5 types of IT careers & how to choose one

Explore IT careers, and jobs that are hiring. Find your next career in the growing field of IT today!

If you’re looking for an intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding career, look no further than information technology (IT). From safeguarding digital fortresses to unraveling the mysteries of big data, there’s an IT career job description out there that perfectly fits your skills and passions.

Here are the top 5 types of IT careers to consider:

1. Cyber security

Cybersecurity is a realm of IT security that protects digital systems, networks, and data from unauthorized access, breaches, and cyber threats. These professionals play a crucial role in safeguarding sensitive information, preventing cyber attacks, and ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of information systems.

Ideal for:

  • Individuals with a strong interest in technology and a passion for problem-solving
  • Those who possess analytical thinking skills and can anticipate potential risks and vulnerabilities
  • Detail-oriented individuals who can work well under pressure and adhere to strict security protocols

Top employers:

  • IBM Security
  • Cisco Systems
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Symantec

Top cyber security jobs

Information security analyst

  • Job duties: Monitoring and analyzing an organization’s computer networks and systems to detect and prevent security breaches
  • Average salary: $88,735 per year

Ethical hacker/Penetration tester

  • Job duties: Simulating cyber attacks to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and applications
  • Average salary: $105,331 per year

Security architect

  • Job duties: Developing and designing comprehensive security frameworks and strategies for organizations
  • Average salary: $130,125 per year

2. Software development

Software development involves designing, coding, testing, and maintaining computer software applications. It encompasses various stages of the software development lifecycle, including requirements gathering, system design, implementation, and ongoing maintenance.

Software development offers diverse career paths, including front-end, back-end, full-stack, and mobile app development. Developers often specialize in specific programming languages or technologies such as Python, Java, JavaScript, or .NET.

Continuous learning and staying updated with industry trends and emerging technologies are crucial for success in this field. Collaboration, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work well in agile development environments are also helpful.

Ideal for:

  • People with a strong aptitude for logical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail
  • Those who enjoy working with technology, writing code, and finding creative solutions
  • Team players who can collaborate effectively with other developers, designers, and stakeholders

Top employers:

  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • IBM

Top software development jobs

Full-stack developer

  • Job duties: Front-end and back-end application development, working on all layers of software applications, designing user interfaces, and implementing database structures
  • Average salary: $101,581 per year

Mobile app developer

  • Job duties: Creating applications for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets
  • Average salary: $101,854 per year

DevOps engineer

  • Job duties: Bridging the gap between software development and operations by automating and streamlining the software delivery process
  • Average salary: $128,464 per year

Front-end web developer

  • Job duties: Creating and implementing user interfaces (UI) for web applications; working with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build visually appealing and responsive interfaces that provide a seamless user experience
  • Average salary: $87,785 per year

3. IT infrastructure

IT infrastructure refers to the underlying hardware, software, networks, and systems that support and enable an organization’s IT operations. IT infrastructure professionals are responsible for designing, implementing, and managing these foundational IT resources to ensure the smooth operation and reliability of an organization’s technology infrastructure.

IT infrastructure professionals are critical in planning, deploying, and maintaining the hardware and software resources required for an organization’s IT operations. This focus area includes specialties such as network administration, system administration, cloud infrastructure management, data center management, and IT operations management. Skills in virtualization, cloud computing, network security, and automation are highly valuable here.

Ideal for:

  • People with a strong understanding of computer systems, networks, and IT infrastructure components
  • Those who enjoy working with hardware, software, and configuring complex systems

Top employers:

  • Cisco Systems
  • Microsoft
  • IBM

Top IT infrastructure jobs

Network administrator

  • Job duties: Managing and maintaining an organization’s computer networks and troubleshooting network issues with developers and end users
  • Average salary: $84,913 per year

Systems administrator

  • Job duties: Overseeing the installation, configuration, and maintenance of an organization’s computer systems and servers
  • Average salary: $69,906 per year

Cloud architect

  • Job duties: Designing and implementing cloud computing solutions for organizations; providing guidance on cloud best practices, cost optimization, and integration with existing systems
  • Average salary: $140,940 per year

Data center manager

  • Job duties: Overseeing data center operations, including managing servers, storage systems, networking equipment, and infrastructure
  • Average salary: $147,192 per year

4. IT support

IT support, also known as helpdesk or technical support, involves assisting with and resolving technical issues related to computer systems, software applications, networks, and other IT infrastructure components. IT support professionals play a crucial role in troubleshooting problems for end users.

In this role, you may specialize in areas like desktop support, network support, software support, or customer support. These professionals assist with troubleshooting hardware and software issues, configuring systems, resolving network connectivity problems, and providing guidance on software applications. They must stay updated with the latest technologies and possess a strong knowledge base to assist users effectively.

Ideal for:

  • People with strong problem-solving skills and a patient, customer-oriented attitude
  • Those who enjoy working with people, assisting them with technical issues, and providing solutions
  • Individuals with good communication skills (essential for effectively understanding and conveying technical information to non-technical users)

Top employers:

  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Dell Technologies

Top IT support jobs

Help desk technician

  • Job duties: Giving technical assistance and support to end users, either remotely or in person
  • Average salary: $48,006 per year

Desktop support specialist

  • Job duties: Providing technical support and troubleshooting for desktop computers, laptops, and related peripherals
  • Average salary: $46,820 per year

IT support specialist

  • Job duties: Providing technical assistance and support to end users within an organization; troubleshooting hardware and software issues
  • Average salary: $56,775 per year

5. Data management

Full-time data management in IT involves the processes, technologies, and strategies used to acquire, organize, store, secure, and analyze data within an organization. They work with databases, data warehouses, data governance frameworks, and data quality tools to manage and optimize data assets.

Data management is crucial in enabling organizations to make informed decisions, improve operational efficiency, and gain insights from their data assets. As such, these professionals may specialize in data analysis, database administration, data governance, data architecture, data integration, or related fields. They work with structured and unstructured data, ensuring its accuracy, security, and availability for various stakeholders. Skills in data modeling, structured query language (SQL), data visualization, and data governance frameworks are highly valued here.

Ideal for:

  • Individuals with a strong interest in data, analytics, quality assurance, and information management
  • Those who enjoy working with databases, data modeling, and data manipulation
  • Detail-oriented people who can ensure data integrity, privacy, and compliance

Top employers:

  • Oracle
  • IBM
  • Microsoft

Top data management jobs

Data analyst

  • Job duties: Gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data to identify patterns, trends, and insights that drive business decisions; cleaning and transforming data; performing statistical analysis; creating data visualizations; and presenting findings to stakeholders
  • Average salary: $82,818

Database administrator

  • Job duties: Designing, implementing, and maintaining an organization’s databases; ensuring data integrity, security, and availability; optimizing database performance; handling backups and recovery; and troubleshooting database-related issues
  • Average salary: $98,377

Data architect

  • Job duties: Designing and developing the structure and organization of databases and data systems, analyzing data requirements, creating data models, defining data standards, designing data integration processes, and collaborating with other teams to ensure data consistency and quality
  • Average salary: $127,697

Data governance manager

  • Job duties: Establishing and enforcing policies, procedures, and standards for managing and protecting data assets within an organization; defining data governance frameworks, overseeing data quality initiatives, ensuring compliance with regulations, and collaborating with stakeholders to align data practices with business objectives
  • Average salary: $114,552

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