Contents

    The 15 highest-paying tech jobs in 2024

    The 15 highest-paying tech jobs in 2024
    Contents

      The highest-paying tech jobs in 2024 are computer and information systems managers, computer and information research scientists, and software developers.

      Health information technologists and medical registrars, computer support specialists, graphic designers are among the lowest paid.

      The most in-demand IT skills involve machine learning and AI, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

      While artificial intelligence (AI) remains a cause for concern among tech workers, some experts argue that AI will expand, not replace, their roles.

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      If you’re looking for a high-paid job with good benefits, job stability, and variety in choice of work setting, look no further than a career in tech.

      Whether you want to work in a fast-paced startup, innovative tech company, or the IT department of any organization, nearly every industry requires skilled tech workers – and rewards them with above-average pay.

      While the ongoing tech layoffs and rise of AI can be daunting, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts nearly 800,000 openings by 2031 for computer science and mathematical occupations, indicating STEM jobs are here to stay.

      That said, certain roles tech roles take home higher salaries on average than others.

      We’ve compiled a list of the highest-paying tech jobs to help you make a career choice that pays off most.

      What do technology jobs pay on average?

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information technology occupations make a median salary of $104,420 as of May 2023 – much higher than the $48,060 national average for all jobs.

      This occupational category includes roles like web and software developers, information security analysts, computer programmers, and computer network architects.

      Not every role in tech pays 6 figures. As expected, support roles and ones which are less directly related to computer science tend to be lower paid.

      Jobs like graphic designers ($58,910), computer support specialists ($63,640), and technical writers ($80,050) take home much lower salaries than their peers in software development and data science, for example, but still make above-average pay.

      The best-paying jobs in tech

      The best-paid skills in tech are in management, research, network architecture, security, software quality testing, and data science. Read on to find out which of these well-paid roles in tech suit your skillset.

      To make this list, we’ve taken all roles categorized as Computer and Mathematical Occupations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for most roles in this article are sourced from the BLS.

      However, many titles in tech are not yet formally recognized by the BLS. For those, we’ve referred to O*NET, the occupational database from the U.S. Department of Labor, and Indeed for salary estimates.

      We recognize that “tech jobs” is a broad category. For simplicity, we’ve defined tech jobs as ones involving working with computers in an office setting.

      Computer and information systems managers

      Any company that uses computers for business operations needs a computer and information system manager, or IT manager.

      As head of the IT department, this high-paid role plans and oversees activities related to an organization’s computer systems, including its cybersecurity measures. A good IT manager regularly touches base with other department heads and management roles to resolve IT issues and plan projects.

      Beyond having excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills, this role should be well versed in network administration, cybersecurity, cloud computing, database management, and software development technologies.

      10% $101,590
      25% $131,770
      Median $169,510
      75% $214,050
      90% $208,000

      Total employment

      592,600

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      10.9%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Software developers

      Software developers use their expertise in computer science and engineering to design, test, deploy, and maintain computer and network software. In other words, they are the architects behind every application or system on the market.

      The end-to-end software development process involves mapping out an application or system, writing code, troubleshooting, and outlining the specifications needed for these tools to perform well. Additionally, they can be tasked with maintaining databases, such as Oracle or MySQL.

      Software developers should be highly skilled in various programming languages, such as Java, SQL, Python, Linux, and so on, in addition to any in-house programming languages. As their work passes through the hands of nearly every role in the organization, they should have excellent interpersonal skills.

      10% $77,020
      25% $101,200
      Median $132,270
      75% $167,540
      90% $208,620

      Total employment

      1,656,880

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      N/A

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Computer network architects

      Computer network architects design, implement, and maintain computer networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets and extranets, and others.

      Some day-to-day tasks include developing security measures, such as firewalls, assessing security vulnerabilities, drawing up plans for disaster recovery, and analyzing capacity needs for network infrastructure. As a business grows, a computer network architect ensures networks can grow with it while maintaining their high performance and reliability.

