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We all know tech jobs are hot. You’d have to be living under a rock not to see it. Between 65 year-old grandmothers standing in a 3 hour line for the release of the iPhone 6, and 3 year-olds intuitively playing Elmo games on the iPad, it’s clear technology is crossing nearly all demographics. In fact, NPR just featured a story about a 113 year-old woman opening a Facebook account!

The times, they have a-changed.

Yes, technology will continue to rapidly change, but it is here to stay. And let’s face it – everyone uses it. This means there are plenty of employment opportunities in the Computer Science field, often known as IT.

All salaries, education requirements and projected employment growth were sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. If a particular career was not featured on the BLS site, Payscale.com was used for median salary.

1. Software Engineer

softwareengineer

Chances are, you have a software program up and running right this very second on your computer screen. Maybe you are playing a game, or maybe you are entering an invoice in your trusty business program for your own small business. These types of programs are all designed and developed by Software Engineers. An Engineer applies their years of studying the rudiments of computer science and mathematical analysis to then create, test, and assess the software applications that we all use daily. Do not confuse them with programmers, who actually create the codes to make a program run. It is the Software Engineer that creates the designs that the programmer implements.

Median salary: $93,350
Education level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 22% increase between 2012 and 2022

2. Web Developer

webdeveloper

One of the most popular websites is The Oatmeal; it’s basically a comics and articles website created by a young guy from Seattle. The website gets 4 million unique visitors a month, so chances are you’ve seen it, or seen someone you know share a cartoon. It’s no surprise people like it so much. It is graphically pleasing and it has great content. You know who we can thank for that? The Web Developer.

A Web Developer designs and creates websites. They are totally responsible for the looks, technical aspects as well as the performance of a website. They also know how much a website can handle, figuring out bandwidth and how much traffic a particular site can handle. And finally, they often create or manage the content for the site. It’s a big job with a lot of responsibly. Don’t worry though – compensation is usually generous.

Median salary: $62,500
Education level: Associate’s degree
Projected employment growth: 20% increase between 2012 and 2022

3. Data Modeler

data_modeler

Obviously there is this mass of data we are dealing with in any give computer system; someone needs to translate and separate all of it to make it useful for businesses or institutions. Here steps in the Data Modeler. They are essentially System Analysts with a focus on reducing redundancy of data within a particular computer system, improving it, and getting this data moved to other systems. Data Modelers are dedicated to computer architecture; they work with a team to implement data flow strategies.

Say what, say who? Listen, these are special people with special brains. If you understand the above lingo, you’re a technical wizard and you need to seek out this career!

Median Salary: $79,680
Education level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 25% increase between 2012 and 2022

4. Cloud Architect

cloudcomputing

Everybody is cloud crazy. The old style of computing is that you relied on massive computers to store data. Now computer systems are moving from real physical storage to this this thing called Cloud Service. So instead of the old model, you’re using a service powered by a group of hardware somewhere in the world and delivered in a shared capacity to your actual unit over the Internet.

The Cloud Engineer is responsible for understanding server administration, networking and running applications on these virtual and non-virtual platforms. Creating resilient cloud infrastructure is the next big topic amongst those in this field. When a cloud goes down and all the data storage from, say, a big online company like Amazon is in limbo, the Cloud Architect needs to know the right fix because we all know downtime equals lost dollars. Very important job here; expect future demand to only increase.

Median Salary: $102,000
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 26% increase between 2012 and 2022

5. Lead Programmer

programmer

Just like your title explicitly says, you are the Leader of a team of programmers. Don’t get a big head though, because sometimes it’s just for one particular project. Other positions may have you permanently chosen as Lead. Don’t be surprised if the title varies employer to employer.

Yes, you’ll be expected to know how to program; that of course means you possess the technical skills and knowledge of multiple programming languages. However, you will also be part manager, as you lead your team in things like code release coordination, troubleshooting and of course being available for emergency responses.

The Lead Programmer is also a resource for other IT staff, working closely and providing advice and technical support for a variety of projects. You’ll be mainly working with web-based applications. Administrative, organizational and managerial skills are a must.

Median Salary: $80,037
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 8% increase between 2012 and 2022

6. Database Administrator

data_man

A Database Administrator (DBA) sets up databases dependent on a company’s needs. They have to work with programmers and managers fine tuning and testing any alterations as needed. Data within a company has to stay sensitive for security reasons, so a Database Administrator’s primary job is to ensure that safety. They protect, more than any other IT professional within a company, this precious data. It is imperative that they make sure this data is available only to authorized users and secure from any unauthorized access.

DBAs are also responsible for all the technical parts of the database. They may install upgrades and applications; they may have to write code or de-bug or patch programs. In the event of a power outage, a DBA makes sure a back up system is in place and guarantees data safety.

