Without the expertise of information technology professionals, everything from your favorite Web apps to online banking would be nothing more than a dream. Just as there are countless ways computer technology may be used, careers in the IT industry are equally as diverse. Although select positions within the information technology umbrella require advanced degrees and years of experience, nearly all careers are handsomely paid. Of course, select professions offer greater pay than others. Let’s explore the five highest paying careers in information technology.
Computer and Information Research Scientists
These advanced IT professionals are the masterminds behind the continued evolution of computer technologies. As a computer and information research scientist, they dive into complex problems and search for innovative solutions. Along with conceptualizing advancements within consumer and professional computing environments, this position is often used to create new uses for preexisting technology. The majority of computer and information research scientist jobs require a master’s degree in computer science, information technology or a related field of study. The average pay for this position is just under $115,000 per year.
Computer Network Architects
Responsible for building, designing and maintaining data networks, computer network architects combine their understanding of data communication networks with innovative digital capabilities. Within this role, computer network architects may work in the public or private sector. Also known as network engineers, responsibilities may include designing and deploying internal company networks or assisting with Internet service provider network configuration. As technology continues to advanced at a rapid pace, network architects work with fellow IT professionals to predict the needs and capabilities of current and future networks. Generally, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology or a related subject is required. The average pay for this position is just under $105,000 per year.
With anticipated job growth of 29 percent by 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics states this expected increase is a direct result of software advancements. In the most simplified definition, computer programmers are responsible for crafting and refining the actual code of software programs, websites and applications. Along with creating and maintaining current programs, these professionals are often called upon to provide critical updates, such as writing a patch for compatibility with new operating system releases. To become a computer programmer, expect to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or a related field of study. The average income of this profession is $82,000 per year.
Information Security Analysts
As society continues to adopt digital technologies, the need for greater cybersecurity protocols have never been more important. Information security analysts differ from other cybersecurity professionals, which typically implement security code and programs. This invaluable member of any IT department calls upon their deep-level understanding of cybersecurity tactics to isolate vulnerabilities within the digital architecture of an organization. By planning and constructing robust security measures, information security analysts lead the internal war against cyberattacks. Generally, this position requires a bachelor’s degree in a related field, as well as five or less years of experience. The average pay for an information security analyst is just over $95,000 per year.
Demanding both creativity and technical skills, software developers are responsible for crafting the ideas and coding for computer programs. This branch of information technology offers a variety of specializations, such as developing web and mobile applications or underlying systems responsible for powering specific devices. Software developers must hold a myriad of artistic and technical abilities, which vary based on specialization or role within a company. To become a software developer, most employers require a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline or a combination of experience and education. The average pay for this position is just over $100,000 per year.
While these are only a handful of the top-paying career options within the information technology industry, their past and predicted future growth make them the most desirable. Although exact pay varies based on a myriad of factors, such as location and company, these positions are slated to garner handsome paychecks throughout the United States.