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The Best IT
Careers of 2021

Information technology (IT) has been at the forefront of development in the 21st century. This broad field in computer science has created many employment opportunities, including information security analysts, data scientists, computer system analysts, and database administrators.

Are you wondering how to start a career in tech? Read on to learn more about the best IT careers of 2021. The following guide covers possible career paths that you should consider to land you one of the highest-paying jobs in tech.

Why Study Information Technology?

You should pursue a career in IT because the demand for IT professionals worldwide is rapidly increasing. Information technology has helped many industries solve universal problems, creating widespread interest in this field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for computer and information systems managers is expected to grow by 10 percent over the next decade. The demand for these professionals is growing much faster than average occupations in the United States.

IT careers offer high salaries. The BLS also reports that computer and information systems managers earn an average salary of $151,150 per year. This is over $70 per hour. IT professionals can also work in a variety of fields.

Where Do IT Professionals Work?

Information technology professionals work in publishing, film, sound recording, telecommunications, broadcasting, and data processing. Whether you are involved with project management or software engineering, multiple industries and companies employ information technology professionals.

According to BLS, over 2.6 million employees are working in the information sector. There are thousands of new job openings every year, no matter where you live. This means that you can find a great job in IT.

The Highest-Paying IT Careers: 2021 List

The Highest-Paying IT Careers: 2021 List

The information technology industry encompasses many fields related to computers and digital information. As more and more companies strive to adopt digital transformation, IT professionals have become some of the highest-paid professionals.

The following list features 10 of the highest-paying IT careers, including projected job growth and average salaries from the BLS and ZipRecruiter.

Cloud Architect

Median Salary: $153,318

Projected Job Growth: 5%***

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

A cloud architect is a computer science professional who designs a company’s computing strategy, including cloud adoption plans, cloud management, monitoring, and application design. They design and build the main cloud computing architecture for businesses. You can become a cloud architect with a bachelor’s degree.

Other job responsibilities include overseeing cloud security, completing the integration of newly built applications into the cloud environment, and working with visualization tools to achieve effective server management. They work in finance, insurance, wholesale trade, and manufacturing.

Big Data Engineer

Median Salary: $130,674

Projected Job Growth: 22%*

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Data Science, or Mathematics

Big data engineers are computer science professionals who develop, maintain, and oversee big data solutions to help organizations meet their goals. However, this position connected to big data developers and big data analysts.

Other primary responsibilities of big data engineers include building scalable, robust, and foolproof systems and advising on ways to improve data quality to achieve efficiency of the system. Big data professionals work in manufacturing, software publishing, insurance, computer systems design, and finance.

Data Scientist

Median Salary: $126,830

Projected Job Growth: 15%

Min. Education Required: Master’s Degree in Data Science

Data scientists interpret data into insights to help organizations make informed decisions. The data is pulled from multiple sources and analyzed for valuable information. Similar careers include data analysts and data engineers.

As consumers continue producing more data, organizations will employ data scientists to recommend effective ways of collecting it to analyze and interpret. Data scientists work in the federal government, software publishing industries, colleges, universities, research, and development departments.

Computer Network Architect

Median Salary: $116,780

Projected Job Growth: 5%***

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Systems

Holders of this position are responsible for analyzing local and wide area network systems (LANs and WANs). They evaluate, plan, design, and select operation systems to work well with protocol suites and other devices.

Other responsibilities of computer network architects include resolving problems affecting organizational operations such as email, file transfer, teleconferencing, and multimedia sharing.

DevOps Engineer

Median Salary: $114,359

Projected Job Growth: 22%*

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering

DevOps engineers are some of the highest-paid professionals in the IT industry. They are responsible for developing infrastructure as code and converting existing resources to automated solutions. As a DevOps engineer, you’ll work in a team to achieve organizational goals using your knowledge and expertise of the cloud.

These professionals also assist in monitoring and communicating any problems or solutions to ensure peak performance and availability. Some DevOps engineer roles require candidates to integrate SaaS solutions into an organization’s Single Sign-on.

Data Security Analyst

Median Salary: $108,065

Projected Job Growth: 31%**

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems or Computer Science

Data security analysts are responsible for analyzing, preparing, and processing datasets to be used for direct insights and other analytical needs. It is also common for data analysts to perform basic statistical testing and exploratory data analysis to achieve data visualizations. This is an exciting career in cyber security.

Information Systems Security Manager

Median Salary: $103,590

Projected Job Growth: 31%**

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Science

Information systems security managers help organizations mitigate the risks of cyber threats. They are dedicated to the protection of an organization’s information technology infrastructure and other digital security tasks.

