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New figures show 'Java developer' as the eighth highest-paid, entry-level role in America.
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

The Java programming language may date back to the 1990s, but new Java programmers are still landing some of the best-paid starter jobs in the US.

Figures, released this week by Glassdoor Economic Research, show 'Java developer' as the eighth highest-paid, entry-level role in America, with a median base salary of $72,000.

The figures are based on wages reported by workers aged 25 and younger on the Glassdoor jobs site during 2018.
It is not the first time Java has been singled out as a well-rewarded programming language. 

Earlier this year, Glassdoor said Java developers were enjoying some of the fastest-growing salaries in the US, with median pay increasing at almost twice the rate as for US workers as a whole. The healthy prospects for Java developers are broadly the same in the UK, where Hays Recruitment found they were among the tech workers the largest percentage increases in pay in 2018.  Strong demand and high job satisfaction also helped Java developer be crowned as the 22nd best job in America in an Glassdoor report earlier this year.

Java has a broad range of uses, serving as the language of choice for server-side business software for more than a decade and as one of the primary languages for developing Android apps, although Google recently said it will prioritize new features for the Kotlin language on Android.

As for the nature of the roles that fall under the title 'Java Developer', a search on Glassdoor reveals a mix of jobs writing server-side code for web sites and enterprise services.

Data scientist - the best-paid, entry-level role

That said, Java developer wasn't the highest-paid, entry-level role in the US. 

That honor went to data scientists, with a median base salary of $95,000, putting them in the top spot once again.

Having data scientist at number one isn't that surprising, given how long the role of data scientist has been feted for its high pay and strong demand. It also shows that the base pay for the role is high enough to withstand a slight fall in salaries for data scientists over the past year, amid sharpening competition for junior roles.

Software developer and tech roles in general are strongly represented among the highest-paid starter jobs, with software engineer at number two, systems engineer at number 9, and the less well-defined software developer at number 10.

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"The majority of the highest paying entry level jobs are tech roles, demonstrating how employers are in need of talented tech talent and are willing to pay high salaries for individuals ready to develop their careers in these fields," writes Amanda Stansell, senior economic research analyst at Glassdoor.

"Young students interested in these types of roles should start thinking about how they can prepare for these STEM emphases in their educations, whether that be informal academic settings or through alternative skill-building courses like boot camps."

How effective coding boot camps are at landing graduates software developer roles is contested, with reports they can result in immediate employment for a minority, but also indications those who benefit professionally tend to have already studied computer science at university.

Tech companies also dominated Glassdoor's list of companies offering the highest-paid internships, with Facebook at number one, with median base pay of $8,000, followed by Amazon, with pay of $7,700, and then Salesforce, with $7,667.

The 10 highest-paying, entry-level jobs in the US

RankJob TitleMedian Base Salary
1Data Scientist$95,000
2Software Engineer$90,000
3Product Manager$89,000
4Investment Banking Analyst$85,000
5Product Designer$85,000
6UX Designer$73,000
7Implementation Consultant$72,000
8Java Developer$72,000
9Systems Engineer$70,000
10Software Developer$68,600
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