Fat paychecks, anyone? Highest-paying IT jobs in 2020

A standout feature of the just-ended decade was the phenomenal rise of IT and its penetration into every field. The new decade is going to be one of advanced IT systems based on artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, wearable tech, machine-to-machine (M2M), virtual reality, augmented reality, 5G, and more that will make further inroads into our lives and society as a whole. From a job perspective, this is both good and bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of our way first. Many manual jobs are going to disappear soon as computers can perform them more efficiently. Along with it, legacy IT jobs may also go under the hammer and employees will be forced to move to emerging technologies. As for the good news, there is going to be no dearth of jobs in IT and every well-qualified and knowledgeable individual can get a job of their choice, not to mention the fat paychecks that come with it. So, here are the highest paying IT jobs in 2020, in no particular order.

Application developers

Application developers will play a bigger role in 2020 and beyond given the growing number of applications across all industries today. There will always be a demand to create new applications and to enhance existing ones, so this means there will be more jobs available than qualified developers to fill them. Since demand is more than supply, application developers are likely to take home among the highest paychecks. According to Datamation, this job’s pay will range anywhere from $87,750 to $153,000.

Big Data engineers/data scientists

Big Data was arguably the biggest IT buzzword of the past decade, and its growth has opened up opportunities for engineers who create the systems to collect and analyze the huge amounts of data generated every minute by users around the world. These systems help businesses to make sense of these huge data volumes.

Researchgate estimates that the volume of worldwide stored data would be around 40 zettabytes (10^ 21) by 2020. You definitely need the right systems to analyze this data and that’s why Big Data engineers will have a ton of opportunities. As of now, the median national salary for Big Data engineers is $163,250, according to RobertHalf, and this could go up in the coming years.

Data scientists and engineers are also likely to see a big demand due to these growing data volumes. The role of a data scientist/engineer is to create meaningful insights from the identified data patterns while a Big Data engineer is responsible for creating the systems needed to make sense of data. The average salary for a data scientist is $120,395.

Mobile engineers

highest-paying it jobs

No discussion of IT jobs is complete without a mention of mobile engineers. Given the ubiquity of mobile devices and their continued penetration into the remotest parts of the world, it is no surprise that these engineers feature in our list of highest-paying IT jobs. A recent report from AppsFlyer states that the global app market will be worth $64.1 billion by 2020 and this translates to more apps and more developers to create them. The average salary range in 2020 for this role is expected to be $121,750 to $206,500.

IT security managers/engineers/specialists

The bonhomie of IT and its innumerable benefits are only one side of the coin. The other bitter side is the many security challenges that come with it. In fact, the last few years have seen a spate of cyberattacks on critical systems and companies are now scrambling to protect their systems and data from such attacks.

This means there will always be a constant demand for IT security managers and specialists who can come up with new ways to secure IT systems. These jobs require a proactive approach where you have to be one step ahead of hackers when it comes to detecting vulnerabilities and foolproofing your systems.

No wonder this is one of the highest-paying IT jobs today and will continue to feature in the top three jobs over the new decade as well. These professionals will enjoy a median salary of $143,250.

AI engineers

highest-paying it jobs

Artificial intelligence is one of the fields that will see explosive growth in the coming decade. Many routine processes and jobs will be automated and this is expected to take user experience to new levels. AI has the power to bridge human-computer interaction, increase the efficiency of existing operations, provide new insights, and so much more. Due to its wide-arching powers, AI is expected to play a big role in sectors like banking, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and more.

Needless to say, this surge in AI roles will need more AI engineers and this is why the median salary for this role is $146,085. It is also worthwhile to note that this role had one of the fastest growth rates in the last three years, a whopping 344 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to Chad Crabtree.

Software engineers


Software engineers are those who design and create applications and software. This description brings up two things — there will always be a demand for this job because the world needs more applications across different sectors and second, it is one of the most versatile jobs in the IT industry.

Regardless of the industry or company, software engineers will always be in demand, though a specific programming language skill is necessary to carve a high-paying niche for yourself. Due to the ubiquitous nature of this job, the average salary for this role is $125,750.

Database administrators

Database administrator is one of those steady jobs that have been around for the last 20 years and will continue to be relevant for at least the next 20 years. This is because the data is stored and managed in databases and this means every company needs a bunch of people to manage these databases.

In fact, as more applications emerge, databases will continue to be a key backend infrastructure providing the necessary support and information for these applications. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this job area will grow by 9 percent from 2019 to 2028 and the median pay in 2019 was $90,070. While this is not as high paying compared to other emerging fields, this will nevertheless be a steady job that will still be relevant in 2030.

Emerging technologies and highest-paying IT jobs

This broad-ranging group includes jobs in emerging technologies such as blockchain, M2M, Internet of Things, digital ecosystem, 5G connectivity, hyper-automation, and more. While the next few years will determine the exact roles and responsibilities in these technologies, there is no doubt that these technologies will rule the next decade. It also translates to a ton of opportunities that will pay well to the right candidates, so consider empowering yourself with the right skills and educational qualifications to leverage these opportunities. These are some of the highest paying jobs in 2020 and beyond. Which of these do you want to choose and why?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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