Top 10 Highest Paying IT Jobs of 2021

Brian Carlson | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Top 10 Highest Paying IT Jobs of 2021

For more than 30 years, the demand for high-tech jobs has been increasing exponentially. In 2021, organizations will continue to demand skilled IT workers in the upcoming years because various sectors are unable to fill vital positions. 

Employers have found themselves unable to hire the right candidates due to a myriad of challenges, including managing a remote workforce because many viable candidates are overseas. Similarly, the integration of different technologies has fostered a wide skill gap because nearly 60% of organizations don't have the time or resources to train their IT workers. In fact, digital transformations — such as cloud computing and cybersecurity — are changing the workforce at an unprecedented rate. Under these circumstances, it's up to the IT worker to take charge of his or her career. In 2021 more IT jobs will let you work from home - a shift from prior years. 

Positions such as data scientists, information security analysts and machine learning engineers offer exceptional opportunities now and in the future to anyone who has the necessary skills. Additionally, amid recent technological advancements in cybersecurity and cloud computing, IT companies are seeking the services of database administrators and computer network architects.

A digital future is the path forward not only for economic growth, but also for upholding the fundamental standards for well-being in society. For example, healthcare organizations need professionals who can distill the vast amount of data of key patient information and help the organization use it to make informed decisions for their patients and facilities. Healthcare organizations also need skilled information security analysts who can protect the healthcare system from cyberattacks.

While this high demand for skilled IT professionals may be good news if you're in the IT industry, the job you have right now might not be as prevalent in the future. That’s why studying toward a career that will likely remain in demand for years to come — like learning essential programming skills — while also continuously diversifying your skillset is essential to staying relevant. 

If you're looking to advance your IT career, then these top 10 IT jobs are the roles you should look to enter to meet the industry demands of the future. Many of these jobs may seem similar in their descriptions below because IT professionals are expected to understand multiple fields and possess diverse skills. Irrespective of the intertwined job responsibilities, all of these careers are crucial for organizations to keep up the fast-paced evolution of digital capabilities that will become an essential part of business in the digital age. 

How to Find IT Jobs

The best way to find IT jobs is through a mix of networking and using the sources listed below. We recommend starting with your LinkedIn network and browse opportunities and your connections to see if you know anyone working at the companies you're most interested in. Next, try to set time aside daily to search for your new role. Online job sites are great places to find comprehensive lists of roles in your field and area. If you use the filter tool, you'll be able to find roles that closely match what you're looking for. Once you have found the right types of roles, be sure to update both your resume and your LinkedIn profile to reflect your achievements in your past roles. These are the 5 tech industry trends shaping IT right now that you should be aware of during your job search. You should also consider tailoring your resume to the job you are applying for, that way it will stand out from the other applicants. These are the best sites for finding a new IT job: 

  • TechCareers - A branch of the career network, TechCareers is one of the go-to sites for people looking for careers in technology.
  • icrunchdata - The website icrunchdata is perfect for job seekers looking to get into big data and analytics. Some of the largest companies and brands are hiring through this site.  
  • - There are approximately 50,000 tech jobs listed on at any given time, so it's a great resource for people looking for a job in IT or programming. 

Top 10 IT Jobs of 2021

This list of the top IT jobs for the coming year covers roles that are in demand and hiring now. With increasing flexibility to work remotely, many of these roles are IT jobs where you can work from home. See the list of these in-demand roles with the salary estimates for each.

  1. Data scientist
  2. IT system analyst
  3. Software engineer
  4. IT manager
  5. Database administrator
  6. Network and systems administrator
  7. Computer network architect
  8. DevOps engineer
  9. AI/machine learning engineer
  10. Python developer

1. Data Scientist


A data scientist is responsible for collecting and analyzing data, and then using these insights to communicate progress to the organization. These days, companies need a strong foundation for analytics reporting, machine learning and the development of test environments. 

Role Responsibilities:

A data scientist's responsibilities include research and development of a statistical learning model for data analysis; collaboration with the company's managers to understand the problem and devise a solution; and communication of results and ideas to key decision-makers. 

Career Qualifications:

For an entry-level position, you must have skills in data mining and statistical analysis. Some entry-level jobs — particularly research analysts — may not require a college degree, but if you want to climb the corporate ladder quickly, you should have advanced knowledge. Senior data scientists often have a master's degree in Computer Science or Statistics, over seven years of experience and multiple data science certifications.

2. IT System Analyst


The IT system analyst monitors an IT system to improve the internal processes of an organization and look for areas of improvement in the overall IT structure. Job titles with similar duties include computer and information research scientist, computer systems analyst, IT coordinator and network engineer.

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of an IT analyst include collaborating with management to design new IT systems with the help of modeling, cost-based accounting and information engineering. IT analysts also work with managers and other team members to monitor, debug and solve problems in the IT system. Their goal is to design and deploy IT systems that will help the organization scale its operations.

Career Qualifications:

You will need at least a bachelor's degree to land an entry-level position in this role. However, there are several IT certifications that can help you get a good start without having a great deal of work experience. 

3. Software Engineer


Software engineers mostly write, maintain, debug and test software to accomplish a certain task. Using a prescribed set of rules, they build computing platforms and software that helps in understanding and resolving problems and implementing plans. Other job titles for this role may be software development engineer or software developer.

