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The more tech in your job, the more money you make

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It’s no secret that computer software engineers get paid a lot. But how savvy you are with a computer affects your salary in jobs far outside computer science fields, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

The study found that in the last decade an increasingly broad range of jobs requires employees to work with computers on a daily basis, whether that’s point-of-sale software used by cashiers or digital tools doctors employ to monitor a patient’s health. Highly digital jobs have seen higher productivity growth.

In turn, jobs requiring more tech proficiency also pay more.

The mean annual wage for workers in highly digital occupations reached $72,896 in 2016. Workers in mid-level digital jobs earned $48,274 and low-level digital jobs were paid $30,393. And these earnings can’t be explained away by education: No matter your level of education, computer skills still brought in a wage premium — one that’s nearly doubled since 2002.

digitization scores for select job types

Finance, insurance and media are among the industries that require the most tech ability, according to the report, and saw some of the highest growth in digitization in the last decade.

Highly digital jobs are also less likely to be automated — itself a form of digitization. Agriculture and construction jobs have the least level of digitization and lower pay.

The report analyzed changes in the digital needs of 545 occupations covering 90 percent of the workforce in all industries from 2001-2016.


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