Median Salary: $77,080
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 15% increase between 2012 and 2022

7. Systems Analyst

data_analyst

The Systems Analyst is like the buyer for a business or company, at least concerning their computer configuration. You’ll have to stay within a budget, and select the most optimal software, hardware, internet and networking tools to accomplish the goals of the company. You’ll work side-by-side with a Systems Engineer, but you will be more concerned with your customer or end user rather then the designing aspect.

To be a good analyst, you’ll apply accounting principals, business skills, and stellar communication skills. You’ll compare businesses of similar sizes to hone in on your company’s needs. The programmer and engineer then come along and build this carefully chosen system. However, you are never in the clear, as these systems have to constantly be tweaked, assessed, and updated frequently.

But that’s a good thing! It keeps you employed!

Median Salary: $79,680
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree; however an MBA is most helpful
Projected employment growth: 25% increase between 2012 and 2022

8. Information Security Analyst

information _security

If hackers are the creeps trying to sneak into your internet club, then Information Security Analysts are the bouncers. These IT professionals try to stay ahead of a would-be cyberattack. They need to monitor their organization’s networks, investigate possible violations, and make sure all efforts are made to protect their clients’ sensitive information.

Security is the name of their game. Day in, day out, they are heavily immersed in preventative measures. Sometimes that’s direct computer work; other times that means managing others in the IT department. However, they themselves report to the Chief Officer (CO). A bulk of your time will be spent attending cybersecurity conferences as well, so be prepared for some traveling!

Median Salary: $86,170
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 37% increase between 2012 and 2022

9. Systems Engineer

system_engineer

First we have the Systems Analysts doing their job, which requires an immense amount of research. Then they basically buy up this amazing, meets-your-needs, totally affordable computer system for the company. Well hey, now someone needs to build it.

Call the engineer, stat!

A Systems Engineer’s job is like a designer or a builder of this newly acquired computer system that was previously ordered by the Analyst. The Engineer then works their magic in setting up the hardware, software and applications. Sometimes the roles are blurred within the different IT professions. Many need to have the same knowledge concerning the computer system. Depending on your particular company’s job descriptions, you may or may not share the same duties.

Median Salary: $65,251
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: N/A

10. Business Analyst/ Project Managers

business_analyst

Allen Hackman, a Senior Director of Information Technology at Tyco International, called the Business Analysts “one of the most critical roles in the info tech space”. “It starts with them and ends with them”, Hackman says.

Wow, okay. That’s some big shoes to fill!

The Business Analyst are the problem solvers, the go-to guys. They are less tech, more business. Analysts need to have this strong business background because their main job is to tweak a company’s system and make it more usable and, more importantly, effective. They’re not sitting around with an open motherboard or tapping away piles and piles of data. These Analysts, also known as Project Managers, are taking on projects within a company. Say a company needs to make cutbacks; these specialists problem-solve and find a resolution, such as eliminating duplicate or nonessential jobs. Hey, nobody said it would be easy.

Median Salary: $78,600
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 19% increase between 2012 and 2022

11. Systems Administrator

system_admin

A Systems Administrator’s whole job centers around keeping the organizations’s equilibrium. No simple task, mind you. There is communication, work flow, and then all the technical things that can go awry.

Businesses need everything to run smoothly with the computer systems, the networks, as well as the equipment and software. Systems Administrators identify issues and fix them. One of the main concerns on a daily basis for a Systems Administrator is making sure the email, central data storage network and employee workstations are all configured correctly. They set up servers and train new employers on the system. With the growing trend for some jobs going remote, it is important for a Systems Administrator to help employees connect outside the workplace.

Median Salary: $72,560
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 12% increase between 2012 and 2022

12. Mobile Developers

mobile_dev

In a 2013 study by Internet Trends, it was reported that smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day; of course that’s between apps, texts, voice calls and utilities. Another report estimates 127 minutes of use. These numbers matter because where there are viewers, there is money to be made. Advertisers, game companies, app developers and anyone else with something to market want your attention.

The Mobile Developer is the designer and coder of programs and applications running on phones and tablets. They make sure everything from the regular computer website translates to its mobile counterpart. They are essentially software developers for the mobile market.

Median Salary: $71,071
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: N/A

13. Java Developers

java_coding

Java is a computer programming language; developers of Java write software using the language that runs adequately on a variety of computers.

You may remember Netscape Navigator, the old web browser from the mid-nineties? Well, Java powered that browser. A Java specific developer is really an application developer who happens to specialize in Java. They integrate their code with software written in other languages (think HTML, C++). They have to be versed in all program languages.

