10 cities where IT pros aren’t paid what they’re worth

Though tech careers are lucrative, research from Paysa shows many organizations struggle to keep up with market rates for tech skills. Here are the 10 cities where tech talent is most likely to be underpaid.

tech pros underpaid
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Cities where IT pros aren’t paid what they’re worth

While IT salaries continue to rise and many are still well above the national median income, new research from compensation and salary data solutions company Paysa shows that many tech workers are still underpaid when you compare their current pay to their market value.

Paysa examined more than 5 million résumés of tech and engineering professionals from their salary database and compared their education, experience, skills, work history and current salary to their market value for identical available roles, says Chris Bolte, CEO of Paysa. The findings reveal that more than one-third of tech professionals (nearly two million people) are underpaid by 10 percent or more.

It's not that companies underpay their talent deliberately, especially not mission-critical IT and engineering talent, Bolte says. "What happens is companies bring people on at competitive rates… But once they're on board, companies don't tend to do much more than the standard yearly increase. After a couple years, new talent is being brought on at much higher rates than existing talent, and companies don't pay attention to this fact until their employees take drastic measures, like threatening to leave for a higher-paying opportunity," Bolte says. That's more likely to happen in areas where tech companies are highly concentrated and in major metro areas where competition for talent is fierce, he adds.

[ Related story: What the top 5 metro areas pay for hot IT jobs ]

1 seattle
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1. Seattle, Washington

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 60 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 77 percent.

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2. Boston, Massachusetts

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 44 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 39.22 percent.

3 san jose
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3. San Jose, California

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 40 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 24.15 percent.

[ Related story: How unfilled tech jobs impact the U.S. economy ]

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4. San Francisco, California

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 37 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 24.17 percent.

5 los angeles
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5. Los Angeles, California

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 37 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 26.92 percent.

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6. Austin, Texas

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 37 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 28.24 percent.

[ Related story: Top 10 U.S. cities for employee happiness ]

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7. Washington, D.C.

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 33 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 28.57 percent.

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8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 32 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 31.82 percent.

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9. New York, New York

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 30 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 20.56 percent.

10 san diego
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10. San Diego, California

Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent in total compensation: 29 percent.
Likelihood of undercompensating tech and engineering talent at market value base salary: 21.82 percent.

methodology
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Methodology

Paysa looked at its tech sector employment data and extracted more than ten thousand data points from millions of U.S. job postings and résumés and grouped similar ones together. Paysa technology sorted them for education, experience and expertise to identify groups with similar attributes to accurately estimate salary by analyzing the latest job offers made to users, and calculated the distribution of market salary for similar profiles along with company, job title, salaries, location and more, to reveal who is underpaid, where and by how much, Bolte says.

The Paysa study was created using AI and machine learning algorithms to sort these data points, revealing the 10 stingiest cities where tech and engineering employees are most likely to be underpaid by at least 10 percent or more (according to market value) and then calculated the likelihood of under-compensation both at base salary and total pay package rates, which include equity and bonuses.