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of a software engineer include scaling and testing existing software, resolving issues in a platform, creating a multi-platform version of the existing platform and testing code to ensure compatibility and stability.

Career Qualifications:

A software engineer usually has a bachelor's degree in Software Engineering, Computer Engineering or Information Technology. They also have some experience with programming languages such as C++, Python and Java. 

4. IT Manager


An IT manager develops IT infrastructure, maintains the system and makes plans for scaling. In keeping with the vision of the organization, the IT manager also creates and projects the annual budget of the IT department. Similarly, IT managers are also responsible for ensuring adequate staffing, developing a training program and leading the department staff. This role may also fall under the title of IT system administrator, particularly in small businesses.

Role Responsibilities:

An IT manager’s responsibilities include troubleshooting cost-saving measures, reducing system downtime, working closely with all the departments to grow a sustainable information technology network and contributing to the organization’s disaster recovery plan.

Career Qualifications:

While an IT manager will typically have a bachelor's degree and more than five years of experience, most companies look for experienced individuals who have prior work experience dealing with a specific project. 

5. Database Administrator


A database administrator (or SQL database administrator) is responsible for overseeing the infrastructure that stores and analyzes the company's data, which typically includes sensitive information such as financial numbers, payroll details and proprietary market research. Maintaining and securing this information is central to a database administrator's role.

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of a database administrator include installing server software, configuring databases, contributing to a disaster recovery protocol, analyzing data and securing the platform from internal and external threats.

Career Qualifications:

A typical database administrator will have a bachelor’s degree in either Computer Science or Computer Engineering.  

6. Network and Systems Administrator


Just like a database administrator, the primary role of a network and systems administrator is to manage the existing network and plan for its improvement. Depending on the size of the network, job responsibilities can vary greatly, as large organizations often require systems administrators to work on different types of systems. Similar job titles include positions that require specific skills, such as SQL system administrator.

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of a network and systems administrator include supporting the existing network infrastructure, monitoring the system's daily operations to identify issues, scheduling data backups and maintaining the firewall.

Career Qualifications:

This position does not require an advanced degree. Most system administrators can get a job in the field after completing an associate’s degree or a network administrator certification, but employers typically prefer more than two years of experience and proficiency in VMware. 

7. Computer Network Architect


A computer network architect designs and plans data communication systems. Just like a building architect, the computer network architect closely collaborates with management and engineers to decide which type of infrastructure will best suit the organization's needs. They often work on an intranet, a wide area network and local area networks. Variations in job titles include IT network specialist and network architect.

Role Responsibilities:

Examples of a computer network architect’s responsibilities include producing plans for the layout of the communication network, tackling information security issues during the design phase, deciding what hardware and software should be used and designing the layout of the cables and related structure.

Career Qualifications:

Completing a certification program for network architecture provides the fastest entry into the field. Depending on the organization’s requirements, employers may also prefer on-the-job skills rather than a degree. 

8. DevOps Engineer


The role of a DevOps engineer is to support the organization by writing code and leading the implementation of new architecture. The job requires hard and soft skills, which means experience with software development and advanced knowledge of IT infrastructure. Due to the uniqueness of the job, most employers will specifically post jobs under the title of either “DevOps engineer” or the spelled-out version: “development operations engineer.”

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of a DevOps engineer include automating cross-platform workflows, solving problems using git and git workflows and resolving customer experience issues.

Career Qualifications:

Most DevOps engineers start their career working in other IT fields because DevOps requires knowledge of various fields before they can collaborate with other departments. 

9. AI/Machine Learning Engineer


AI/machine learning engineers are computer programmers who create programs and software that have the ability to self-learn with minimum interference, such as autonomous vehicles. Depending on the requirements, the job title may also be “computer and information research scientist.”

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of an AI/machine learning engineer include understanding and creating a solution for the deployment of AI systems, identifying the right technologies for a project and researching areas of AI application.

Career Qualifications:

For a high-paying job as an AI/machine learning engineer, you will likely need a master's degree and advanced knowledge of mathematical and statistical models. 

10. Python Developer


A Python developer is a type of web developer who uses the Python programming language to create back-end web applications. Their role also includes connecting web applications to web services and back-end components. Sometimes, geographic information systems analysts and data scientists with a background in Python are hired for this position.

Role Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of a Python developer include writing and testing code, developing back-end components that can integrate with the front-end of a platform and designing the user interface for applications.

Career Qualifications:

You can enter the field by learning the Python programming language, which can be done by earning a certification. For high-profile jobs, employers generally require a bachelor's degree and five to seven years of experience. 

 Earning a certification in data science, network architecture, DevOps engineering and other IT disciplines is the best first step to put you on the path toward a rewarding career. As companies continue to implement their digital transformation plans, the demand to fill these positions —  because of their invaluable IT skills — will exponentially increase in the years to come.

Advance your IT Career 

If you would like to advance your IT career, then learn more about the award-winning IT training courses provided by ExitCertified. All of our 100% vendor-approved courses are meant to teach you the unique skills that employers are looking for now while also preparing you for the job requirements of the future.