Median Salary: $70,280
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 8% increase between 2012 and 2022

14. Business Intelligence Developer

business_intel

A Business Intelligence Developer is the data expert in the IT world. They try to make sense of data a business already has. A strong programming background and knowledge of SQL is needed, as working with software and databases are the two main components of a BI Developer. BI Developers apply data mining algorithms and create and design charts and tables. This is a highly technical field of computer science; they figure out how to use all the data and then they execute a report.

Median Salary: $79,680
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 22% increase between 2012 and 2022

15. Data Scientist

data_scientist

Data Scientists are similar to Analysts, but slightly less technical. A Data Scientist typically has a computer science degree coupled with a strong business astuteness. They look at things multi-faceted, not just though the eyes of a typical IT worker. It’s a position that has evolved from the old Data Analyst role, and the demand for their expertise continues to grow as companies find their non-traditional nature an advantage in the sea of sameness amongst IT professionals.

Uniqueness pays! This is one of the higher paying gigs of IT.

Median Salary: $96,579
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: N/A

16. Network Architect

network_architect

Network Architect builds and designs local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets and data communication networks. A Network Architect is needed whether a business has, at the least, 2 small offices, or a global giant of a company with offices in every major city. You see, computer systems need to be networked to stay informed of each other and help achieve their company’s goal.

Typically you will have to predict the future network needs for the company you work for. You’ll need to be completely knowledgeable in software, hardware technology and implement security patches. You’ll look at current data, consult with other IT professionals to address all these concerns, and your main job is to build and link networks. This is one of the hands-on IT positions; we’re talking cables, routers and drivers. You will be physically engaging with hardware, so your knowledge must go from head to hand. Considering the required expertise, I should be expects that this is one of the higher paid positions in IT.

Median Salary: $91,000
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 15% increase between 2012 and 2022

17. Application Developer

macbook_apps

Apps are not just for your smartphone; Applications are used in almost every kind of computer device, from your spiffy new IPhone to that old Dell dinosaur in your spare room. Application Developers are the brains behind these Apps. They develop every game nuance, every little email function you covet, and for that matter every feature you say, geez, why’d they put that there?

They are the “They”.

They don’t work alone though. Usually there is a team assessing ideas and concepts for the public and they, along with graphic artists, software specialists and data experts, create the applications. Obviously they need to know how to code and they will have a strong knowledge of computer programming.

Median Salary: $93,350
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: 22% increase between 2012 and 2022

18. Digital Marketing Manager

marketing_computer

This is an IT career that veers off the T in IT and leans heavily on its business roots. After all, you need to be well versed in the field of Marketing as your title implies.

In recent years we’ve seen Marketing change significantly, not just with the advent of social media, but more of a switch from older conventional models, such as print and direct styles, to a more digital emphasis. Sure, there are hundreds of ways to market and sell products and services. But if you’ve been paying attention, print marketing is at a near extinction in favor of digital.

Digital Marketing Managers are hired and needed to emphasize this digital element in almost every companies new marketing plans. They work on a team and focus on achieving a company’s long and short term goals.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the name of their game. It’s the most important strategy in a Digital Marketers tool box. They need to know what works, and what doesn’t to bring their companies web presence in the top of a search engine like Google’s list.

Median Salary: $66,386
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: N/A

19. Social Media Director

social_media

This job is for the savvy computer geek. A great Social Media Director has to be in the know, period. They need to know the latest and greatest in the digital world. They were probably tweeting on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) before Twitter came along!

No, but really, they they’ve truly got an eye for how to strategically use the buzz of social media for their clients or business’s benefit.

These IT professionals are not the Introverted type; they have to have the ability to talk to anyone, always networking and connecting to boost their objectives. Now it doesn’t pay extremely well, but an Associate’s degree should suffice to land this gig.

Median Salary: $45,260
Education Level: Associate’s degree
Projected employment growth: 37% increase between 2012 and 2022

20. Chief Data Officer

chief_data

This is a relatively new position in the world of IT. A Chief Data Officer (CDO), resides next to other Chiefs. There is Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officers, but a CDO is clearly distinct in that their main objective is to exploit data. You see data, once a concern for lots of different positions, and mainly just to file away, has become so valuable that companies have created this new role that essentially brings the importance of data, its functions and operations, to the executive board table.

Obviously there is a big reason why data has become king concern amongst companies. And you can probably guess why that is.

Money.

Yes, the almighty dollar plays into the story here. With access to detailed market information, customer data and other analytics, a company’s CDO can identify ways in which all this data can be of use monetarily. What if a fast food company noticed through gathered data that it’s customers purchased milkshakes at a certain time of day? The CDO would notice these trends and a marketing team would then utilize that information to their advantage. This career path is so new, all we could find is a range of salaries offered through websites with job offers such as Glassdoor.com.

Median Salary: Over $100,000
Education Level: Bachelor’s degree
Projected employment growth: N/A