Trying to determine your ideal IT career path? Want to know which computer jobs will be in the greatest demand, offer the highest salaries and best opportunities for advancement once you finish training? ITCareerFinder assembled this comparison of the decade’s hottest technology careers to serve as your guide. These 10 computer jobs will experience the fastest growth, pay salaries well above the national average, boast top employment rates, and offer a range of promotion opportunities.
Compare the best computer jobs by employment projections, key growth factors, salary and more, then click the links of your favorite IT career paths for deep dive career profiles featuring skills and responsibilities, desirable certifications, wage analyses, education requirements, training & degree programs, local job openings and tips from IT insiders.
Methodology used to discover this decade’s best computer jobs centered around a four-point weighted analysis of employment growth forecasts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, IT salaries from Indeed.com, the ratio of job listings to qualified applicants on leading technology job boards, and potential for upward mobility based on interviews with technology and employment experts, as well as recent IT hiring trends.
Discover the ten best computer jobs for the future:
Mobile Application Developer
Mobile App Developer Employment Projections | 2016 - 2026
Key Growth FactorsMobile application development is one of the world's fastest growing occupations. As smart phones and tablets continue to change the way we communicate, do business, and access news & entertainment, the demand for new and innovative mobile apps is growing at an incredible speed. This increased demand translates to one of the largest IT skills gaps ever realized – there are simply more mobile application development job openings than skilled developers to fill them. Google's Android and Apple's iOS (iPhone & iPad) platforms will continue to offer the most job opportunities for mobile developers; view this graph for a breakdown of mobile OS market share.
Key Growth FactorsWorkforce demand for software engineers will rise along with technological advancement and the growing ubiquity of software. For example, rapid adoption of cloud technologies is driving demand for applications software engineers who can build secure and scalable cloud programs. Likewise, as the proliferation of computer systems continues and software spreads into new industries and smart devices, the need to develop the computer systems that power these initiatives will create jobs for systems software engineers.
Video Game Designer
Video Game Designer Employment Projections | 2016 - 2026
Key Growth FactorsThe $100+ billion dollar gaming industry has more than tripled in size over the last decade. Beyond the booming market for PC and console games, the increased popularity, processing power, and graphics capabilities of mobile devices has unlocked a new world of job opportunities for video game designers, artists and programmers. Game designers with mobile development expertise will be especially sought after as smart phones and tablets continue to change how video games are played. Game designer employment will also benefit from emerging technologies and rising demand for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.
IT Security Specialist
IT Security Specialist Employment Projections | 2016 - 2026
10-Year Growth Pct: 28% (much faster than average)†
Key Growth FactorsSecurity will remain a top concern for IT executives and hiring managers as the frequency, scope and complexity of cyber attacks continues to escalate. Year after year, IT executives report actively seeking professionals with information security skills, but finding it difficult to locate good talent. This indicates an incredible opportunity for technology professionals to advance their cyber security skills and certifications. Computer security skills in the greatest demand include IT operations security, mobile device security, risk management, information assurance, network and cloud/virtualization security.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer Systems Analyst Employment Projections | 2016 - 2026
Key Growth FactorsAs organizations continue to increase their reliance on technology, computer systems analysts will be hired to architect new systems. Health care is a key industry for systems analyst job growth, as aggressive government mandates and funding initiatives continue to drive increases in electronic medical record (EMR) adoption, electronic prescription services and other health-centric software projects that require custom computer systems. The U.S. Department of Labor also predicts a 43% increase in systems analyst hiring at IT consulting firms, which translates to a huge amount of freelance and contract employment opportunities in this position.
Web Developer Employment Projections | 2016 - 2026
10-Year Growth Pct: 15% (much faster than average)†
Key Growth FactorsEach year, a record number of businesses bring their offerings to the Internet. As the number of products and services online continues to grow, web developers and designers will enjoy increased job opportunities. Proliferation of social networks will boost demand for web developers as businesses look to engage a new generation of customers and spur a competitive advantage in this rapidly growing space. Responsive web design, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) skills are a hot commodity in this position as displays must increasingly adapt to varying device sizes and types, e.g., smart watches.
Health Information Technician
Health Information Technician Employment Proj. | 2016 - 2026
Key Growth FactorsHealth care will produce more new computer jobs through 2020 than any other single industry. Aggressive government mandates and funding incentives for medical practices to adopt centralized electronic health records is driving unprecedented hiring of health information technicians trained and certified in these new technologies. Health information technicians may earn the lowest starting salary on this list, but the required education is the quickest (typically a 2-year degree program in Health IT), plus candidates learning now will be well-positioned for lucrative management positions as the health IT job market continues to mature.
Key Growth FactorsJob growth for information technology managers is directly tied to the growth rates of the IT workers they supervise. Record-breaking growth in a variety of technical jobs – including networking, mobile development, software engineering, data management and cloud computing – will continue through 2025 and beyond, in turn fueling strong demand for talented IT managers. Additional growth will be driven by increased focus on information security and the hiring of additional cyber security personnel.
Key Growth FactorsBusinesses are racking up impressive amounts of digital information, spurring the need for trained and certified DBAs to store, organize, analyze and secure this data. In addition, as more databases are connected to the Internet and cloud, data security will become increasingly vital and complex; database administrators and developers - especially those with information security skills - will be hired to protect corporate data from hackers and other cyber threat vectors.
Key Growth FactorsDemand for network administrators will rise as organizations invest in new computer systems and network technologies to increase productivity and gain a competitive advantage. The rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones into corporate culture means more organizations will use the Internet to conduct business online, translating to increased job opportunities for network administrators and network managers who can help businesses securely use these emerging technologies. Cloud computing skills are also vital to maximize network administration job prospects.
Daniel Greenspan is an enterprise training consultant and the founder of ITCareerFinder. Over a decade of collaboration with IT professionals, world-class trainers and technology executives has afforded him a unique perspective into the IT job market and the skills and credentials that modern computing specialists need to succeed.