In this modern information age, there’s an ever-growing need for technical experts and professionals with a background in computer science or data crunching. If you’re interested in pursuing jobs that will be in demand well into the future, the tech careers listed below are very much worth pursuing - not just for their interesting work and good salaries, but for their ubiquity among a wide range of industries.
In this blog, we’ll explore:
The state of the tech career market
6 In-demand tech careers
Is tech still a good career?
Over the past year, there has been a surge in layoffs in the global tech industry (along with a drop in hiring rates for programming experts in the US). That said, there’s still a huge demand among businesses for professionals with skills related to computers, data processing, or programming.
Thanks to changes and innovations in the modern tech industry, the job requirements for many tech careers have been changing as well. Traditional academic degrees in fields like computer science, for instance, are seen by hiring managers as less important than specific technical skills - a programming language, knowledge of cloud computing, AI development, etc. In short, most jobs in the modern tech industry are as lucrative and personally rewarding as ever. Tech careers in general, however, are less “layoff-proof” than they were in the recent past. To thrive in tech industry positions like the ones below, professionals need to refine their soft interpersonal communication skills and seek out job openings that best fit their technical skills.
1. Computer programmer
Though not as high as it was in years past, there’s still a significant demand for computer programmers who can keep a business’s software and operating systems functioning properly. The modern tech industry also happens to have a wide range of distinct computer programmer job openings (full-time work at an IT department, remote contract work, etc.), making it easier for job-seekers to find a programming gig that fits their scheduling needs.
Most computer programmers are hired to write, modify, and test codes and scripts for the software and apps that their employers or clients use, a painstaking process that requires diligence, a keen eye for detail, and knowledge of in-demand programming languages. Hiring managers also often seek out computer programming job applicants who can learn new coding languages on the fly and quickly master proprietary software.
The median annual salary of computer programmers in the US is around $93,000.
2. Data analyst
If you’re looking for an in-demand career, consider a position in data science. As the job title suggests, businesses hire data analysts to study large sets of information and provide business executives with the evidence needed to prove or disprove the effectiveness of certain strategies or investment plans. This makes the profession of data analyst a highly-valued among medium-to-large businesses with a vast customer base.
By processing the information they receive using statistical modeling, analytical software, or simple spreadsheets, data analysts can identify patterns and trends in fields such as customer satisfaction, product sales, ad campaigns, employee health, etc. Typically, data analysts then summarize their findings using reports or graphs designed to be detailed, accurate, yet accessible for others to use.
Professional data analysts generally need a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or computer science and earn a median annual salary of $100,910.
3. Technical support specialists
In a world full of complex computer hardware and idiosyncratic software, technical support specialists are in-demand among companies who need someone to assist clients, customers, or other employees with technical issues.
Some technical support specialists are employed in a company’s IT department, troubleshooting problems with servers, applications, or office devices. Other technical support specialists are hired to assist customers with company products over the phone or via chat. Thanks to the digital focus of their work, tech support experts can reliably snag remote jobs, even in a mostly post-COVID era.
According to a recent article on the Gartner website, 39 percent of workers with knowledge-based careers will be working on a hybrid basis globally (that is, alternating between working remotely and at an office) by the end of 2023. Additionally, 9 percent of all workers worldwide will be doing remote work exclusively by the end of 2023.
Compared to other tech careers, the educational requirements of technical support specialists tend to be lower, though degrees in computer science or information technology are always an asset. They earn a median annual salary of around $57,910.
4. Software engineer
Software engineers and software developers are careers in demand for 2023 and beyond among businesses that need specialized computer programmers to create original proprietary computer software.
Sometimes this software takes the form of a new computer, smartphone, or tablet application sold to a company’s customer. Other applications may be designed by software engineers for the company’s own internal use: special databases, analytics software, etc. Some software engineers are also hired to design and test updates for pre-existing programs or create documentation or operating instruction manuals.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists software engineering as a particularly promising and in-demand tech career, projecting a 25% increase in employment among software developers, QA analysts, and testers by the end of 2031.
Computer programming degrees aside, many software engineer job openings require candidates to have degrees in software development or mathematics. The median annual salary for software engineers in the US is $109,020.
5. Web developer
Web developers can theoretically get a job at any business in the modern economy, thanks to a consistent demand for websites used to advertise a business’s goods and services to web-browsing customers. A web developer can be hired by a company to write the code of a website from scratch designing the front-end interface and back-end server database. Web developers are also often charged with updating the website and fixing errors in response to visitor feedback.
The most qualified web developer job candidates have a degree in computer science and proficiency in key coding languages such as HTML or CSS and can earn a median annual salary of $78,300 in the US.
6. Database administrators
If there’s a computer database, then there’s a pressing need for database administrators, who can get jobs at nonprofit spaces, businesses, and government agencies - any modern institution with troves of digitized data to manage.
The chief responsibility of a database administrator is to organize the information stored on an organization’s servers so it can be easily and securely accessed. Through troubleshooting, software updates, carefully designed security measures, and the implementation of backup procedures, database administrators also work to prevent data loss or corruption at the hands of systemic failure or malicious action.
Degrees in computer science, computer engineering, or information technology are common requirements for many database administrator job openings. In the US, database administrators and architects typically earn a median salary of $101,000.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be, on average, 11,500 data administrator/architect job openings every year in the United States from 2021 to 2031.
The BLS has made similar annual job opening projections for the other positions listed in this article:
Data analysts/scientists: 13,500 openings annually from 2021 to 2031.
Computer programmers: 9,600 openings annually from 2021 to 2031.
Technical/computer support specialists: 75,000 openings annually from 2021 to 2031.
Software engineers/developers: 162,900 openings annually from 2021 to 2031.
Web developers: 21,800 openings annually from 2021 to 2031.
7. Network administrator
Like database administrators, network administrators are in high demand among businesses, nonprofits, and agencies with information that needs processing. Unlike database administrators, who generally focus on maintaining servers, network administrators are chiefly responsible for designing and maintaining the local networks that link an organization’s computers together into a system. New or expanding businesses might hire network administrators to set up a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN) from scratch. For established businesses, in contrast, the day-to-day duties of network administrators may be checking system logs to spot connectivity issues, reviewing security logs to spot attempts at unauthorized access, or carrying out projects to update or automate the network’s processes. Network administrators typically need to be skilled at providing technical support and operating server/directory software such as Cisco or Microsoft Active Directory. Most network administrators earn a median annual salary of around $83,510.
Despite recent layoffs and falls in hiring rates for certain jobs, there’s still high demand in the tech industry for computer experts and IT professionals.
Many in-demand tech career job openings need applicants with specific skills rather than specific academic degrees.
There’s currently a very high demand for technical support specialists and software engineers.
Median annual wages for the more in-demand tech careers range from $57,910 to over $100,000.