IT Career Juice Blog


Jumpstart your career with the latest and greatest news on IT hiring trends, emerging technologies, and the skills and certifications that modern employers demand. Blog posts are written by subject matter experts, and continually updated with current figures and analyses.


Recent Posts

Tech Layoffs in 2022 & 2023: An Overview

After a 2022 that saw massive layoffs in the high-tech workforce, 2023 is heralding more of the same.

tech layoffs 2023

In this article we'll identify which tech companies laid off the most workers, the reasons behind this ongoing spike in layoffs, and how you can boost your job security in a volatile IT workforce.

Layoffs data on this page will be updated continually. For up-to-the-minute layoff tracking, visit Layoffs.fyi - an aggregator of tech layoff announcements since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Which tech companies are laying off workers?

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Top 10 IT Skills In-Demand for 2023

ITCareerFinder analyzes the latest technology trends and employment data to identify 10 IT skill sets that will boost your market value in 2023 (and beyond).

Top Information Technology Skills 2023

With more employers moving toward skills-based hiring and compensation models, acquiring new, in-demand skill sets is the key to remaining relevant and commanding higher pay in the coming year.

Assessments of recent job posting data confirm that skills, not degrees, are fast becoming the new currency of work.

For instance, the professional networking site LinkedIn has seen a 21% rise in job postings that advertise for skills and responsibilities rather than qualifications and requirements. Given the trend, there’s never been a better time to boost your abilities and your paycheck.

If you’re looking to advance your career by acquiring new technology skills in 2023, here are ten of the hottest areas you may want to consider and some of the best skills to learn in each:

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The Best Cities for Tech Jobs

ITCareerFinder analyzes key data points in technology, employment and livability to uncover the best cities for IT professionals to call home.

This page will be updated annually with the latest and greatest tech cities. Current year: 2023.

Many of the best computer jobs can now be accomplished remotely. This is a welcome change for many of us. For everyone else, choosing the right city to live, work and play in can be vital to happiness and success. This study merges key statistics on America's high-tech workforce with livability factors in over 150 cities to find the best places to live in - or relocate to - as an IT professional.

collage of best tech cities

To determine the best cities for tech jobs, we analyzed key employment data like IT salaries, the number of jobs and the percentage of workforce in technical roles, as well as the leading indexes for cost of living and quality of life, because after all, once the 9-to-5 is over you still have to live there.

Jump down to the bottom of the page for the ranking methodology and source list, or read on for this year’s top 8 cities for IT professionals.

Here are the best cities for technology jobs and workers:

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Famous Female Computer Scientists

ITCareerFinder highlights some of the most popular and accomplished women in computer science.

binary computer code

Women account for only 19% of computer science graduates in the US, according to the latest data from the National Center of Education Statistics. This disparity is confirmed by an extensive study from the Allen Institute for AI which place the rate of male to female computer scientists at 4:1.

Despite representing a small percentage of the CS workforce, female computer scientists have made some revolutionary contributions to the field. These achievements are made doubly special because women have historically had far less access to education and employment.

This page will spotlight the great women of computer science and outline some of their key accomplishments.

Here are the 5 most famous female computer scientists:

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Exploring 6 Great Jobs in the Metaverse

ITCareerFinder breaks down some of the most sought-after jobs in the metaverse and the skills you need to level up in each position.

This page will be updated regularly with the latest and greatest metaverse career paths.

Best Metaverse Careers

In October 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta and announced plans to create 10,000 new high-skilled jobs in the European Union (EU) to help shape the metaverse.

It turns out that Facebook isn’t the only one betting heavily on the growth of the metaverse, over 160 companies are jumping in too.

So what is the metaverse and what types of jobs might it create?

Broadly speaking, the metaverse is a shared virtual world. In theory, people will be able to create an avatar and travel into this immersive virtual world to socialize, play games, work, create, shop, or even remotely attend a concert or sporting event by wearing virtual reality headsets.

Much like the transition to Web 2.0, mobile technologies, and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the metaverse is creating new IT and hybrid job opportunities, which require a combination of technical and non-technical skills.

To keep your career thriving in the metaverse, here’s a look at 6 roles that are in demand right now and poised to explode in the future.

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Top Scholarships for STEM, CS and IT Majors

There's a wide range of scholarships for aspiring tech pros; here are some of the most interesting and valuable.

This page will be updated continually with the latest and greatest scholarships and deadlines.

best information technology scholarships

Information technology is among the most lucrative and opportunity-rich domains in the modern workforce, and a college degree is the best way to get a leg up in this competitive field. However, in today’s economy, paying for school can be challenging. Thankfully, there’s a variety of scholarships that can help you fund a world-class education in CS (computer science), IT (information technology) and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.

We scour the web, evaluate and reevaluate the most dynamic scholarships with the biggest payouts to find the best awards for students pursuing a career in IT. Most of the scholarships on this list are tech-focused, but we’ll also feature some undeniable awards that can be applied toward any field. Some contests only accept applicants from a certain demographic or socioeconomic group - in these cases we’ll outline those requirements in the scholarship’s description.

