The Highest-Paying
IT Careers of 2021

The information technology (IT) industry features plenty of job opportunities for all kinds of talent. You can become anything from an IT manager to a web designer. If you want to get a great job in tech, this field might be the best way to go. This comprehensive guide includes the highest-paying IT careers of 2021.

What Is Information Technology?

Information technology is the process of developing, designing, implementing, storing computer systems. It involves building reliable networks, safeguarding data, administering databases, and troubleshooting issues for clients.

The diversity of the field is immense. IT encompasses operation systems, cloud computing, data science, and more. Similar to computer science, information technology emphasizes solutions that enhance decisions and performance.

Why You Should Pursue a Career in IT

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You should pursue a career in IT because of the endless career opportunities. Once you decide to follow a career in IT, you will not be limited to one path. You can choose to become a software engineer, computer systems administrator, computer network architect, and more.

As businesses become more competitive, the demand for skilled professionals grows. If you are proficient in IT solutions, you will have an easy time during the job search. The industry is always seeking new talent that can bring fresh perspectives on different IT topics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an 11 percent increase in occupations in the IT industry by 2029. There will be 531,200 new computer and information technology occupations. If you want to work in a dynamic industry with lucrative opportunities, you should choose a career in information technology.

Top 10 IT Careers at a Glance

Starting a career in tech can be difficult, so creating clear goals can help you along the way. This list features the best IT careers for you to consider. The salary statistics below were sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and PayScale. Each job growth percentage is from BLS and refers to projections for the 2019 to 2029 period.

Job Title Education Requirement Projected Job Growth Median Pay
IT Manager Bachelor’s Degree 10% $151,150
Computer Network Architect Bachelor’s Degree 5% $116,780
Software Developer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $110,140
Tech Sales Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 6% $108,830
Data Scientist Bachelor’s Degree 31% $103,930
Information Security Analyst Bachelor’s Degree 31% $103,590
Database Administrator Bachelor’s Degree 10% $98,860
Computer Systems Analyst Bachelor’s Degree 7% $93,730
Software Engineer Bachelor’s Degree 22%* $87,192
Web Designer Associate Degree 8% $77,200

*Both statistics originate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on Software Developers.

The Best IT Careers in 2021

The Best IT Careers in 2021

Hiring companies have specific criteria and job descriptions for each position. Read below to learn more about the best IT career paths and their specific responsibilities.

IT Manager

Technology plays a vital role in daily life. Businesses rely on IT teams for business solutions and intelligence. IT managers lead these teams to ensure smooth operations and find innovative solutions. If you have leadership skills, you should try becoming an IT manager. Keep in mind that you should have experience in the field before applying for this position.

IT Manager Responsibilities

  • Checks on computer networks and data security
  • Identifies opportunities for system and software upgrades
  • Provides direction and training opportunities to the IT team
  • Oversees major IT projects, including updates, upgrades, and outages

Computer Network Architect

A computer network architect designs and develops data communication networks. These include both wide area networks and local area networks. You will find computer network architects working for telecommunications companies, financial firms, insurance companies, or computer system design service providers.

Computer Network Architect Responsibilities

  • Creates plans for data communication networks
  • Communicates ideas to relevant stakeholders
  • Conducts upgrades of both hardware and software when necessary
  • Researches and implements new technologies

Software Developer

A software developer designs and builds computer programs from start to finish. To be a computer software developer, you must have both soft skills and hard skills. You should learn JavaScript, .NET, C#, and Python if you want to be highly regarded in the industry. Hiring companies usually ask that developers know more than one programming language.

Software Developer Responsibilities

  • Debugs software to improve the performance of applications
  • Writes and tests code
  • Creates new software according to goals and needs
  • Collaborates with other professionals such as UX designers, business analysts, and engineers

Tech Sales Engineer

If you have marketing skills, you can work as a tech sales engineer. Sales engineers use their knowledge of different industry products to sell them to businesses. To work in this job, you should be charismatic and have strong knowledge of different IT systems and products. Some salespeople can earn commission based on their performance in the field.

Tech Sales Engineer Responsibilities

  • Advises clients about the best tech product or service for their problems
  • Explains tech jargon to clients and customers
  • Collaborates with engineers, researchers, and designers to improve the products to suit customer needs

Data Scientist

Data scientists have relatively good pay and endless job opportunities. You can enroll in a data science bootcamp and enter this profession in only a few weeks. Data scientists are integral for making informed business decisions in any industry. You will find data scientists working in finance, insurance, IT, professional services, and more.

