WordPress Research: Job Market

This article was collaborative effort from Markel Town and Adam Bailey.

As college students working through learning web development, It is interesting and useful to know what the likelihood of securing a programming job after graduation. What chances do we have of getting a job in a WordPress related field?

Programming Jobs

Graph showing rises in self-employment
HBR.org

There is a rise in self-employment. HBR.org states that according to the census bureau, many people are becoming self employed in some surprising markets, (including singing), but that web developers have maintained an uphill climb in the market, even amidst the hard economic climate in the late 2000’s.

Infographic of programming jobs
Source – Stack Overflow.com

2015 developer survey conducted by Stack Overflow revealed Full Stack Web Developer as the top job by users. According to Code Up, Full-stack die-hards would consider a full-stack developer to have specialized knowledge in all stages of software development, which says basically that the most well rounded skill set wins. Someone who can perform duties of front end and back end work.

infographic about how programmers learn

How did they learn? Another question from the same survey, which asks how one learned to code, also says that the majority of people in a programming career claim to be self-taught. The close second states that a Bachelor degree in Computer Science was needed, followed by on the job experience.

WordPress Prevalence

Torque Magazine says WordPress.org 4.0 has been downloaded 14.1 million times, under 51 different languages. 22 out of 100 domains are using WordPress. It also says that Automattic, the company that develops and maintains WordPress, only has 283 employees. With growth like this, there is a lot of potential for new positions to open up in a relatively small company.

Graph of CMS usage comparison
Source – W3Techs.com

Recent data from W3 Techs says that WordPress is used by 23.9% of all websites, and this is 60.3% of all content management systems.

The graph below  found at Automattic, shows the increase in total users of Akismet, Polldaddy, and Jetpack from 2006 to 2015. As you can see, it is not levelling off.

Graph showing increase in total users for  WordPress products
Source – Automattic.com

Manage WP finds that WordPress.com Gets More Unique Visitors than Amazon (US), with WordPress.com 126M unique visitors per month, while Amazon falls quite a ways behind, clocking in at 96M per month. They also found that every second, close to 6 (the actual figure is 5.7) new posts are published on WordPress.com blogs. That averages out to 342 posts per minute. Just above 20,000 per day. And a grand total of 7.49 million annually.

WordPress Jobs

In July 2013, WordPress.com had been downloaded 46 million times, and since 2003 has averaged more than 100 downloads a day. You might be thinking “how does blogging secure me a job or money?” but in 2014 a full quarter of WordPress.com users, 25% said they made a living off of WordPress, and a survey in 2012 showed that the median hourly wage of WordPress projects was $50.

At the time of this article being published, Automattic has 14 different jobs that they hire for, and claim to always be hiring. Automattic is work from home only, allowing their employees to work where they function best.  In 2014, WordPress counted over 34,000 Plugins, and “no end in sight”. The most popular Plugin by far is “Akismet”, with more than 24 million downloads.

Infographic about jobs in WordPress
yoast.com

Lorelle on WordPress found that as of 2011, oDesk reported over 30,000 WordPress developers and 61,795 WordPress jobs posted, an average of 5,415 jobs per month. Also, a SimplyHired search yielded an estimated the salary range of $55k to $74k for a typical position in the US web industry. This spans general web design and development through to specialist niches such as user interface design. According to the same data, the average salary for WordPress jobs in 2011 was $45,000. These jobs range from complete website and theme development, to simply assisting users in configuring and maintaining their sites.

Just this year, Scott Bolinger shared the names of 17 companies making between $1000 and $75,000 per month building WordPress products, and ten making over a million a year. Automattic made 1-2 Billion in revenue in the last year (although 2 companies, WP Candy and PressGram, actually went under this last year).

Conclusion

Despite any business failures, according to Indeed.com, the national salary trend has risen in the last few years, and among those jobs are many, many programming jobs.  Of those programming jobs, we can be certain that there is a large percentage hired to work directly with WordPress or on WordPress related tasks.

infograph of national salary trend
Source – Indeed.com

It sounds as though the job market for WordPress related jobs is looking better and better, with no end in sight. Many companies are doing very well and creating more business every year through WordPress products like Plugins, Themes, and support. With innovative companies such as Automattic, which allows employees freedom in how and where they work, not only are there more jobs, but better quality jobs as well. The outlook for WordPress-related jobs—now, and in the near future—seems pretty bright.

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