Careers in information technology have exploded in the past decade and show no signs of slowing down. The data and tools that we have today would be unrecognizable five and ten years ago, and investors are ensuring that more technology is on the horizon. Most of these new tools are creating jobs. IT specialists are needed to implement, maintain, and improve technology infrastructure, creating opportunities for analytical thinkers who like problem-solving. Here are three of the fastest-growing IT careers and how you can pursue them.
Data Scientists and Analysts
Glassdoor named Data Scientists first on their list of the 50 best jobs in America right now. The median base salary is $110,000 annually, the average employee satisfaction is typically 4.4 out of 5, and there is an average of 4,000 job openings at a time. These positions are the result of companies investing in Big Data and the Internet of Things. More devices and technology than ever are connected and creating information, which means companies need people who can organize it and draw reasonable conclusions from the information. Even lightbulbs and garbage cans are connected and collecting data!
While the skills for this position do require technical knowledge and math, they also require organizational skills and critical thinking to make the best decisions.
Information Security Administrators
On average, these employees make about $78,000 annually, but they can make more than $113,000 for major companies in big cities. More importantly, security admins can rise within the company to become security managers, directors, and even CIOs. This makes it a great stepping stone if you want to build your experience, and it typically only requires a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in computer science. This field is also a great investment, as IT security jobs are expected to grow by 18 percent by 2024.
IT security administrators tend to work closely with other departments in the company. They help individuals keep their devices secure and work within their department to come up with new security initiatives. For example, you might be tasked with setting up adaptive authentication processes that highlight suspicious activity to prevent hacking. That would be a great opportunity to show your management skills and leadership while benefiting the company’s security systems.
Web and App Developers
While many data scientists and IT admins work within companies, web and app developers can work as contractors, for agencies, or in-house alongside the IT team. This flexibility creates a wide salary range, with developers typically making between $73,000 and $117,000 annually. These jobs are expected to grow 27 percent by 2024 as more companies launch and maintain their existing web presences.
To break into this field, start by working on your own website and picking up cheap or pro-bono work for local businesses and non-profits. This will build your portfolio to the point where you can start charging clients for website creation.
The IT field has multiple subsets for you to explore based on your interests. Creative types will enjoy web design while logical thinkers will enjoy the world of data science. Either way, the IT field is growing and looking for eager candidates who are ready to learn and work.