Can mastering advanced skills like machine learning lead to higher salaries?
This is a vital question for almost all technologists because specialized skills take so much time and effort to acquire. You wouldn’t want to spend all that energy without results. Fortunately, an analysis of crowdsourced compensation data from levels.fyi shows that, at least for software engineers, specialization can really pay off.
While crowdsourcing isn’t always the most scientific method of determining salary, the numbers presented by levels.fyi generally align quite well with other sources such as Glassdoor; therefore, we are inclined to trust their ranges. For the breakdowns below, “remuneration” includes not only salary, but also bonuses and shares:
As you can see above, software engineers who have specialized in machine learning, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and blockchain can earn significant compensation, more than you could earn by focusing on mobile or web development. , for example.
There is a simple reason for this. Highly specialized skills such as machine learning have been mastered by a relatively small group of professionals, which is far from sufficient to meet the demand, in many cases. Growing demand leads to higher wages. There is a much larger pool of engineers specializing in more common elements of the tech stack, such as networking and production; since it is easier for organizations to find these professionals, they do not necessarily need to pay as much to recruit talent.
Other factors go into total compensation, of course. The size of your company, its location and your level of experience can all impact the amount of your salary, bonuses and stock options. If you decide to pursue a particular specialization, keep in mind that you will always need to keep your skills up to date; it’s a learning process that never ends, especially in a rapidly evolving field like machine learning.