Almost everyone’s day to day life is impacted now by some form of Information Technology from mobile phones to computer networks and use if the Internet. The field of Information Technology is growing and is expected to continue to grow therefore the job opportunities it provides are varied and ever evolving. Just take the area of computer software engineering which is predicted to grow by as much as 32% in the next four years.

Every business, organization, government or company will have some need for skilled professionals in Information Technology. That might be in programming, computer software, administering and developing websites, implementing a computer network, designing apps or games, information security to name but a few options. For people who are looking to get into this field here are the top ten leading fields in Information Technology and the average salary professionals in these areas can expect to earn. We have also included some suggestions for job requirements and what employers will be looking for in their ideal candidates.

Information Technology Career Paths

IT Career Options

In no particular order, the top ten fields are:

  1. Cloud Architect
  2. Web Developer
  3. Geospatial Professional
  4. Mobile application developer
  5. IT consultant
  6. Health IT specialist
  7. Software engineer
  8. Computer Forensic Investigator
  9. Information Technology vendor manager
  10. Data Modeler

Career Options

Job Description

Average Annual Salary

Cloud Architect An architect in this sense is not the person who creates or builds the storage space but rather the person who organizes and maintains it. In terms of education you need to have a bachelor’s degree.

Learn how to become a cloud architect.

You can expect to earn around $112,000 a year which means it is one of the higher paying IT jobs you can go for.
Web Developer As a web developer you would be responsible for web content, applications and making web pages. But you also need to have a good understanding of other things like operating systems, how to make sites optimal for mobiles, what people react to when surfing online just to name a few. Web developers also need to be good at Web languages like JavaScript and HTML. If you are looking to enter this career you do not necessarily have to have formal degree training if you have an excellent portfolio to show that being self taught makes you just as good. Your yearly income would be around $95,000.
Geospatial professionals A newer developed area in IT are Geographic information systems. This is an exciting area where the systems use geographic information to evaluate and identify patterns and trends in very visual and modern ways. While they are not requirements your CV would look much better with a degree and certificate programs on it. Get the job and you can look to be earning a yearly income of around $84,000.
Mobile application developer So many people today have mobile devices, phones, tablets and so on, and that makes this field an area where professionals are in demand. In fact mobile tech use may now actually exceed personal computer use. As a mobile application developer you design programs for devices like future iOS and Android. A bachelor degree in an area like computer science, software engineering or such fields would definitely help your job application. At the moment you can earn around $90,000 a year but since this field is still growing so is the salary developers can expect to earn.
IT consultant This is a role who’s title sounds quite vague and general but has actually recently been in the top 20 of CNN’s Best Jobs in America. An IT consultant evaluates the systems a company or organization has in place and looks into areas that need improving that no-one else covers. All businesses need an IT consultant to help them find the best, in terms of effectiveness and cost, computers to run. A degree in computer science is very helpful as is some specialized knowledge to help focus your direction and experience. Salaries in the range of $100,000 can be expected.
Health IT specialist Another field that is expanding is in healthcare. With transitioning still going on to health records that are electronic plus the Affordable Care Act there is a need for Health IT specialists who have a combination of record keeping and computer skills as well as some then specializing in areas like cancer registry, medical coding and billing. The education needed for such jobs really does depend on which direction you want to go in. Some need certification or associate degrees and some in more supervisory roles expect bachelors and even master’s degrees. Salary is in the low range though for an IT job at about $45,000 a year.
Software engineer Popular as a career for the gaming IT specialists a software engineer can work in a very large range of fields within software engineering creating programs on PCs and mobile devices, games and so on. A bachelor degree in software engineering or a related degree is needed. Salaries on average are at $90, 000 a year.
Computer forensic investigator Your job would be looking at computers and electronics in crimes and looking for and evaluating the importance of information as evidence. Relevant degrees you might need include computer forensics, cyber security or information security. There is also certification you can get from a computer examiner board that would look good to prospective employers. Wage is an average of $64,000 per annum.
Information technology vendor manager This position is not as hands on as other jobs as vendor managers are more about the supply of both hardware and software. This could cover a wide range of technology from Microsoft’s most recently developed word processing software to hospital’s receiving health IT programs. While a computer science degree might be helpful, another degree that could help is getting a job here is in business. $88,000 is the average salary you could expect.
Data Modeler Last but certainly not least in our list is the job of Data Modeler. A hard one to explain in non jargon terms, basically this professional creates data designs and also defines the how data fields relate to each other. Of course every company has information that is vital to their success so the modeling needs to be effective. With more and more organizations and businesses relying on computers this task gets more difficult. A bachelor’s degree is needed for a career heading in this direction, something in IT, math or computer science. Work experience is also good. This job comes at one of the higher salaries of $103,000.

Improving your chances of a career in IT

When looking at your education background, prospective employers will be looking for things like math, physics, programming languages like Microsoft.NET, Java, Python and C++. Other skills and experiences can also be important though. For example having examples of the following will also help improve your chances;

IT-skills

  • Creativity
  • Ambition
  • Keeping abreast of evolving technologies
  • Communication
  • Examples of coding, programs and so on to show at interviews
  • Analytical thinking

Employment

Your job opportunities are not just with tech companies or specific IT fields. You can use your skills and knowledge in other fields like finance. There are many good jobs in information and computer systems on Wall Street and they pay pretty well too. Find firms looking for good trading software, back office software or pricing software. Working in these forms can earn a good six figure salary as they get an advantage and make more money when they have someone who gives them good software and IT support. There are even a few highly skilled system architects working for big banks who actually earn low seven figures.

software engineer

As a college graduate there is not a set path for IT, there are various opportunities that can lead to different areas. You may start out as an entry level software engineer or computer programmer but this could lead elsewhere. Try to avoid getting too focused on the latest tools as there is always something else coming on the horizon.

After a few years of gaining experience and proving your ability you may become an engineer at senior level with faster and better problem solving skills. The more you display drive and the ability to take on responsibilities the faster you can expect to progress. A senior engineer who displays good management skills might become a project manager in charge of many programmers and engineers. Or if you want to stay with the technical side of the job you could become a senior developer and then lead your own team of developers.

After 10 years you could be an architect testing technologies, mapping them out, looking at the bigger business picture, identifying goals and how to meet them.

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