      Computer network architects should know their way around IT systems, the cybersecurity landscape, and computer equipment. Having prior experience as network and computer systems administrators is also an advantage.

      10% $77,960
      25% $100,120
      Median $129,840
      75% $164,080
      90% $195,000

      Total employment

      174,100

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      5.4%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Information security analysts

      Cybersecurity remains a top priority for most businesses, especially those with a large global presence, and this is where information security analysts come in.

      These specialists plan and implement measures to ensure an organization’s information is kept safe from hackers, viruses, and cyber-attacks. In practice, that could look like analyzing data breaches, identifying vulnerabilities in a network, and installing data encryption, firewalls, and virus protection.

      Information security analysts should be skilled in computer systems and hardware, network security, cybersecurity tools, data loss prevention (DLP), and incident response. They should also understand cloud security for platforms like AWS or Azure.

      10% $69,210
      25% $90,050
      Median $120,360
      75% $153,550
      90% $182,370

      Total employment

      175,350

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      33.4%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Database administrators

      Database administrators implement and maintain computer databases. They ensure databases perform well, have enough data storage, and can be scaled.

      The responsibilities of a database administrator include creating databases, efficiently organizing and archiving data, troubleshooting issues, backing up and recovering data, and creating database documentation.

      They have in-depth knowledge of database security, data management system software, such as MySQL, Oracle, or SAP Hana, and programming languages like SQL.

      10% $54,320
      25% $71,940
      Median $101,510
      75% $133,120
      90% $157,710

      Total employment

      76,140

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      N/A

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Computer occupations, all other

      Many tech occupations have not been formally recognized by the BLS. The “computer occupations, all other” category includes the following professions:

      • Web administrators
      • Geographic information systems technologists and technicians
      • Document management specialists
      • Penetration testers
      • Information security engineers
      • Digital forensics analysts
      • Blockchain engineers
      • Computer systems/architects
      • Information technology project managers

      These careers take home some of the highest salaries in the tech industry. Head to O*net for job-specific information on any of these careers.

      10% $49,690
      25% $71,990
      Median $104,920
      75% $141,820
      90% $174,300

      Total employment

      437,170

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      9.2%

      Degree required

      N/A

      Software quality assurance analysts and testers

      Software quality assurance (SQA) analysts and testers are in high demand in tech, as they ensure that software is free of bugs and other issues impacting its performance and reliability.

      Software testing involves detecting defects or bugs in the software and reporting them to software developers and in documentation. Many use automation scripts to enhance efficiency.

      As their role is collaborative, software quality assurance analysts and testers should be excellent communicators. They are also well acquainted with agile testing and test automation, the software development lifecycle, programming languages like Python, Java, or C#, and documentation best practices.

      10% $58,740
      25% $78,470
      Median $101,800
      75% $130,630
      90% $164,520

      Total employment

      203,040

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      N/A

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Data scientists

      Data science is a fascinating and varied field, offering opportunities to work in any industry that uses complex data to make informed decisions.

      Depending on the organization, the responsibilities of a data scientist are just as diverse – ranging from analyzing trends in large data sets to building predictive models, visualizing data in easy-to-understand graphics, and presenting findings to stakeholders in PowerPoint presentations.

      Data scientists are skilled in statistical analysis, regression modelling, machine learning, data visualization, and cloud computing. Knowledge of programming languages, such as Python, R, and SQL, is also needed to make sense of large swaths of data.

      10% $61,070
      25% $79,810
      Median $108,020
      75% $147,670
      90% $184,090

      Total employment

      192,710

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      N/A

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Computer systems analysts

      Computer systems analysts find better ways to use computer technology to meet the strategic needs of organizations.

      By studying computer system capabilities and workflows, these roles can identify new technologies, or improve upon existing ones, that allow a business to accomplish its objectives more efficiently. Other job duties might include testing new software or hardware, troubleshooting, or helping users resolve computer malfunctions and other issues.

      Computer systems analysts should be well versed in information systems, network and diagnostic tools, data analysis, and communication.

