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5 top-paying IT jobs in 2018

Demand for advanced skills in the information technology sector has been outpacing the number of skilled and experienced people available. This has been the case for a while. According to the U.S. Labor Department, IT jobs will grow at a faster rate than the average for all other jobs over the next few years. Here are five top-paying IT jobs for 2018.

Information security engineer

In the area of data and information security or cybersecurity, it is a seller’s market at present, so the field is loaded with top-paying IT jobs. Researchers project a shortage of up to 3 million skilled information security professionals in the next few years.

At the very top levels in this space, an information security engineer can command pay between $300,000 and $400,000.

Corporations are poaching top cybersecurity talent from the CIA and the NSA because these companies are feeling the threat of foreign espionage due to the proliferation of advanced technologies.

In high demand regions, such as Los Angeles, New York, or the San Francisco Bay Area, salaries for information security engineers easily range from $150,000 to $200,000. But these are also higher tax areas and everyone has to consider quality-of-life issues as well.

Even at these salary levels, companies are finding it hard to recruit the best people. Information security is a highly specialized skill set where the engineers must constantly upgrade their knowledge and expertise to stay one step ahead of the hackers. The demand for people who have these cutting edge skills is skyrocketing in 2018.

Cloud professionals

The evolutionary cycle of IT has moved on from the era of PC and the Internet to the era of mobile and cloud. New technologies, including blockchain and machine learning, are being developed with the cloud in mind, and people with cloud tech expertise are going to gain more traction in the job market.

According to corporate recruiters, many of the cloud-related roles are the hardest to fill this year. These include positions such as cloud developers, cloud architects, and cloud infrastructure developers.

As salaried workers, experienced cloud professionals can make as much as $175,000 to $200,000 a year, while contractors can earn $150 to $250 per hour to implement cloud services. There are also top-paying IT jobs for cloud integrators, who perform the twin roles of installing cloud services and training the company’s IT workforce on how to use the cloud, have promising new opportunities now.

Data scientist and database architect


Data science is emerging as an integral element of how a company makes decisions and has become a field to find top-paying IT job. Whether it is determining the best marketing and advertising strategy for the target audience, evaluating market trends, or resolving operational inefficiencies, big data analysis can provide invaluable insights.

With decision making increasingly becoming data-driven, the demand for data scientists is scaling new heights. According to the Most Promising Jobs Report 2018 released by LinkedIn, job openings for data scientists have increased by 45 percent year-on-year.

It has also led to a growing demand for database architects who can ensure data is well-organized for accurate analysis by the data scientist.

Data scientist roles are commanding average salaries ranging from $140,000 to $220,000, while salaries for data architects range from $125,000 to $200,000 on average. The highest paying database architect skill continues to be MongoDB, as per a salary report published by Mondo.

Business solutions architect

Instead of depending on just a few basic vendor-based solutions to meet their internal business requirements, companies are now increasingly looking to hire solutions architects who can create fully customized solutions. These business application developers can also augment existing solutions to match them with the current business needs.

Technology companies, in particular, use a number of advanced and complex software-based applications and solutions that require dependability, specialized customization, and regular maintenance. The range of skills required to excel in the area of business application development has made this one of the best-paid tech skills of 2018.

According to LinkedIn, the average annual salary for a solutions architect position is $134,000. The highest salaries for this role can exceed $190,000, as per Mondo’s report. The actual salary will be determined according to the candidate’s coding fluency, tech expertise, and work experience.

Full-stack engineer

The IT job market is witnessing strong demand for both backend and frontend web developers, and more so for the ones who possess a combination of these both skills as full-stack engineers. According to experts, the web is increasingly the platform of choice for the development of mobile apps, particularly in the enterprise.

One of the key requisites for job candidates is to be familiar with the current open-source platforms as the trend is increasingly in favor of open source development. IT professionals who have HTML/CSS, Python, or PHP experience are in greater demand as companies move away from conventional platforms that involve a significant licensing fee.

Candidates with the latest skills web development skills have solid opportunities because the traditional JavaScript ecosystem is rapidly altering due to the new tech tools. Jobs for full-stack engineers can be doubly rewarding because along with a good pay, they can have a fair work-life balance because their job role can be performed from anywhere.

Job openings for full-stack engineers have been rising at a fast pace, with salaries ranging from $120,000 to $175,000. Once a candidate is able to prove their mettle using a full-stack framework, they can have a plethora of job opportunities that correlate with hefty paychecks.

Top-paying IT jobs: Snag one now

While these five top-paying IT jobs represent some of the best jobs in information technology at present, a wide range of other job positions such as digital marketing and e-commerce are well-paying because of the shortage of skills. To future-proof your career, you may also pursue cutting-edge skills in emerging fields such as blockchain and machine learning.

The IT field is expanding rapidly, and opportunities are not confined only to the limited areas covered in this list. However, if you are aiming for one of these top paying positions, you don’t necessarily need to return to school to acquire these skills.

One of the Facebook founders learned how to code over a weekend of studying. He just wanted to be part of the team!

You can make a smart career transition by acquiring on-the-job learning and pursuing some relevant certifications online (University of Phoenix is one such stellar option). The right type of program will put you in position to obtain one of these top-paying IT jobs. Who said you cannot study in the evenings and the weekends? That is the time to get ahead in today’s world!

Featured image: Pixabay

Benjamin Roussey

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006). Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.

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