Technology Career Paths: Outlook, Path, and FAQ
In the modern age, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without technology. With 5 billion people using the internet to connect both personally and professionally, digital communication now serves as an immovable pillar for our global society.
As reliance on technology continues to accelerate, career opportunities in the field are more robust than ever. From software and web development to cybersecurity and data analytics, various high-paying career paths are available. The projected growth rate for U.S. tech jobs in the next 10 years is nearly twice the national jobs rate, and the median wage for tech occupations is 125% higher than the national median wage, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).
If you’re interested in a career in tech, now’s the time to break into the field. Check out some of the highest-paying tech jobs and how you can capitalize on your opportunity to fill them.
Career Paths in Technology
The technology industry outlook is extremely strong. In 2022 alone, CompTIA projects that 8.9 million people will work in tech in the U.S. With an estimated 507,000 tech companies in the U.S. — in addition to numerous nontech businesses in need of tech employees — a multitude of career opportunities are available to you.
Following are some of the most popular career options.
Computer programmers serve as the backbone of the tech industry. These professionals write, modify, and test code and scripts to ensure that computer software applications function correctly. They also update existing programs and secure programs against cybersecurity threats.
Individuals interested in becoming computer programmers are often detail oriented and gain satisfaction from learning new methods to stay on the cutting edge.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for experienced computer programmers was $93,000 in 2021.
Software developers work across industries to develop computer or mobile applications that help organizations reach their objectives. These professionals often focus on creating assets such as webpages, applications, and operating systems for consumers, meaning that they also monitor asset performance and modify programs as needed.
Individuals attracted to a software development career typically find enjoyment in solving puzzles and problems. They also find a thrill in being a lifelong learner who can adapt to new trends in the digital marketplace.
According to the BLS, experienced software developers earned a median annual salary of $110,140 in 2021; the job outlook is expected to grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030.
Software engineers play a key role in consolidating various program functions into a unified framework. This highly dynamic role requires collaboration with software coders and programmers to map out how smaller functions combine to create larger programs or new software features.
Software engineers also are involved in software design processes. Individuals interested in becoming software engineers should be efficient communicators, as software engineers are often required to explain processes to stakeholders using documentation and flowcharts.
According to Payscale, the median annual salary for experienced software engineers was approximately $89,000 as of May 2022.
Web developers create websites that are visually appealing and easy to navigate in a highly competitive digital landscape. Many web developers are also responsible for monitoring a website’s performance and traffic capacity.
Individuals interested in web development possess a passion for creativity and are always looking for ways to make the user experience more intuitive and attractive to the eye.
According to the BLS, experienced web developers earned a median annual salary of $77,200 in 2021, with a 13% projected growth rate between 2020 and 2030.
Java developers are specialized software developers who develop applications and webpages using the Java programming language. They also collaborate with software engineers, web developers, and other members of a technology team to strategize and implement digital assets.
Java developers are committed to mastering their craft as lifelong learners. As the Java programming language continues to evolve with the changing needs of the market, Java developers can find new opportunities to improve applications and websites.
Experienced Java developers earned a median annual salary of approximately $79,000 as of May 2022, according to Payscale.
Full Stack Software Developer
Full stack software developers write code for both front-end (user facing) and back-end (server function) web and mobile applications. These critical workers not only develop applications but also understand how front-end and back-end pieces work together to create the user experience.
Full stack developers are well rounded with both creative problem-solving skills and strong analytical acumen.
According to Payscale, the median annual salary for experienced full stack software developers was approximately $80,000 as of May 2022.
Front-end web developers are highly creative and are passionate about bringing their vision of a greater user experience to life.
According to Payscale, the median annual salary for experienced front-end developers/engineers was about $77,000 in May 2022.
Information Technology Support Specialist
Information technology (IT) support specialists maintain computer networks, software systems, and hardware systems. Some IT specialists work directly with consumers to provide technical support to computer users.
Individuals drawn to the IT support specialist profession see challenges as opportunities. These dynamic problem-solvers work across industries and are often employed directly by tech or consulting organizations.
According to the BLS, jobs for IT support specialists are expected to grow at a steady rate of 9% between 2020 and 2030, with about 70,400 openings projected each year over the decade. The median annual salary for these professionals with experience was $57,910 in 2021.
Additional Types of Software Developers
When it comes to preparing for a technology career path that suits your skills, software development provides ample opportunities for specialization. Discover some of the options below:
- Full stack engineer. Similar to a full stack developer, full stack engineers write code for both front-end and back-end web and mobile applications. In most cases, full stack developers can move up to become full stack engineers to take on greater project management responsibilities.
- Back-end developer. Back-end developers work opposite front-end developers to develop assets that users can’t see, such as the mechanisms that process data and perform actions on websites.
- Language developer. Language developers are a rare breed, with only 1% of all developers working in this field. These developers create programming languages, rather than using existing ones, often to meet the needs of a highly specific situation.
- Embedded systems developer. Embedded systems developers program code that runs on hardware, including electrical items such as refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions.
- Data scientist. Data scientists are sometimes classified outside of software development occupations, but the true nature of their work is in fact development. These individuals write programs that convert data into mathematical and statistical models that help make future predictions.
- Operation systems developer: Operating systems developers are responsible for developing new software and improving platforms such as Windows, Android, and iOS. Whenever you update your iPhone, operating systems developers are behind the new features that you experience.
