Working with technology can be fun and exciting. You will always be on the cutting edge of new advancements that will allow you to continue to push through new boundaries. The highest-paid tech jobs can earn you well over six figures a year if you have the training you need to keep moving forward. Keeping up with the latest technology is important due to how quickly advancements continue to occur. Going back to school is an excellent way to learn the latest techniques and how they can be applied to your current job.
For individuals who like to work with information and data sciences, advanced technology is a valuable tool. The ability to collect, categorize, store, and retrieve confidential information using technology is much more efficient than working with the data by hand. Without technology, our world would grind to a halt. In addition to gathering information, technology helps us to use it to its fullest advantage. Through the use of different types of software, almost any type of task can be completed accurately and with a great deal of precision.
Almost every industry has the need for professionals who have experience working with technology. The best technology jobs in the IT industry often have to do with managing information or the operation of highly complex machinery. Being able to keep up with this ever-changing field is not only a challenge for many but a passion as well. It becomes a lifelong career that allows for continued growth.
1. Data Scientist
The duties of a data scientist involve using science and technology to obtain information from a variety of sources including unstructured and structured collections of information. Data is often collected from a very wide range of sources. By collecting and thoroughly analyzing large amounts of data, insights can be gained and acted upon. This allows for new advancements within an industry or within the best practices of how information is handled. Following the technology as it advances will allow you to continue pushing your career forward.
Entry-level data scientist positions can expect to earn a starting wage ranging from $60,000 to $75,000 depending on their level of education, their grades, and any practical experience they may have. On the high end, a data scientist can earn as much as $250,000 per year. Experience can be gained in many different ways, from exploring degree programs to being hired on as an apprentice or internship. Continuing to learn as you work is the best way to advance yourself. This is why looking into online degree programs can be so beneficial.
2. Big Data Engineer
A big data engineer uses advanced forms of technology to work with massive amounts of data. This can include sifting through very large amounts of data in an attempt to identify patterns or sets of information. This type of data mining is beneficial when it comes to healthcare studies, scientific studies, and many industries that use large amounts of data to create solutions for potential problems that affect major industries or large populations of people. Big data engineers are expected to take massive amounts of data and turn it into usable information.
Big data engineers are capable of earning $72,000 per year in an entry-level position at the beginning of their careers. If they are proficient in their duties and have excelled in using the most advanced forms of technology possible, experienced big data engineers can expect to earn $170,000 or more each year on average. It will also depend on the industry in which the engineer works. Big data engineers can find some of the highest-paying jobs in the IT industry.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer
Artificial Intelligence Engineers are able to work in almost any type of industry. With artificial intelligence, the goal is to create technology that can function without human assistance. This type of technology is the foundation for smart home devices and appliances that are able to work more efficiently and can operate themselves by continually monitoring their environment. Artificial engineers do more than simply program the software that drives the technology, they design the device for maximum efficiency.
While artificial intelligence programmers can make $100,000 a year, an artificial intelligence engineer can make approximately $171,000 per year with only a few years of experience. As they continue to gain more experience, their earning potential can rise to as high as $250,000 or higher. If the engineer returns to school to continue their education, they can expect to earn more as their career continues to progress. With this type of career, the industry you choose to work in will make all the difference when it comes to potential earnings.
4. Cloud Architect
Cloud architects are professionals within the IT industry that oversee computer strategies involving cloud storage protocols, plans, and management. This includes any type of monitoring that is used to protect the cloud and its contents. A cloud architect will also play a role in how the cloud is adopted into a company’s toolbox of technological resources. It is up to the architect to determine how to implement the cloud and also how to make it as user-friendly as possible.
Cloud architects who find work in an entry-level position can expect to make anywhere from $70,000 to $96,000 per year to start. The more experience a cloud architect has, the higher their earning potential. Depending on the industry and the types of cloud storage being used, the pay for this type of career can go as high as $150,000 to $190,000. Your earning potential will continue to increase if you are willing to go back to school to upgrade your education.
5. Blockchain Engineer
Blockchain engineers are involved in developing the software that is used when dealing with cryptocurrency. Bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency are becoming much more popular in terms of convenience and security protocols. Blockchain engineers are responsible for developing protocols and best practices that can be used to mine, transfer, and use different types of cryptocurrency in a controlled and monitored environment. These engineers are able to use advanced forms of technology to create programs that can be used with different types of cryptocurrency.
Blockchain engineers and those that develop the software for cryptocurrency programs can earn anywhere from $131,000 to $150,000 per year. That averages out to approximately $11,000 to $12,500 per month. These jobs can be performed remotely or in an office surrounded by other team members. As a blockchain engineer gains experience, they can expect to boost their earning potential and move their career forward at a much faster pace.
6. Data Architect
Data architects construct the information management infrastructure. The architects design specific plans and tools that are used to create, organize, and maintain vital information that a company needs to function effectively. The management framework must also allow for easy retrieval and use of important information that may be stored throughout the network. A data architect is able to develop an information management framework that will allow the business to use the information it has at its disposal as efficiently as possible.