The rise of information technology has also prompted increased cyber threats from people looking to exploit security flaws in information technology systems. As an information systems security manager, you’ll head the department in preventing such cases while working in many industries.

Software Engineer

Median Salary: $99,729

Projected Job Growth: 22%*

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Software engineers are pivotal in the development of software solutions for businesses. You need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field to become one. You’ll also need strong analytical and programming skills to help you complete day-to-day tasks.

Other responsibilities of these professionals include improving system quality by identifying problems with the existing system. They also develop applications that help achieve organizational objectives. Software engineers typically work in the insurance, finance, manufacturing, and software publishing industries.

Database Administrator

Median Salary: $98,860

Projected Job Growth: 10%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, or Data Science

Database administrators (DBAs) are responsible for managing how companies acquire and store their data. Other DBA job responsibilities include developing backup or recovery plans. This is a highly sought-after career in the IT industry.

Since data is sensitive, most organizations prefer hiring DBAs who are highly trained to manage and store their data. You need a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, or Data Science backed by years of experience operating in a similar capacity.

Senior Web Developer

Median Salary: $77,200

Projected Job Growth: 8%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science

Senior web developers are hired by top companies like Amazon and IBM to develop specifications for web-based applications. Web developers design websites that look reputable and appealing.

To become a senior web developer, you need to be experienced in Java, PHP, and Ruby on Rails. You also need to be experienced in front end development. Other job responsibilities of senior web developers include communicating with clients to determine web specifications, training junior web developers, and working with a team.

*Project job growth percentages are based on BLS data for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers.
**Project job growth percentages are based on BLS data for information security analysts.
***Project job growth percentages are based on BLS data for computer network architects.

What Education Is Required to Pursue a Career in IT?

What Education Is Required to Pursue a Career in Digital Marketing?

Most entry-level positions require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Data Science. However, the specific education required to pursue a career in IT depends on the kind of job that you want.

Most entry-level positions do not require candidates to have years of experience working in a similar capacity. On the other hand, senior posts in IT require candidates to have a master’s degree or a doctoral in a related field.

If you are launching your career in tech by pursuing an entry-level position, you should consider earning certifications. Not only do they prove your skills and abilities in a specific field of IT, but they also improve your odds when applying for jobs.

Can I Study IT Online?

Yes, just like most subjects today, you can study IT online. Studying online offers benefits like cheaper tuition and fees, scheduling flexibility, and increased accessibility. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) also offer free or affordable courses on IT and data science.

Common Entry-Level Jobs in IT

If you are launching your career in tech, you will want to start at a high-paying entry-level job. Below are some of the most common entry-level jobs in IT. We’ve also included the salary expectation and projected job growth statistics to help you make an informed decision when looking for IT jobs.

Electrical Engineer

Entry-Level Salary: $67,593

Projected Job Growth: 3%

Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering

As an entry-level electrical engineer, you’ll work in a team of experienced engineers to contribute to the design of electric substations and transmission lines. You’ll also get to provide your technical expertise in the identification and resolution of computer hardware problems.

Junior System Administrator

Entry-Level Salary: $51,760

Projected Job Growth: 10%

Min. Education Required: Associate Degree in Computer Programming

Systems administrators help organizations configure and deploy web-based applications into an organization’s configuration centers. These professionals work to ensure that computers, tablets, and tagging devices are connected. They also perform quality checks. This job growth statistic has been sourced from BLS information on database administrators.

Junior Web Developer

Entry-Level Salary: $50,690

Projected Job Growth: 8%

Min. Education Required: High School Diploma

Web developers work with senior web developers to determine the website needs of an organization. They also collaborate with other web development team members to integrate applications to websites and resolve any website issues that might arise. Web developer jobs will grow by eight percent by 2029, according to the BLS.

Junior Network Administrator

Entry-Level Salary: $49,545
Projected Job Growth: 4%
Min. Education Required: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology

Junior network administrators work in a team of experienced and professional network administrators to install, configure, and maintain IP network infrastructures. This includes local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). Junior network administrators also install new software, design IP addressing schema, and create reports.

Computer Support Specialist

Entry-Level Salary: $41,039

Projected Job Growth: 8%

Min. Education Required: Associate Degree in Information Technology

As the name suggests, technical support helps customers resolve problems with their operating systems or computers. They work with other members of the IT department to make sure members of an organization safely utilize their computer software and hardware. They also help with network and internet troubleshooting problems.

Is an IT Career for Me?

Yes, an IT career is ideal for you, especially if you have a knack for technology and computers. One of the most important things to keep in mind when getting a career in tech is the tuition cost and length of study for IT-related degree programs. No matter what, you should look forward to an exciting career if you pursue an IT job.

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