      10% $63,230
      25% $80,380
      Median $103,800
      75% $132,580
      90% $165,700

      Total employment

      498,810

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      7%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Computer programmers

      Computer programmers write, test, and update code for programs and applications using languages such as Java, C#, Python, Ruby, and JavaScript. Code is simply a set of instructions that computers use to run properly and perform tasks.

      Programming skills are highly coveted in the global job market and have broad applicability to countless other tech roles, such as software and web developers, data scientists, and database administrators. While a bachelor’s degree in computer and IT technology is preferred, certification programs and coding bootcamps are also accepted.

      10% $58,950
      25% $74,610
      Median $99,700
      75% $129,650
      90% $167,230

      Total employment

      120,370

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      -9.9%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Business intelligence analysts

      Management analysts evaluate information relating to an organization’s business operations, particularly its financial data, to suggest improvements that increase efficiency. Business intelligence (BI) analysts fit into this occupational category.

      Business intelligence analysts spend most of their time analyzing large data sets by querying databases, preparing reports and dashboards, and consulting companies on various areas of their business.

      The BLS-sourced salary information below reflects all management analysts. This is in par with what business intelligence analysts make on average, which is $95,670, according to Indeed.

      10% $57,840
      25% $74,540
      Median $99,410
      75% $130,800
      90% $172,280

      Total employment

      838,140

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      13.7%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Project management specialists

      Information technology project managers are big-picture thinkers who manage IT projects from ideation to completion. Their tasks include setting and tracking project goals, ensuring the team works within the available budget and time constraints, and revising the project roadmap when needed.

      What sets IT project managers apart from other project managers is a comprehensive understanding of various IT concepts, including data management, cybersecurity, data storage, computer networks, and application architecture. Good IT PMs are also well organized, diplomatic but assertive, and can handle stress and ambiguity.

      While the salary information below reflects all project managers, IT project managers can typically expect a pay range of $126-195K, according to Glassdoor.

      10% $57,500
      25% $74,100
      Median $98,580
      75% $129,690
      90% $163,040

      Total employment

      947,630

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      N/A

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Network and computer systems administrators

      As the name suggests, network and computer systems administrators are responsible for maintaining computer networks in companies, schools, or corporations.

      On an average day, these IT specialists might install network hardware and systems, troubleshoot, evaluate network performance, or introduce measures to keep information secure. As their skills are often needed at odd hours, they tend to work more than 40 hours a week.

      To support users effectively, network and computer systems admins should have expertise in network technology (e.g., in routers, VPNs, and LAN/WAN networks), and disaster recovery, along with problem-solving and communication skills.

      10% $58,680
      25% $74,400
      Median $95,360
      75% $121,910
      90% $148,710

      Total employment

      323,020

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      5.4%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Web developers and digital interface designers

      Web development is an exciting and diverse field that involves developing and testing the layouts, interfaces, navigation, and various functionalities of websites.

      Web developers ensure optimal site performance and a satisfactory experience for users as they navigate an organization’s website. Front-end developers control how the website appears to the user, while back-end developers build the internal workings of a website.

      These specialists should be well acquainted with programming languages for the front end (e.g., HTML and CSS) or back end (e.g., PHP, Java, Ruby), user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) principles, content management systems (CMS), and even search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

      10% $80,000
      25% $130,840
      Median $206,680
      75% $208,000
      90% $208,000

      Total employment

      211,230

      Projected growth (2018-2028)

      -5.7%

      Degree required

      Bachelor’s

      Honorable mentions

      Below are more tech jobs which either are not formally recognized by the BLS or make lower salaries:

      • Mobile developer ($127,848)
      • DevOps engineers ($126,240)
      • Product managers ($120,515)
      • Technical writers ($80,050)
      • Computer network support specialists ($78,640)
      • Computer numerically controlled tool programmers ($67,650)
      • Computer user support specialists ($63,640)
      • Health information technologists and medical registrars ($62,990)
      • Computer support specialists ($60,810)
      • Graphic designers ($58,910)

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      Highest-paying tech jobs without a degree

      If you want to go into tech, you’ll likely need a college degree. According to the BLS, a bachelor’s degree is required for over half (65.5%) of people working in computer or math professions.