A data architect can expect to earn approximately $44,000 when hiring into an entry-level position. With this type of career, continuing education is the best way to stay abreast of any new technology that will assist in the collection and management of large amounts of data. For data architects who have earned a few years of experience, a salary of $160,000 to $220,000 is common. You can expect to earn even more if you work in an industry that requires maximum efficiency and confidentiality.
7. DevOps Engineer
A DevOps engineer is able to work with system operators and system developers, as well as admins who manage these positions. As an IT professional, a DevOps engineer is able to help developers create programs that operators can use in almost any type of situation. By including the admins in the process, the engineer is able to close the gap, making it easier for all three groups to work together and be as productive as possible. By bringing together software development and IT operations, it makes it much easier to create, utilize, and deliver high-quality programs that can be used to improve productivity.
A DevOps engineer can earn as much as $90,000 as soon as they are hired into an entry-level position. The more experience they gain, the more they will be able to make. A DevOps engineer with five to ten years of experience may be able to earn as much as $155,000 a year if they are working with the right type of software. If an engineer chooses to return to school, it may also add to the opportunities they receive if they continue in that position.
8. Software Architect
Software architects are expert software developers who work hand in hand with different types of businesses to create software solutions they can use to manage their business. Architects take on many roles when it comes to the creation of software. They are able to design, develop, and communicate with business owners and clients. Once they understand what a company or client needs, they can set to work designing the type of programs that will be most beneficial to their business.
Software architects have a pay range of anywhere from $85,000 to $170,000 per year. Even starting out immediately after graduation, a software architect who has a high GPA may be able to negotiate a sign-on bonus or other benefits that will put their potential first-year earnings far above average. This type of degree has one of the highest rates for potential earnings of all the digital and technology-based career options. The more skills a student has when creating software, the more likely they will be to move ahead at a faster pace.
9. Full-Stack Developer
Full-stack developers have the knowledge and ability to take on all of the jobs to manage the technology needed to tackle their projects. They are skilled enough to establish databases, work on servers, systems engineering, and deal with clients. They have the ability to make different types of stacks that can be used in different situations. From native application stacks to mobile stacks, full-stack developers work with every aspect of the clients’ needs and create solutions they can use to complete projects and move their company forward.
Full-stack developers can make a beginning salary of approximately $46,000 on a yearly average. As they gain experience, they can increase their potential earnings to as much as $75,000 per year. For full-stack developers that have returned to school and earned an advanced degree, the earning potential will dramatically increase, in some cases to as much as $151,000. Developers who can consistently develop what the client needs in a short period of time are more likely to be offered opportunities for advancement on a regular basis.
10. Product Manager
When it comes to technology, a product manager who has earned a degree in software development or data engineering can expect to earn a fairly large salary even at the very beginning of their career. A product manager is in charge of designing, developing, and then utilizing programs and software that are required for certain operations and tasks. As a product manager, it is their job to oversee others who work with them throughout the design and development stage.
In an entry-level position, a product manager can start out with a salary that is close to $65,000 to $75,000 per year. The more they work within the field, the higher their earning potential will be. As they begin to earn experience, they will also begin to receive opportunities for advancement. In some cases returning to school to earn an online degree, may be the answer to improving their earning potential. A product manager with an advanced degree can make anywhere from $130,000 to $170,000 on a yearly basis.
Does a Higher Degree Make a Difference in Salary?
Individuals who work in a technology-based career can start to make a significant amount of money even in an entry-level position. Many people find work in these positions with only a few college classes under their belt. As they continue to learn about the IT field, many choose to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree program that will give them the knowledge and credentials you will need to move forward with your career. In fact, the right degree can give you what you need to explore even more opportunities within your chosen career field.
Many degree programs are now offered over online learning platforms. This makes it possible to earn a Master’s degree while still on the job. Because it is so much easier for students to continue working while they earn their next degree, many are pursuing that option and returning to school. This allows them to advance toward management positions where they are able to oversee developers and engineers. Along with the additional responsibilities, they also can expect to receive a much higher wage, potential bonuses, and other benefits that are often associated with higher-level management positions.
What it boils down to is that when you are working in a technology-based career, the more education you have, the better off you will be. Technology is always moving forward. Sometimes the transition is so fast, that what was cutting edge six months ago, may not be obsolete and almost valueless. The key is to keep up with technology as it moves forward. Employees who are constantly returning to school or enrolling in certification programs that will allow them to boost their credentials and give them the information they need to be at the top of their game. It also gives them a chance to add to their skills and abilities and make them more valuable to their employer. Many employers will often pay for their employees to return to school if they feel it will be beneficial for the company.
Do Private-Sector Jobs Pay Better than Public?
In the past, employees who worked in the private sector made more than individuals who worked for the government. Now, the trend seems to be shifting with government workers making more than those in the private sector. In some cases, it is a matter of location and the type of work being done. When it comes to technology-based industries, like GIS, pay will often be based on two things; the knowledge, education, and experience of the employee and the demand for the services being paid for.
Another factor is location. When it comes to technology, there are several areas of the country where technology-based industries thrive. States like Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, California, and Texas have high concentrations of employees working in many of the most lucrative areas associated with the IT industry. If you are lucky enough to work in one of these areas, you will be able to maximize your income potential. Many companies in these areas will offer work to individuals who want to work remotely if they have the type of skills the company needs.