the annual median base salary estimate for each open job. Annual median base salary estimates for each open job were then added together to determine total value.

Some critical IT roles are more commonly left unfilled than others, according to the research. Here, based on the Glassdoor research, are the top 15 most common unfilled technology jobs, the number of open job roles available, average base pay for the role and the economic value of all those available jobs.

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1 software engineer
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1. Software engineer

Software engineers write new software and operating manuals, as well as update existing code and perform testing to ensure their products perform satisfactorily.

Open jobs: 13,198
Average base pay: $98,263
Economic value: $1,296,871,985

2 systems engineer
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2. Systems engineer

Systems engineers manage and monitor installed systems and infrastructure. They're responsible for installing, configuring, testing and maintaining operating systems, applications and management tools.

Open jobs: 6,769
Average base pay: $89,588
Economic value: $606,424,461

3 product manager
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3. Product manager

Product managers research and develop new products, conduct market research and testing, and determine appropriate specifications, pricing and production timetables.

Open jobs: 3,874
Average base pay: $104,274
Economic value: $403,956,437

[ Related story: Culture key to attracting and retaining tech talent ]

4 data scientist
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4. Data scientist

Data scientists develop and implement machine-learning based tools or processes to wring value out of raw data. Many data scientists also are responsible for statistical analyses and strategic recommendations.

Open jobs: 3,508
Average base pay: $114,035
Economic value: $400,033,101

5 network engineer
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5. Network engineer

Network engineers create, maintain and monitor a company's networks, including LANs, WANs, intranets and extranets. Some network engineers also are responsible for certain aspects of securing networks and data.

Open jobs: 3,882
Average base pay: $83,873
Economic value: $325,594,753

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6 data engineer
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6. Data engineer

Data engineers build large-scale data processing systems, data storage and data warehousing solutions. They should be familiar with data processing systems and languages like Hadoop and Hive, Java and Python.

Open jobs: 3,073
Average base pay: $104,551
Economic value: $321,286,159

7 java developer
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7. Java developer

Java developers manage Java and Java enterprise edition application development through the entire software development lifecycle from concept and design to development and testing.

Open jobs: 3,784
Average base pay: $83,009
Economic value: $314,104,895

8 software development engineer in test
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8. Software development engineer in test

A software developer in test (SDET), in short, writes software that tests other software. SDETs are responsible for everything from feature-level verification tests to larger-scale infrastructure testing. They can also specialize in certain types of requirements, within security or application performance, for example.

Open jobs: 3,573
Average base pay: $86,553
Economic value: $309,254,859

9 front end engineer
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9. Front end engineer

Front-end engineers create rich, interactive and visually exciting features and applications that draw users to a site or to a product. They are also responsible for ensuring products meet usability requirements.

Open jobs: 2,948
Average base pay: $90,676
Economic value: $267,314,264

10 security engineer
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10. Security engineer

Security engineers help to protect and secure an organization's networks and systems. They plan and implement security measures to monitor, maintain and test the security of sensitive data and systems against hackers and cyberattacks.

Open jobs: 2,225
Average base pay: $103,000
Economic value: $229,175,745

11 solutions architect
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11. Solutions architect

A solutions architect is in charge of organizing the entire software development effort within an organization. Solutions architects come up with the vision for software solutions and execute on that strategy to make sure it's successful.

Open jobs: 1,979
Average base pay: $108,738
Economic value: $215,193,485

12 systems administrator
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12. Systems administrator

A systems administrator, or sysadmin, is responsible for the configuration, operation and maintenance of computer systems, software, servers and networks within an organization.

Open jobs: 2,902
Average base pay: $70,415
Economic value: $204,343,840

13 information security engineer
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13. Information security engineer

Information security engineers help to protect and secure an organization's sensitive data and proprietary information. They plan and implement security measures to monitor, maintain and test the security of sensitive data and systems against hackers and cyber attacks.

Open jobs: 2,133
Average base pay: $92,899
Economic value: $198,154,391

14 it architect
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14. IT architect

An IT architect's primary responsibility is to design, manage and maintain a company's networks and systems. IT architects are often management-level IT professionals, and are responsible for scheduling technician assignments, and assessing budgets for new and upgrading technology.

Open jobs: 1,618
Average base pay: $115,332
Economic value: $186,607,738

15 mobile developer
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15. Mobile developer

Mobile developers write new software, applications and operating manuals for mobile devices, as well as update existing code and perform testing to ensure their products perform satisfactorily across multiple platforms.

Open jobs: 1,930
Average base pay: $91,167
Economic value: $175,951,865