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Highest Paying Information Technology Careers

List of the highest paying information technology careersInformation technology careers provide a vast range of opportunities for graduates. This educational discipline not only allows you to work in virtually any industry, as all types of businesses need IT support, it also allows you to enjoy some of the highest-paying careers available. In fact, you can find IT careers that bring over $100,000 in median salaries and don’t require previous work experience or additional training.

Even better, many (but certainly not all) of these careers have outstanding expected growth. Some are expected to grow by well over 20% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, giving graduates the chance to enjoy a steady, reliable career field. So what might you do with an IT degree? Let’s explore some of the top IT careers so you can make the best decision for your education.

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What Skills Will You Have as an IT Major?

Completing a degree in IT will help you gain a wide variety of skills and knowledge. You’ll know how to perform various technical skills, such as using SQL, Oracle, LINUX, JAVA, and many other important programs. You’ll know how to configure networks, install software, and provide technical support to people who work with computers.

You’ll also have soft skills that can translate into different careers outside of the typical IT field. Communication, for example, is essential. In IT, you have to be able to communicate to users how to perform certain tasks or complete a project using specific software. Communication is key, and this skill easily translates to other professions. Organization, writing, problem solving, and project planning are just some of the skills you gain when you study information technology.

Most Lucrative Entry-Level Jobs as an IT Bachelor’s Degree Graduate

In these IT careers, you’ll earn an outstanding income with only a bachelor’s degree. All of these jobs also have no requirements for work experience or on-the-job training. This means that right out of college you can move into a career that offers, in some cases, over $100,000! These are high-demand jobs that require the brightest minds, but if you are lucky enough to land one of these careers you’ll enjoy excellent pay, and it will come practically right after graduation!

#1   Computer Hardware Engineer

Salary: $115,120
Education: Bachelor’s
Growth: 5%

If you excel with computer and software applications, and want to make a strong income right out of college, you should seriously consider an IT degree with a focus on computer hardware engineering. In this IT career, you’ll enjoy a field that has a median salary of $115,120, while the top 10% can expect salaries over $176,900. This career, however, involves more than just creating programs; it actually involves creating the physical devices and components that make computer devices possible. Therefore, an IT degree is a good start, but you’ll need an education in computer engineering and computer science.

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#2   Software Developer

Salary: $103,560
Education: Bachelor’s 
Growth: 24%

These are essentially the innovative minds behind computer systems and programs. They develop applications for use on computers, which generally starts with analyzing needs, testing new ideas, and developing a final product. Once again, this information technology career can be started with little to no experience in the field, outside of a bachelor’s degree. While the median salary is already $103,560, if you work your way into the top 10%, you can expect a salary over $160,000. Best of all, there is an expected growth of 24%, adding more the 300,000 jobs between 2016 and 2026, which means there’s a strong chance that you’ll be able to find work in this IT field. 

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#3   Computer Systems Analyst

Salary: $88,270
Education: Bachelor’s
Growth: 9%

These professionals specialize in crafting computer systems to fit the needs of a specific organization, which can include businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. They often specialize in computer systems made for one specific type of organization or group. For example, they may specialize in computer systems for healthcare. In IT specialist career, which requires no additional training or work experience, brings a median salary of $88,270, while the top 10% can expect salaries over $139,000 a year. With a 9% growth, it will add jobs at a slightly faster pace than the overall job market, which is expected to grow at 7%. The 9% growth translates into an additional 54,400 jobs added between 2016 and 2026.

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Best Information Technology Careers

We did the research for you on the best careers in information technology so you can feel confident you’ll be looking at a lucrative and rewarding job after graduation. The following list includes the 11 IT jobs with the highest median salary. With further education and on the job training you may earn well over the median salaries listed.

 Systems Manager  Average salary: $139,220

Computer and information systems managers are responsible for organizing and leading the teams that perform many of the IT responsibilities for a certain organization. They plan, coordinate, and direct many of the computer activities performed by a company, and they will often have a role in installing or maintaining a computer or software system. This IT career brings an excellent median salary of $139,220, and the top 10% can expect to earn over $208,000 a year. But this significant pay does not come easy. Yes, you can hold the position with only a bachelor’s degree, but applicants will generally need at least 5 years of experience in the industry, and you can expect competition for these rewarding jobs to be high. In addition to the pay, there is an expected growth of 12%, adding over 44,000 jobs for a total of over 400,000 by 2028.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Information Research Scientist  Average salary: $114,520

These are the IT specialists at the forefront of computer and information development. These scientists explore ideas for furthering systems and applications, and assist in the solving of complex computer issues. They may invent new programming languages, analyze software systems, and perform experiments to test results, among many other duties. The top 10% in this career can expect annual salaries over $176,000, and the growth is expected to be 19%. To be employed in this career, you will need to build on your IT major with a master’s degree in a related field, including computer science or computer engineering. If you are working in a specialized field, you will also need an education in that area. For example, if you are working as an information research scientist for mechanical engineering purposes, engineering programs will be needed.

Required Education: Master degree

 IT Industry Executive  Average salary: $104,700

Executive-level professionals, including company presidents and CEOs, are needed to establish and execute company and organizational goals. This can include the establishment of company procedures or overarching strategies. The IT industry is no different, and while you’ll need business and leadership experience (an MBA is a common degree for top executives), majoring in IT is an excellent start to this career field. Pay will vary by industry, but the BLS says that top executives across the board have a median salary of $104,700, while the top 10% can expect to earn over $208,000 a year. There is an 8% expected growth, and there should be a total of 2.7 million jobs for top executives by 2026. (This number, however, reflects all top executives, not just the IT industry.)