Data Scientist Responsibilities

  • Collects, processes, and analyzes data
  • Turns raw data into usable information
  • Uses data to solve business-related problems
  • Uses data visualization techniques and tools to present findings to stakeholders

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts help protect our information from people with malicious intent. Businesses rely on professionals with extensive knowledge in cyber security to safeguard their data from competitors and hackers. If you are skillful in ethical hacking, computer forensics, incident response, or intrusion prevention, this is a good career choice.

Information Security Analyst Responsibilities

  • Monitors computer networks for any underlying threat issues
  • Implements security measures such as firewalls and data encryption processes
  • Reports data breaches and finds solutions
  • Tests security systems to make sure they are safe

Database Administrator

Database administrators are responsible for storing and organizing big data. Hiring companies are looking for professionals who are patient, meticulous, and good at solving problems. Many organizations, institutions, and companies use big data. This job has a fantastic outlook for the next decade.

Database Administrator Responsibilities

  • Ensures data software is installed and maintained correctly
  • Extracts, transforms, and handles data
  • Identifies weaknesses in data systems to ensure security
  • Solves minor or major issues regarding databases

Computer Systems Analyst

With the increase in competition among businesses, systems analysts are becoming more common. These professionals plan computer systems according to company needs. To be successful in this role, you must be a critical thinker and problem solver. Your knowledge of products and services will be helpful for this IT career.

Computer Systems Analyst Responsibilities

  • Configures and integrates new systems to aid business processes
  • Modifies and writes scripts
  • Creates reports to communicate new systems
  • Troubleshoots software issues and solves problems when necessary

Software Engineer

If you are proficient in computer science and information systems, a software engineering job will be a fantastic career choice. Similar to software development, software engineers design and develop different software. You can work for an IT firm, financial provider, public organization, manufacturing company, and more.

Software Engineer Responsibilities

  • Writes and tests code
  • Collaborates with other professionals to create software
  • Integrates new programs into existing ones
  • Updates and assesses new software to meet company goals

Web Designer

With more and more businesses migrating online, you may want to become a web designer. Web designers play an integral role in the general outlook of a business. They use their coding and technology skills to create user-friendly websites. This can help businesses collect data and sell products online.

Web Designer Responsibilities

  • Creates design ideas from scratch to present to clients
  • Develops web designs based on company goals
  • Communicates diverse design ideas using sitemaps, wireframes, and process flows
  • Works with different software and coding languages to implement designs
What Education Is Required for a Career in IT?

What Education Is Required for a Career in IT?

To start a career in IT, you attend a bootcamp, college, or university. Bootcamps provide students with short-term training opportunities to acquire industry-led skills. There are cyber security, web development, and coding bootcamps that can help you jumpstart your tech career.

However, most employers look for a bachelor’s degree. Getting your bachelor’s can improve your chances of getting hired and teach you more comprehensive skills. A bachelor’s degree program takes four years to complete and prepares you to earn a master’s degree. You can also start with an associate degree and transition to a bachelor’s afterward.

A master’s degree is essential if you want to apply for a promotion or a raise in the IT industry. The degree program can equip you with the proper skills and perspectives to take on managerial roles in the industry and beyond. You can also get job-specific certifications to help you get a better job.

Can I Study IT Online?

Yes, you can study IT online. Online education has become much more accessible, especially in the tech industry. There are many digital platforms to train students locally and internationally to launch their tech careers. These include degree programs, bootcamps, and individual online courses.

Studying online is an excellent way to save on school fees. You do not have to cover accommodation and transport costs. All you have to do is pay your tuition and establish a reliable Internet connection to attend your classes.

Personality Traits Necessary for an IT Career

To be successful in the IT industry, you need to be knowledgeable and able to work independently and with others. As much as hiring companies are keen on candidates’ technical capabilities, it is important that you refine your soft skills as well.

To be successful in the industry, you need to be a team player. Many information technology processes involve different teams and departments. Even if most of your work is autonomous, you should be a good communicator and ready to work with others when necessary.

You should also be passionate about your IT career. There are many options, so choose the one that interests you the most. This can help you work harder and create more innovative projects in the field.

Is an IT Job Good for Me?

The IT industry is up-and-coming and constantly demands new professionals. You will have the creative freedom to explore and implement processes that will solve business problems. You will also be able to create products from scratch. If this all sounds good to you, take the leap and begin your tech career today.

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