      That said, getting a job in tech without formal college education is difficult but not impossible. For each tech job it has on file, O*net reports the percentage of people without a college degree:

      Job title Average salary Percent with no college degree 
      Software developers $132,270  9.4% 
      Information security analysts $120,360  21.4% 
      Computer systems analysts $103,800  18.3% 
      Software quality assurance analysts and testers $101,800  17.7% 
      Computer programmers $99,700  18.1% 
      Web and digital interface designers $98,540  21.7% 
      Network and computer systems administrators $95,360  28.9% 
      Web developers $84,960  19.9% 
      Technical writers $80,050  15.2% 
      Computer numerically controlled tool programmers $63,440  77.1% 
      Computer support specialists $60,810  35.8% 
      Graphic designers $58,910  20.5% 
      Data entry keyers $36,190 60.6% 

      How to get a high-paying tech job

      The road to landing a high-paying tech job is paved with many (often time consuming and expensive) obstacles, and it can take several years of schooling, training, experience, and cultivating industry relationships.

      If you aren’t in the IT field yet, but would like to be, consider the following steps for getting a tech job that pays well.

      1. Earn a relevant degree

      In computer and math roles, a degree pays off: BLS reports that over half of these roles require a bachelor’s degree.

      A bachelor’s in computer science (CS) is likely the best catch-all degree in tech that looks good on a resume. Other in-demand degrees in IT include computer engineering, software engineering, and information technology.

      2. Get trained

      If you’re proactive enough, you could land in tech without going the traditional college route.

      Many affordable resources are available for self-study and training, such as IT MOOCs and coding bootcamps. Bear in mind that bootcamps tend to be oversaturated now, and their certificates hold less weight than they once did for employers.

      So, to bolster your resume, you may want to consider getting certified. Some in-demand IT certifications include Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Practitioner, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and Certified ScrumMaster (CSM).

      3. Gain practical experience

      4+ years of experience in the field is expected of most people working in tech, which can be a catch-22 for those hoping to get their foot in the door.

      Internships can be valuable ways to gain experience before full-time employment. Some are general in nature and cover many of the essentials (“IT intern”), while others focus on specializations like data analytics or IT system administration.

      Building a strong portfolio in lieu of formal experience is also a great way to demonstrate proficiency, especially in programming and development roles.

      4. Build connections 

      In a competitive field like tech, knowing someone on the inside can significantly boost your chances of landing a job.

      Luckily, the tech professional world offers plenty of opportunities to network, many of which are entirely online, such as forums and virtual conferences. Consider using these platforms to connect with experts in your chosen field for advice, industry trends, and even mentorship opportunities.

      5. Get hired within your organization

      Moving horizontally in an organization to a tech-oriented role – for example, going from the marketing team to product or documentation teams – is another way to secure a tech job if your resume isn’t ready for new employers.

      Apart from employers being more likely to hire someone from the inside, many are also willing to train one of their own if there is a business need to do so.

      Which IT skills are in demand?

      According to the Future of Jobs Report 2023 from the World Economic Forum, 75% of surveyed companies plan to adopt big data, cloud computing, and AI technologies in the next 5 years.

      As such, the most valuable IT skills concentrate around these areas:

      • Machine learning and AI – Deep learning, reinforcement learning, and natural language processing
      • Cloud computing – Data migration, cloud computing platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, and database management
      • Cybersecurity – Incidence response, penetration testing, and risk management
      • IT infrastructure – Network and system administration, security and compliance, and cloud environments
      • Blockchain – Data structures, cryptography, and programming
      • Data science – Database management, programming, data visualization, machine learning modeling

      The fastest-growing tech jobs

      Jobs in tech are among the fastest growing overall in the U.S. according to BLS occupational growth projections. In 2022-2032, data scientists are projected to be the fastest-growing job in tech and 3rd fastest in the nation.