- Video game developer. Video game developers write code for video games. They make up about 8% of all developers.
- Development and operations developer. Development and operations developers work on the back end of company servers to regulate and maintain computer infrastructure.
- Mobile apps developer. With more people using mobile devices than ever before, 1 in 5 developers are working on mobile applications. Mobile apps developers write the code that eventually leads to apps on your phones and tablets.
- Desktop developer. Desktop developers work on applications such as Safari, Chrome, and Adobe to help empower individuals who use computers for creative and professional pursuits.
How to Start a Career in Technology
As you can see in the job titles listed above, jobs in tech provide outstanding growth potential with high pay. Technology career paths also provide the opportunity for steady working hours, and many positions are remote.
People of all backgrounds — from hospitality and the arts to health care and education — can pivot to a career in tech. Even for individuals with no prior experience, it’s possible to develop the skills necessary for a tech career with some of today’s top organizations. Check out some of the paths that can put a career in tech within reach.
A college education has long been seen as the traditional way to pursue a tech career. Common degrees titles include information technology, computer science, cybersecurity, and data analytics.
However, some obvious drawbacks exist to earning a college degree as a means of breaking into tech.First, a college degree takes approximately four years and can be very expensive. Four-year degrees can also include extensive general education requirements that aren’t pertinent to a career. Additionally, a degree program often doesn’t provide you with the hands-on experience necessary to get hired into a tech position.
Especially for career pivoters who already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree in a nontech field, a four-year degree is unlikely to be the optimal route to a tech career.
Tech bootcamps, sometimes known as coding bootcamps, are intensive, short-term training programs in IT fields. The structure of bootcamps varies widely depending on the organization offering the service. Some bootcamps are remote. Some bootcamps take six weeks; others six months.
A barrier to bootcamp entry for many aspiring tech professionals is cost. In 2021, the average in-person coding bootcamp cost $13,854, and the average online bootcamp cost $12,898, according to NerdWallet. Unlike colleges and universities, federal financial aid is typically not available in the bootcamp model.
Another potential negative to bootcamps is the lack of certainty surrounding job placement after completing the program. While some bootcamps may offer career coaching services, there are no guarantees.
Launch Your Tech Career With Revature
Here at Revature, we’ve revolutionized the way people like you break into tech. We provide 10-14 weeks of paid training so that you can get the skills you need for a tech career. Following your training period, you are paired up with a role working with one of our corporate partners, an evolving list of leading brands that includes Salesforce, Peloton, and Bank of America.
You read that correctly — we pay you to learn, and then place you directly in a job with one of our corporate partners. You’ll then work for that partner on-site as part of a two-year agreement. Once your two years are up, you’re free to go with crucial experience on your resume — but you might not want to. In fact, 88% of our associates are still with their placement company after four years.
For some individuals, a two-year relocation requirement to tech hub cities such as Tampa Bay, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; and Phoenix, Arizona isn’t possible, and we understand that. However, for people who are up for an adventure, Revature is the best way to launch the tech career they deserve.
Technology Career Outlook
According to the BLS, employment in computer and IT occupations is projected to grow by 13% between 2020 to 2030, faster than the job market as a whole.
Demand for tech works stems from increased reliance on cloud computing, the collection and storage of large amounts of data, and cybersecurity threats. As of May 2021, the median annual wage for computer and IT occupations was $97,430, according to the BLS — much higher than the median annual wage of $45,760 for all occupations.
While entry-level tech salaries are unlikely to reach six figures, the tech industry provides outstanding growth potential. As you gain real-world experience and expertise, your salary can rise quickly — and you’ll have the opportunity to take on more dynamic roles that lead to greater impact in the organizations you serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding the right career for you starts with asking the right questions. Explore answers to your most pressing inquiries below:
What Are Career Options for Technology Students?
According to U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best technology jobs for 2022, the top tech jobs with high pay and low unemployment are as follows:
- Information security analyst
- Software developer
- Data scientist
- IT manager
- Computer systems analyst
- Web developer
- Database administrator
- Computer network architect
- Computer systems administrator
- Computer support specialist
What Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in Technology?
While many of the highest-paying tech jobs require years of experience, there’s no better time to start your road to the executive suite than now. Here are the top high-paying tech jobs as of 2021, according to the BLS:
- Experienced computer and information research scientists, $131,490
- Experienced computer network architect, $120,520
- Experienced information security analyst, $102,600
- Experienced computer systems analyst, $99,270
- Experienced computer programmer, $93,000
How Do I Decide Which Tech Career Path Is Right for Me?
If you want to get into tech but don’t know where to begin, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to identify how to apply your unique skills to sectors of the industry that are set to experience high demand.
At Revature, we take the guesswork out of finding the optimal career by helping you find the path that fits your interests. We work closely with our corporate partners to train our associates with the skills to meet their ever-evolving needs — setting you up to maximize your potential now and in the future.
Start Here to Get There
At Revature, we believe that the tech industry is accessible for people of all backgrounds. We’re building a better workforce with leading partners that are hiring a new generation of coders who are resourceful and adaptable. Employers need problem-solvers who are willing to learn — you fit the mold, no matter your experience level.
At Revature, you get paid training. You get a job with one of today’s top organizations. You get the professional foundations for a prosperous, enduring career in tech. All we need to make it happen is your motivation. Input your effort here to get the output of a career there.
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