It’s hard to go wrong with a technology degree. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, computer and information sciences is the major with the highest job offers and job acceptance rates, particularly with advanced degrees—nearing $100,000 for starting salaries. Perhaps that’s why a recent CareerBuilder study revealed that the number of science and technology jobs is expected to grow twice as fast as other occupations.
As of May 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a degree in a computer-related field can lead to a variety of well-paying and high-demand jobs, with a median annual wage of $97,430. The best tech jobs pay significantly more than the average median wage of $45,760 and have projected growth rates of 13%, faster than the overall rate for all occupations.
By sorting through data from several sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we compiled the following list of the ten best tech jobs.
- Technology remains a hot sector for the job market heading into the 2030s.
- STEM majors are at an advantage when applying for jobs in software development, engineering, IT, or research.
- Here, we look at some of the best tech jobs through 2030, according to U.S. government statistics.
1. Data Scientist
- Job outlook through 2030: 2.4%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: Not available
- Median annual wage: $108,660
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) calls data scientists “the sexiest job of the 21st century." There is a high demand for individuals who can evaluate data to help companies make business decisions; however, there is a relatively low supply of qualified candidates.
According to a 2021 Burtch Works report, salaries for level three data scientist managers are as high as $250,000. Burtch Works also notes that most data scientists have either a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in mathematics/statistics, computer science, or engineering.
2. Software Developer
- Job outlook through 2030: 22%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 409,500
- Median annual wage: $110,140
Software developers are in great demand. This growth is fueled by the demand for mobile apps and other products that are driven by technology. While some software developers design applications, systems software developers design operating systems and interfaces. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or mathematics is usually a requirement.
3. Information Security Analyst
- Job outlook through 2030: 33%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 47,100
- Median annual wage: $102,600
By far, the largest number of job openings on the list is for information security analysts. More than 22 billion records were breached in 2021, according to Risk Based Security/Flashpoint, an international security company. These breaches illustrate the urgent need for information security analysts. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or programming is the typical requirement, although some employers prefer an MBA in information systems.
4. Computer Systems Analyst
- Job outlook through 2030: 7%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 42,800
- Median annual wage: $99,270
Computer systems analysts are needed to design and install new computer systems, and IT consulting firms hire most of them. Growth has occurred primarily in the following areas: cloud computing, mobile technology, and healthcare records. Candidates usually need a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, although the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that sometimes a liberal arts degree is sufficient.
5. Web Developer
- Job outlook through 2030: 13%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 25,500
- Median annual wage: $77,200
This is one of the few jobs on the list that you can get without a bachelor’s degree. There are three types of web developers; web designers, who create the layout and feel of the website, need an associate degree in web design.
Webmasters, who maintain the website, may have a webmaster certificate, an associate degree in web development, or a bachelor’s degree, depending on the employer. Web architects, who handle the technical construction of the site, usually need a bachelor’s degree in programming or computer science.
The number of new jobs in computer and information sciences fields that will be added over the next decade, according to BLS.
6. Sales Engineer
- Job outlook through 2030: 8%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 5,000 total (specific numbers for technology not available)
- Median annual wage: $103,710
The demand for sales engineers in other industries is only projected to increase by 8%; however, as per a 2021 global market report, the growth rate is nearly three times as fast for professionals selling computer software and hardware. Most sales engineers have a degree in business, science, or a technology field. They must also be well-versed in technology to present proposals, explain products, and answer questions.
7. Information Technology Manager
- Job outlook through 2030: 11%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 52,700
- Median annual wage: $159,010
Information technology managers go by a variety of other names; for example, computer and information systems managers, chief information officers (CIOs), chief technology officers (CTOs), IT directors, or IT security managers. While duties may vary, they usually oversee an IT team and handle the organization's technology needs. A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science-related major is required, though some employers prefer an MBA.
8. Computer Research Scientist
- Job outlook through 2030: 22%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 7,200
- Median annual wage: $131,490
This position has the least number of new jobs, but that’s because it is a difficult field to enter. Computer and Information Research Scientists typically require a Ph.D., and so the candidate pool is small, which keeps the demand for this role high. Among other duties, computer and information research scientists write algorithms to help businesses analyze data.
9. Network and Systems Administrator
- Job outlook through 2030: 5%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 18,800
- Median annual wage: $80,600
This job has the lowest growth rate on the list, but don’t let that fool you. Companies need network and computer systems administrators to handle their day-to-day technology operations, which include installing and maintaining local and wide area networks, intranets, etc.
Typically, candidates for this role hold a degree in information science, computer science, computer engineering, or electrical engineering.
10. Computer Support Specialists
- Job outlook through 2030: 9%
- Number of new jobs through 2030: 72,200
- Median annual wage: $57,910
It’s the lowest paying job on the list, but it also requires the least amount of time in school; most employers will hire candidates with a postsecondary certificate or an associate degree. There are two types of computer support specialists: computer network support specialists and computer user support specialists.
Computer network support specialists usually work with IT staff to troubleshoot problems. Computer user support specialists, also known as help desk techs, assist customers and non-technical employees.
What Are the Highest Paying Tech Jobs?
The highest-paid tech jobs are IT Managers and computer research scientists. The median annual wage for these roles is well over $100,000 per year.
Which Tech Jobs Don't Require a Degree?
Although it is often difficult to get your resume seen without a bachelor's, there are several jobs in technology that do not require a four-year degree. Web developers, software developers, and computer support specialists are notable examples. Although many companies prefer their developers to have a four-year degree, having a large portfolio of coding work or other certifications may help get your foot in the door.
How Do You Find Tech Jobs?
Like other careers, you can find tech jobs through company websites, job boards, LinkedIn, and old-fashioned networking. Since tech jobs require specialized skills, you can also find jobs through a recruiter.
The Bottom Line
Technology is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand industries. Use this list as a guide to evaluating the job outlook, salary, and education requirements for your dream tech job.