15 highest-paying tech jobs for Gen Z college grads, according to a new study

Generation Z women launching careers in the tech field are beating the gender pay gap and earning on average more than their male counterparts in several roles, though men still hold more jobs in the industry overall, according to a new study.

Workplace data website Comparably analyzed the best tech jobs for recent college graduates, surveying anonymous salary records from 2,848 employees aged 18 to 24 in tech jobs across the U.S. They found that senior developers and lead engineers typically earn six-figure salaries, making an average of $109,957 and $103,237 respectively.

In eight of the top 15 jobs, women were even averaging more pay than men, including in the three highest-paid positions: senior developer, lead engineer and mobile developer. Meanwhile, women in the U.S. earned just 85 percent of what men earned last year, according to the Pew Research Center.

Comparably says there were several factors may have contributed to the higher average pay for some recent female grads in tech. Women included in the study — age 18 to 24 — would have most likely been hired “during the recent era of heightened awareness of social and financial inequality.”

Also, the higher salaries for women represent fewer people, while there are still more men holding the positions overall. More of those men may be working in cities where tech is not the focus and salaries are generally lower, while more women may be in “progressive tech hub cities,” the study suggests.

Regardless of gender, those holding the top 15 job titles were earning on average more than the median earnings of full-time workers across the country, according to the study and Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That’s good news for recent grads or students who will soon enter the tech workforce, especially with the unemployment rate remaining at just 3.6 percent as of May.

How far those salaries go may depend on where the workers live. Tech employees in San Francisco and Silicon Valley averaged the highest salaries in 12 of the 15 positions, but also faced the highest average apartment rent, according to the study.

Seattle workers earned the highest average salaries for three positions — senior developer, product manager and business development manager — but had an average apartment rent price lower than San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, the study found. A senior developer in Seattle earns an average monthly paycheck that's six times the $1,965 monthly average rent in the area.


In Austin, mobile developers earned an average of $103,100, bringing home eight times the average apartment rent cost there each month.

Here’s the list of the top 15 tech jobs for new grads and their average salaries, according to Comparably:

  1. Senior developer - $109,957
  2. Lead engineer - $103,237
  3. Mobile developer - $92,654
  4. Data scientist - $88,813
  5. Product manager - $87,947
  6. DevOps engineer - $86,094
  7. UI/UX designer - $71,691
  8. Business development manager - $68,588
  9. Marketing manager - $67,687
  10. Business analyst - $67,364
  11. QA analyst - $66,358
  12. Financial analyst - $65,687
  13. Operations manager - $64,608
  14. Web/visual designer - $64,478
  15. Sales manager - $64,412