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Computer Network Architect  Average salary: $104,650

Also called “network engineers,” these professionals design and implement computer networks, which are used by businesses and organizations all across the country and the globe. The IT specialist will be involved in initial deployment of a system, as well as the management and maintenance of a computer network. They may also forecast future needs through analyzing trends. Computer network architects only need a bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science, but at least five to ten years of on-the-job experience will generally be required to land this high-paying career. However, if you work yourself to the top ten in the IT career, you can expect a salary over $162,000 a year. Growth will be strong, although the growth of cloud technology could temper the demand for network architects, as businesses will be able to access networks online without having a physical network on site.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Information Security Analyst  Average salary: $95,510

With so much vital information stored on computers and cloud-based databases, the need for security is increasing at a rapid pace. To stay prepared against security threats, many organizations hire information security analysts, an IT specialist who will plan and implement protections for a network of computers and systems. These professionals are in high demand. They not only receive a strong pay, with the top 10% earning over $153,000 a year, there is also an expected job growth of over 28%. This means the jobs in IT for security analysts will be adding over 28,000 jobs between 2016 and 2026. There will be a requirement of work experience for most positions, but no on-the-job training will be required.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Database Administrator  Average salary: $87,020

Database administrators are the specialists who help groups store, organize, and utilize data, which can include financial records, health information, or order-processing data. While they are heavily focused on making sure information is available to users, they are also dedicated to making sure certain information is off-limits to unauthorized users. Certain tasks can include backing up data, organizing information into usable databases, identifying needs, and ensuring databases function properly without error. With no required work experience or additional training, this is a great IT career for fresh IT graduates. If you stick with the career and make it to the top 10%, you can expect a salary over $132,000. The career will also grow by 11%, giving the benefit of a stable career field to database administrators.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Computer Programmer  Average salary: $82,240

These professionals take program designs created by software developers and turn them into instructions that computers can follow. They test new applications, and ensure that software os able to meet the needs that it was designed for. They will need to understand a variety of programming language, and use code libraries, which simplify the writing of programs. This IT career has an excellent pay, with a median salary over $82,000, while the top 10% can expect to command salaries over $132,000. There are also no requirements for training or work experience, so most IT graduates can move, more or less, from the classroom to the office. There is one major downside, however. These jobs in IT are expected to decline by 7%, which means there will actually be a reduction of 21,000 jobs.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Systems Administrator  Average salary: $81,100

Virtually every organization needs a computer network, or in some cases, multiple networks. This has made the career of systems administrator one of the most in-demand jobs in IT. From performing upgrades to repairing networks, these professionals make sure everything runs properly on a day-to-day basis. This career requires no one-the-job experience and no additional training, and with a median pay of over $81,000, it’s a great opportunity for new graduates. If you stay with the career and make it to the top 10%, you can expect an annual salary over $130,000. The growth is expected to keep pace, more or less, with the national job market, making it a steady career as well.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Web Developer  Average salary: $81,100

There are millions and millions of websites online, and at some point a web developer played a role in the creation and implementation of each and every site. Web developers are responsible for the look, function, and occasionally the content found on websites, and they will also develop a site’s performance and capability, such as speed and traffic capacity. According to the BLS, roughly 16% of web developers are self-employed, allowing for independence and the chance to be your own boss. The IT jobs salary for this career is strong, and the top 10% can expect to earn over $122,000 a year. With 11% growth, there is expected to be over 187,000 jobs for web developers across the country, so knowledgeable graduates should be able to find steady, gainful employment.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Computer Support Specialist  Average salary: $52,810

Computers can be complex and confusing, but with the help of a computer support specialist, most people are able to perform all the task possible. This IT field provides advice and guidance for users, including technical assistance when computer are experiencing troubles. Education requirements vary, but a degree in IT or a similar field will help you be a leader in this career. The median salary for this career is over $52,000, and the top 10% can expect a pay over $105,000. There is an expected career growth of 11%, adding over 88,000 jobs between 2016 and 2026.

Required Education: Bachelor degree

 Cybersecurity Consultant  Average salary: $73,000

Sometime businesses simply need advice on their cybersecurity, so they turn to cybersecurity consultants to help them identify ways to make improvements. According to an article from the BLS, cybersecurity consultants work with businesses to identify threats and mitigate the financial damage that can be caused by information theft. Some certifications will likely be required for this IT career path, including the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certificate. At least a year of experience in job experience is also required to enter into this career field.

Required Education: None, but IT training recommended


Non-IT Jobs: How You Can Sell Your Skills to Other Employers

It’s not uncommon to complete a degree and then decide a different career would be best for your future. Fortunately, in IT you will learn a large variety of skills that can be directly applied to different careers. Communication, organization, and project planning are all useful to careers that have little or nothing to do with information technology, but you have to convince employers that these skills will be useful to their organization. When discussing your education, stay focused on what you can do for the company or group, and apply real-world examples of how your skills will make their operations more successful. 

Continuing Education as an IT Major

There are many paths you can take when it comes to continuing your IT education, and a lot will depend on your specific career goals. For example, if you want to work as a database administrator, a minor in database technology would be useful for future employment; if you want to work in IT management, business and leadership classes would also be ideal additions to your IT degree. 

No matter what your goals, information technology is a rapidly-changing industry that requires a commitment to continual learning. There are changes to software, programming, and even the goals and purpose of information. With that in mind, you have to constantly attend conferences, take formal classes, read industry publications, and generally stay informed on all the developments of IT. You may have an IT degree, but when it comes to jobs in information tech, your education is never finished!

Choose the Right IT Degree for Your Future

Choosing an IT degree can be difficult. With so many options and so many online institutions, making the right choice can seem impossible. We’ve done the hard work for you, gathering all of the accredited, online IT degrees so launching a new career is easier than ever. Click to view online IT degree options.

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