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12 of the Highest Paying IT Jobs



Different people decide to work in Information Technology (IT) for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s job security. Rather than watch their jobs get automated, they learn to create the automation. For others, it’s their passion and interest; they love solving complex problems, building things, and using cutting-edge technology. And for the third set of people, it’s the money. True that money is vital for survival, but by no means should it be anyone’s top priority, especially during a job hunt.


If you choose to use this list of highest-paying IT jobs just to find a role that pays you a bomb, we cannot stop you. But what would be more fulfilling is if this list served as a road map to a job you are truly passionate about. Once that happens, the odds are that your passion will lead you to one of the highest paying IT jobs in the job market.


Topics Covered:

  • Product Manager

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer

  • Full-Stack Developer

  • Cloud Architect

  • DevOps Engineer

  • Big Data Engineer

  • Internet of Things (IoT) Architect

  • Data Scientist

  • Systems Administrator

  • Data Security Analyst

  • Enterprise Applications Architect

  • Information Systems Security Manager


Product Manager


Coming in at an average yearly salary of $109,000, Product Manager is one of the highest paying jobs in IT. Product Managers use a unique blend of business and technical knowledge to create and accomplish goals. They work directly with both customers and key stakeholders to determine what products, features, or services fulfill the needs of both. They can then clearly communicate to a project or technical team about what needs to be created and the likely success rates for that project. Finally, they build a team to make it a reality.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engineer


AI engineers work on the cutting edge of technology and, because of this, are one of the highest paying IT positions making an average of $113,000 per year. Because the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are still emergent, what an AI engineer does specifically varies widely across companies and projects. In general, AI engineers are responsible for building AI models using deep neural networks and machine learning algorithms to make data-driven decisions for the business. Hence, AI engineers must have advanced skills and knowledge regarding data science and computer programming using Python and/or R.


Full-Stack Developer


Making roughly $106,000 per year, Full Stack Developer is one of the highest paying IT jobs. A full-stack developer is one who can develop both the front-end (client) and back-end (server) software. What specific programming languages or tech stack a full stack developer uses will vary widely from project to project. They most commonly use traditional front-end languages such as JavaScript, Angular, or jQuery, as well as back-end languages such as Python, ASP, or PHP.


Cloud Architect


Cloud Architect is one of the fastest-growing jobs on this list. At $107,000 annually, it’s also one of the highest paying jobs in all of IT. Cloud Architects have to be experts in everything related to cloud computing as they are often bridging the gap between highly-complex business needs and solutions, often hypothetical, that could be found using the cloud. They are responsible for everything ranging from designing the company’s cloud computing strategy, to app development in the cloud, to securing and managing the company’s cloud infrastructure.


DevOps Engineer


DevOps Engineers make roughly $93,500 per year making it one of the highest paying IT jobs. DevOps Engineers focus their skills and attention on creating collaboration and teamwork during all phases of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Developers tend to want to push updates and introduce new features, all those in operations are typically more focused on preserving the reliability of what has already been produced. DevOps (combining development and operations) brings these often-segmented parts of the process together.


Big Data Architect


Big Data is big business these days. So big, in fact, that Big Data Architects make an average of $140,000 per year. It's estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created by people each and every day. That data can be extremely useful, and profitable, but only if a company has a way to manage it. Big Data Architects design and develop enterprise applications and processes to turn that wealth of information into practical, actionable insight. To do so, they must be proficient in common big data tools (e.g., Spark, Hadoop, NoSQL, etc.) as well as general programming, data visualization, and presentation practices.




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Solutions Architect with Internet of Things (IoT)


At over $132,000 per year, Solutions Architects with IoT experience have one of the highest paying jobs in IT. It is both a technical and leadership position whose primary goal is to build an IoT ecosystem, and/or tap into existing ones, that fulfill current business needs while preparing for future ones. Solutions Architects need to have strong skills in both software and hardware. Additionally, because IoT is so deeply engrained with other cutting-edge technologies like cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the Solutions Architect must be knowledgeable in these regards as well.


Data Scientist


Data Scientist is one of the most sought-after roles in all of IT today. With an average salary over $150,000 per year, and demand increasing more than 30% each year, that comes as no surprise. Data scientists are typically expert programmers in either Python, R, or both, and use that knowledge to interpret data for actionable business insights. They are often working in, or with, other emerging technologies (big data, machine learning, cloud computing, etc.) giving them exposure to a plethora of highly coveted technical skills.


Systems Administrator


Systems Administrators, or SysAdmins for short, are often overlooked when discussing the highest paying IT jobs. However, it is one of the oldest and most established positions on this list, making it one of the most consistent as well. System Administrators are responsible for any and all aspects of a given system. If something breaks, it’s up to the SysAdmin to get it back up and running. If some, or all, of a system, needs to be upgraded or replaced, it’s the SysAdmin who plans and executes the change. SysAdmins are the lifeblood of any technical infrastructure and are paid nearly $90,000 per year for that responsibility.


Cybersecurity Analyst


Bringing in just shy of six-figures ($99,730 to be exact), Information Security Analysts have one of the highest paying IT jobs. With more than 3.5 million unfilled security jobs expected by 2021, it’s also one of the most in-demand. Cybersecurity Analysts keep up to date on the latest threats, create plans to prevent attacks, monitor their organization's systems for vulnerabilities and indicators of compromise, secure systems, and data when a breach does happen, and help with the recovery process afterward.


Enterprise Applications Architect


Enterprise Applications Architects have one of the highest paying IT jobs on this list at roughly $131,000 per year. They are responsible for designing, often from scratch, the critical aspects of an application the enterprise relies upon to function. This often includes the infrastructure, the interface, and everything in between. Because so much is riding on the quality of this architect’s work, it usually requires five or more years of experience and advanced skills regarding the enterprise’s particular tech stack.


Information Systems Security Manager


At over $124,000 per year, Information Systems (IS) Security Managers have one of the highest paying jobs in IT, and it only looks to grow. More cybercriminals costing organizations more time and money, combined with increased regulations around data protection, make the position very lucrative. IS Security Managers are responsible for ensuring all networks and systems remain secured from attackers, but available to intended users while meeting regulatory standards.


Conclusion


Choosing the right IT career path should be about more than just money. It can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to excel in a role that may lead to one of these highest-paying IT jobs if you don’t enjoy it. Focus on finding a technology you love, mastering it, learning new skills, and building a positive mindset. That’s the best way to find yourself in a high-paying IT job whether it’s from this list or not!



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About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicago's premier Information Technology (IT) staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 22+ years. Named after Chicago's historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland.

Based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP's 250+ employees have a narrow focus on a single market (Chicago) and expertise in 4 innovative technical areas;

  • Cybersecurity

  • Artificial Intelligence

  • Data Science

  • Cloud & DevOps

PTP exists to ensure that all of our partners (clients and candidates alike) make the best hiring and career decisions.

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