Here are our favorite scholarships for computing and information technology majors:

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A Guide to Changing Careers from Military to IT

A technical staffing advisor with 20+ years of experience lays out the path for military veterans to successfully transition to a career in information technology.

tech careers for military vets

If you’re nearing the end of active service and looking for a fast growing, high paying career with a bright future, you may want to consider a job in IT. Given that many of the skills and qualities you developed in the military apply to roles in information technology, a career in IT could be your best move.

Why IT? Let’s start with demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employers to add about 668,000 computer and information technology jobs by 2030 to reach a total of 5.7 million jobs. In fact, businesses would like to hire more tech workers but they can’t find qualified candidates — especially developers, engineers and cybersecurity pros. Even so, U.S. IT job growth is still in record territory with no signs of slowing down.

Then, there’s the money. The median salary for Computer and Information Technology Occupations is $86,320 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than double the $41,950 median wage for all jobs nationwide. What’s more, the military or a prospective employer may even pay for IT training and certifications that will further enhance your skill set and market value.

There’s also a huge range of entry-to-mid level jobs that are appropriate for veterans who are just starting their civilian careers. Ready to get started? Here’s how veterans can navigate the transition into employment in the IT job market.

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Top Paying IT Certifications

top-paying-it-certifications

ITCareerFinder examines salary data and hiring trends to uncover the top-paying IT certifications and why they demand a premium.

This article will be updated annually with the latest credentials and wages.

Top Paying IT Certifications

Do IT certifications really pay off? It depends.

According to the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index published by analyst firm Foote Partners LLC, tech certifications continued their three-year plunge in value during the third quarter of 2021 and are now at their lowest point since early 2013.

However, there are still some IT certifications that employers are willing to pay extra for.

To ensure that you invest in the training and certifications that offer the highest return on investment, here are this year's highest-paying IT certifications.

  • SANS/GIAC Security Expert (GSE)

    The GSE certification is the most prestigious and valuable credential, topping Foote Partners’ recent list of highest-paying certs. However, it’s also among the most difficult to earn.

    With companies everywhere looking for solutions to burgeoning cyber security issues, GSE's rigorous, hands-on exam, lab exam, and experience requirements – covering general security skills, incident handling, intrusion detection, and analysis – sets it apart and makes it particularly valuable for individual contributors said David Foote, Foote Partners’ chief analyst & CRO.

    In fact, employers are willing to pay high salaries and median cash bonuses or premiums equivalent to 13% of base salary to tech workers and leaders who get GSE certified.

    For example, according to Foote Partners’ 2022 IT Professional Salary Survey, the average total cash compensation (including premiums) for certified cyber security specialists is $108,703, while certified senior-level specialists earn $133,161. Meanwhile, PayScale reports that the average salary for GSE-certified information security analysts is $100,000 and $189,000 for penetration testers.

    Before you start spending that extra cash, note that the prerequisite baseline for the GSE is GSEC, GCIH, and GCIA, with two Gold certifications.

  • GIAC Exploit Researcher and Advanced Penetration Tester (GXPN)

    Clearly, the demand for penetration testing skills and certifications will remain constant in the future, driven by regulation, compliance, and ongoing business risk, Foote said. That’s why employers are willing to pay median cash bonuses or premiums equivalent to 12% of base salary to professionals who attain the GXPN certification. Moreover, PayScale puts the average salary for GXPN certified IT pros at $107,000.

    The GXPN certifies that network and systems penetration testers, incident handlers, application developers, and IDS engineers have the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct advanced penetration tests, model the behavior of attackers and improve security in the popular Windows and Linux environments.

    Applicants need to pass a 3-hour proctored exam to earn the highly valuable GXPN.

    Related: Best Pentesting Certifications

  • GIAC Security Leadership (GSLC)

    For current information security managers, security professionals with leadership responsibilities, or IT pros looking to move into management, earning the GSLC certification can boost your career and help you score a median cash bonus equivalent to 12% of base salary. The 3-hour proctored exam covers management issues related to the overall security lifecycle, including governance and technical controls, incident response, staff, projects, application security, and more.

    Currently, managers of information security with the GSLC earn average total compensation of $147,080, while lead IT security specialists earn $152,143 and directors of information security earn $200,006 according to the 2022 IT Professional Salary Survey. PayScale puts the average salary at $111,000 with senior leaders earning close to $200,000.

    Best of all, applicants can qualify through a combination of practical work experience, IT training, college courses, or self-study.

  • InfoSys Security Architecture Professional (ISSAP/CISSP)

    “With millions of people working from home and connecting to an organization’s internal network remotely, the role of security architect is more important than ever,” Foote said.

    Companies are having to “rearchitect everything” to increase security and reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches, he expanded.

