• PTP Chicago

The 10 Best Technical Jobs to Look for in 2021

Updated: Oct 23

The information technology landscape is changing faster than ever. While some technical jobs are becoming obsolete, many others are growing exponentially. Here are ten of the fastest-growing, most promising, and overall best IT jobs you should be looking for in 2021 and beyond. Table of Contents Here is a list of the top 10 jobs to look for in 2021. 1. Web Developer 2. Operations Research Analyst 3. Information Technology (IT) Manager 4. Software Developer 5. Information Security Analyst 6. Data Scientist 7. DevOps Engineer 8. Solutions Architect 9. Java Developer 10. Cloud Architect

1. Web Developer

What they do: Web Developers are tasked with creating attractive, user-friendly websites that are as fast as they are intuitive. They collaborate with everyone from back-end developers and graphic designers to clients and executives. 

Why it’s a best job: Web development is considered a top career for 2020 for a few reasons. The median salary is currently $69,430 while the unemployment rate is only 1.3%. Additionally, employment for web developers is expected to add 20,900 jobs by 2028, an increase of 13%. 

2. Data Scientist

What they do: Data Science is an ever-evolving field. They often help build machine learning models, artificial intelligence algorithms, and recommendation engines across a variety of industries. One responsibility nearly all Data Scientists have in common, though, is that they collect, clean, organize, and evaluate data in order to provide actionable insight to the business.  Why it’s a best job: Not only is Data Science one of the highest paying technical careers, with a median annual salary of $113,000, but data scientists tend to report some of the highest job satisfaction scores in tech (4.3/5). With nearly 24,000 current job openings it’s a job market primed for growth.

Are you currently learning to become a Data Scientist? Check out these free, online resources!

3. Information Technology (IT) Manager

What they do: IT Managers tend to wear many hats. They are responsible for every aspect of an organizations technology so they’ll often ensure cybersecurity programs are functioning properly, develop long-term innovation plans for the company, manage the technical day-to-day operations, and much, much more. Executive roles, including CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and IT directors are a few of the titles considered IT Managers.

Why it’s a best job: The Chicago job market is particularly lucrative for IT Managers with a typical salary range of $117,868 to $144,966. Unemployment of IT Managers is already low, at only 2%, and the demand for this position is expected to increase significantly within the next few years.

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4. Software Developer

What they do: Developing software is about more than just writing code. Programming is critically important, of course, but developers work with users and peers to solve complex problems, find ways for different applications to work together, find and fix errors, and optimize existing applications for new systems and purposes. Problem-solving, communication, and collaboration are as important skills as the ability to code. 

Why it’s a best job: The current median salary of $103,620 makes software development a top career for 2021. The low unemployment rate (1.6%) and expected growth (26% by 2028) means companies will be hiring for years to come. 

5. Information Security Analyst

What they do: Information Security Analysts monitor computer systems for anything and everything that may pose a security threat. This can range from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and ransomware to insider threats and user error. They’re then responsible for using the security tools and programs provided by the company to help prevent, mitigate, and repair any damage the exposure may have caused.  Why it’s a best job: Security is a constantly growing and changing field. The growth in security threats gives the U.S. Bureau of Labor reason to expect a 31% increase in employment over the next ten years. With a current median salary of $99,730 per year, Information Security Analysts and primed to stay a best career well beyond 2021. 

6. Operations Research Analyst

What they do: Operations research analysts use predictive modeling and statistics to help companies increase efficiency. They work both in the private sector (often in insurance and finance) as well as the public sector (such as for the Department of Defense).

Why it’s a best job: The median salary for Operations Research Analysts is currently $83,390 with an unemployment rate of 2.1%. It's also expected to be one of the best jobs for 2021 because employment is expected to increase by 26% by 2028, adding 28,100 jobs. 

7. DevOps Engineer

What they do: DevOps, as the shortened name implies, bridge the gap between developers and operations. They're often tasked with the job of automating processes, streamlining current systems, building tools for deployment, and solving problems across multiple environments (e.g. development, testing, production). The key to becoming a successful DevOps Engineer is often the ability to work collaboratively with many different teams at the same time. Why it’s a best job: The demand for DevOps Engineers is expected to increase by 24% in just the next few years. That combined with a median annual salary of nearly $100,000 make it one of the best job markets for 2021.

8. Solutions Architect

What they do: Solutions Architects have to be outstanding problem-solvers and equally strong communicators. They tend to manage some of the most complex processes that a business may face, determine the best technical solution to those problems, and effectively communicate them to all stakeholders go earn their buy-in.  Why it’s a best job: With over 70,000 jobs currently hiring, Solutions Architect is one the most in-demand IT roles on this list. With a median salary of $111,000 as well, it’s positioned to be a best job both now and in the future. 

9. Java Developer

What they do: One of the toughest questions a developer must face is what programming language(s) they should learn. While Python, Javascript, Swift, and many others continue to see growth in their popularity, Java is most commonly used by large businesses worldwide. Java Developers, in that setting, are often creating client-server applications. Being an object-oriented, general-purpose programming, though, means it can be used to create almost any software solution. Why it’s a best job: Senior Java Developers (5+ years of experience) typically make over $100,000 per year and the market is expected to grow by 26% by 2028. The main draw to the field, though, is its stability. With most of the world's large companies relying on Java to run their systems, it’s unlikely we’ll see a decline in demand anytime soon. 

10. Cloud Architect

What they do: More and more large-scale organizations are making the migration to cloud computing. Cloud Architects may be working on a variety of cloud platforms (including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and/or Microsoft Azure) but their responsibilities tend to stay the same. They are responsible for setting up all of the components needed to store and manage data across many remote servers. This can include setting up both back- and front-end components, securing the networks, optimizing speed and efficiency, and much more. 

Why it’s a best job: Cloud Architects are particularly in demand right now as companies make the migration. Because of this, the median salary of $128,418 is one of the highest on this list. As these migrations are completed, demand may slow slightly, but it’s still expected to grow by 5% over the next 7 years.


The technology industry is growing rapidly and you can easily get the necessary certifications online while studying from home. Follow the above-mentioned ideas to get new certifications to grow your skills.

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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

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