The world’s changing like never before. 3D printing, sustainable space travel, genetic fortune-telling, and even an AI-infused Monopoly game that challenges devious dealings. Yet, there is one constant that persists – the need for a solid career plan. As nearly all aspects of life become more intertwined with technology, IT jobs will continue to grow over the next decade.
Technology is rapidly evolving, with new advancements coming out every day. With the constant transformations and advances in areas like mobile technology, machine learning, virtual reality, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things, it should come as no surprise that this field features some of the most in-demand jobs across the globe, and some of the most desirable according to U.S. News Best Jobs lists, with IT careers ranking high in several of the nine categories.
Top 7 Coveted IT Careers
Take a look at this breakout of the seven careers in technology that will be extremely popular in 2021 and beyond, ordered from lowest to highest estimated job growth through 2026:
Computer hardware engineers are responsible for creating transformative advances in computer technology through the research, design, development, and testing of computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.
Median annual salary: $114,600
Expected job growth: 5%
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and private organizational networks like intranets. These networks can range from small connections between two offices to globally distributed systems or even next-generation infrastructures such as cloud capabilities.
Network architects usually have extensive knowledge of an organization’s business plan and help companies with a network designed to turn strategic IT initiatives into transformative business results.
Median annual salary: $109,020
Expected job growth: 6%
Site Reliability Engineer
The role of a site reliability engineer involves working with computer programs and networking systems from idea to implementation, developing, and supporting high-functioning business technology. An example could be creating a cloud storage system, developing the network required to access it, and maybe even writing software code for the system and applications on which it works. Site reliability engineers remain a crucial employee to have around after implementation, as they continue to proactively monitor and maintain the IT tools they help develop.
Median annual salary: $116,062
Expected job growth: 9%
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts, or systems architects, study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures, and design solutions to help an organization operate more efficiently and effectively. Systems analysts often work together with IT solutions architects to unite business goals with IT initiatives by understanding the needs and limitations of both.
Median annual salary: $88,740
|Expected job growth: 9%
Database administrators (DBAs) use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records, and make sure it remains available to the users who need it but kept secure from unauthorized access.
Many DBAs work in large firms or in industries that have expansive databases, such as educational institutions and insurance companies, making this a technology career that’s going to be needed for a long, long time.
Median annual salary: $90,070
Expected job growth: 11%
Number one on the U.S. News 100 Best Jobs list, software developers create and fix applications and programs for mobile devices and computers, cultivating both function and design. Whether developing applications that fuel business functions, games that entertain the masses, or the operating systems that our society runs on, a strong imagination and a passion for innovation are a must.
Median annual salary: $105,590
Expected job growth: 24%
- Information Security Analyst
This career path is projected to grow by an astounding 28 percent by 2026, much faster than the average rates of most occupations – IT or otherwise. Information security analysts are typically responsible for planning and facilitating IT security measures to protect an organization’s networks and systems. This can include anything from installing firewalls or encryption programs to protect sensitive data, to developing company-wide security policies to proactively prevent common complications, like phishing hacks or user error. Considering the average cost of a cyberattack now exceeds $1 million, it makes sense that this is a job that will continue to have a place in most markets as technology threats become more sophisticated and more catastrophic.
Median annual salary: $98,350|
Expected job growth: 28%
In an industry as far-reaching and dynamic as technology, it’s difficult to know exactly which IT roles to go after or which ones will actually live up to their expectations. But even with rapid market changes and emerging tech disruptions, the career paths on this list are essential to the creation or upkeep of the foundational technology that keeps businesses – and individuals – moving forward toward success, ready for the future.