      This projection makes sense considering the growing need for experts in machine learning and AI models, which data scientists are the architects behind.

      Other fast-growing tech jobs include information security analysts (32%), software developers (26%), and computer and information research scientists (23%).

      In terms of the number of vacancies projected for 2022-2032, Projections Central named software developers as the fastest-growing tech jobs, with 136,300 annual openings. Others include computer user support specialists (53,000 openings), computer and information systems managers (46,900 openings), and computer systems analysts (37,600 openings).

      Fast-growing jobs in AI

      Not unsurprisingly, AI and machine learning specialists were named the fastest-growing job in the Future of Jobs Report 2023 from the World Economic Forum.

      This category is vague, and with good reason – given the growth rate of AI technologies, countless AI specialist roles haven’t been invented yet.

      That said, as AI technologies allow businesses to incorporate massive amounts of data into their operations, specialists that can keep data secure through AI-informed cybersecurity measures and advise on how to use AI ethically (and legally) will play critical roles in the future.

      How AI will impact the future of tech jobs

      Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) in the last few years, particularly Large Language Models (LLM) like ChatGPT, have left many wondering about the impact of AI on tech jobs.

      Some view AI as relatively harmless; in a Pew Research Center survey, 32% of IT workers said that AI will help more than hurt them personally.

      Despite some optimism in the field on the impact of AI, there is still a lack of consensus among experts on what that impact will look like.

      The unprecedented growth rate of AI – predicted to reach 37.3% in 2023-2030 –makes it difficult to make any definitive claims on the nature or extent of AI’s role in the job market. The million-dollar question is whether AI will result in job replacement or an expansion of worker capabilities through increased productivity.

      For now, future job loss due to AI is anyone’s best guess.

      The Pew Research Center recently analyzed common responsibilities of all U.S. jobs to predict the extent of their likely exposure to AI. They argued that those with the highest exposure to AI are most likely to be impacted most in the future. Data entry keyers, technical writers, and web developers were called out as having likely high exposure to AI in the future. Again, the impact of that exposure remains unclear.

      As daunting as its implications may appear, artificial intelligence is not, as its name suggests, sentient – it is inspired by, not a copy of, actual human intelligence.

      In other words, AI still can’t do everything on its own; it needs human input. As a set of human-built advanced algorithms, it requires a human to review its work. This, however, implies a particular set of tech skills, one which not everyone has.

      The new tech worker in the age of AI

      In computer science, many job functions are at risk of being impacted by artificial intelligence, with consulting firm McKinsey & Company predicting that 30% of working hours in STEM could be automated by 2030.

      Computer programmers and software developers are among them, as machine learning algorithms are now trained to write code, and even entire software programs, with less human interference.

      But this change is less indicative of a total replacement by AI, but a reworking of the job description, one which represents a transition from creating the code from scratch to validating it.

      Recent studies from McKinsey and Stanford University’s 2024 AI Index Report echoed this sentiment, both noting that AI automation will enhance the way STEM professionals work and their output quality, rather than eliminate their jobs outright. In practice, McKinsey notes this means the ability to leverage more expertise, creativity, and communication.

      For now, programmers and developers, while much of their work will be automated through AI, can rest easy – that is, as long as they have programming skills that go beyond the basics (i.e., what AI can do).

      Meanwhile, the consensus among many experts is that low-skilled jobs are at most risk of disappearing (Polak 2021).

      What this all tells us is that AI has made the tech landscape more competitive than ever, and newcomers will face challenges in getting their foot in the door with only basic coding skills.

      Final thoughts

      As we’ve seen, many of the highest-paying tech jobs require a bachelor’s degree at minimum, usually in computer science, information technology, and similar fields.

      While a degree isn’t a requirement, with many well-paid roles accepting alternative training and certification programs, it’s the most surefire way to land a job in an increasingly competitive tech landscape.

      Consider checking out our rankings of best-value computer science programs to get the most out of your investment. Alternatively, take our degree quiz below to find a STEM program that aligns best with your interests.

      www.degreechoices.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

      Propel your career from anywhere.

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