    It’s no wonder that the CISSP with the architecture extension has increased in value. According to Foote, security architects can command premium pay equal to 12% of base salary and total cash compensation of $130,770, leaving little doubt that the ISSAP certification is a worthwhile investment for professionals who want to build on their expertise in information security architecture.

  • InfoSys Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP/CISSP)

    If you have two or more years’ experience in engineering and already hold the CISSP, obtaining your ISSEP certification can lead to greater opportunities and higher wages. This in-demand cert has increased in value by 33% over the last six months and commands average pay premiums of 12% on top of average annual base salaries of $151,000, according to PayScale.

    To sit for the ISSEP examination, you must be a CISSP in good standing and have two years cumulative, paid work experience in one or more of the five domains of the CISSP-ISSEP CBK.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

    Most IT pros start their journey to ISSEP or ISSAP concentration by earning a valuable core security credential and prerequisite, the CISSP certification. This baseline, vendor-neutral cert – which covers 8 vital domains of information security – can benefit the careers of everyone in IT.

    To illustrate, PayScale lists some 350 job tiles under the CISSP with an average salary of $117,000. If you want to specialize in cyber security, The New York Times reports that there will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs globally by 2021, up from one million positions in 2014.

    Suffice to say, showing employers that you not only understand security concepts, principles, and tools but also the most pertinent issues around cyber security will greatly increase your power at the salary negotiation table.

  • Six Sigma Master Black Belt

    Having a Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification signals to employers that you have the skills and knowledge to manage projects successfully, a passion for quality and process improvement, and the ability to lead and coach team members. In fact, because of its focus on improving profitability, many companies are actively recruiting Six Sigma Black Belts, and market demand is higher than ever.

    Speaking of profitability, the market value increase for Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification was 9.1% in the six months through July 1, 2021, and the average total compensation was listed at $169,170 in Foote Partners’ IT Salary Survey.

    Applicants are required to pass an exam, have a minimum of 4 years experience executing Six Sigma Projects in a Black Belt Capacity (or equivalent), and submit a project for review on a pass/fail basis.

  • Certified Scrum Master

    Why is Scrum the most popular Agile framework for iterative software development? Because it’s easy to implement and it works. While product owners, project managers, developers, and also trainers and coaches can benefit from certification, the World Economic Forum ranked scrum master 6th in their list of product development jobs of tomorrow. And employment data firm Burning Glass predicts a 37.9-percent increase in demand for scrum masters over the next decade.

    What’s more, according to Foote Partners’ data, certified scrum master certification holders can command 11% in median pay premiums or bonuses above base salaries averaging $96,785.

  • PMI Program Management Professional (PgMP)

    How does an experienced and successful project manager take their career to the next level? By becoming a program manager. However, even though program management is a well-paid next step, becoming proficient at managing multiple related projects is not easy.

    Earning PMI's Program Management Professional certification can help you move forward with confidence, demonstrate your competency to prospective employers and earn median pay premiums of 11% above base salaries that range up to $134,000. Plus, both high school and college grads can qualify by meeting the hands-on experience requirements and passing two evaluations.

  • CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+)

    Data shows that earning CompTIA's intermediate-level CySA+ certification may help you earn more money and elevate your career no matter which role, area of specialization or industry you pursue. For example, InfoSec puts the national median salary for someone with CySA+ certification at $74,952 per year, but as high as $152,806 depending on your location and role.

    Plus, the hands-on, performance-based, and multiple-choice assessment is also approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to fulfill Directive 8570.01-M requirements. This means that earning the CySA+ certificate can help you qualify for sought-after jobs in the state and federal government.

    After validating that you have the skills, techniques, and knowledge to prevent, detect, and combat cyber security threats inside and outside of the organization, employers will reward you with bonuses or premium pay ranging from 8% to 13% of base salary according to Foote Partners.

  • Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

    With Gartner forecasting that worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow 23.1% in 2021 to total $332.3 billion in the wake of the pandemic, earning the CCSP certification is a great way to show that you know how to secure critical assets in the cloud and earn median annual pay premiums of 11%, regardless of your level or position.

    Although PayScale puts the average salary for CCSP-certified pros at $118,000, the sky’s the limit. IT managers can earn base salaries of $185,000, while CTOs can rake in $250,000 and up.

    While the CCSP isn’t for newcomers, showing commitment to ongoing development can demonstrate your leadership potential to employers and lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Explore the best CCSP bootcamps to learn more about preparing for this lucrative certification.

Final Thoughts

While many IT certifications can enhance your resume and raise your market value, it’s clear that companies are most concerned about advanced persistent threats and protecting valuable data and information. Until supply catches up with demand, earning any one of these cyber security certifications can give you a competitive advantage and the best opportunity to earn high salaries, bonuses, and upward mobility.

Methodology

Our list of the top-paying IT certifications is based on data from the latest Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index and the firm’s IT Professional Salary Survey. The reports are based on compensation data provided by 3,805 private and public-sector employers in 83 American and Canadian cities who report pay for over 300,000 technology professionals in the U.S. and Canada.

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