Information technology can net job seekers an average yearly salary of $82,000 per year1. The field provides essential support in a variety of technology areas, and some of the sectors are expected to grow faster than average as more companies and organizations adopt new technology solutions.
This guide explores different pathways for those looking to break into the computer information technology field, including some of the highest-paying jobs available.
Highest Paying Information Technology Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these ten jobs comprise the highest-paying career paths for information technology students.
Computer Information and Research Scientists Average Annual Salary: $126,830
Computer and information research scientists make over six figures per year2 working to build and innovate existing systems or create new solutions. They conduct research in technological fields and offer support in development. The field is expected to grow much faster than average at 22% over the next decade2.
Computer Network Architects Average Annual Salary: $116,780
Computer network architects make over six figures3, building and maintaining different types of computer networks. They build and monitor communication tools such as local area networks and wide area networks. The field is expected to grow slower than average at 5% over the next 10 years but should still offer 11,000 new job openings per year3.
Software Developers and Quality Assurance Analysts Average Annual Salary: $110,140
Software developers and quality assurance analysts make over $110,000 per year4 developing the tools people use every day and ensuring that those tools remain quality tested. The field is expected to grow faster than average at 22% and offer more than 189,000 new openings per year over the next decade4.
Information Security Analysts Average Annual Salary: $103,590
Information security analysts make over $103,000 per year5 working to ensure that computer systems and networks remain safe and data secure. The field is expected to grow much faster than average at 33%, offering around 16,300 new job openings per year between 2020 and 20305.
Database Administrators and Architects Average Annual Salary: $98,860
Database administrators and architects make over $98,000 per year6, building the systems that support technology and store data. These experts make data storage and processing safer and build reliable frameworks for company and enterprise needs. The field is expected to grow at an average rate but should offer more than 13,000 new openings per year6.
Computer Systems Analysts Average Annual Salary: $93,730
Computer systems analysts make over $93,000 per year7 analyzing the computer systems of organizations to determine the most efficient architecture. They also aid in digital transformation and adoption. The field is expected to grow at an average rate but should offer 47,500 new positions each year over the next decade7.
Computer Programmers Average Annual Salary: $89,190
Computer programmers make more than $89,000 per year8 building and designing computer programs. Although the field is expected to decline by about 10% over the next decade due to automation and artificial intelligence, the field should still offer more than 9,700 new positions each year between 2020 and 20308.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators Average Annual Salary: $84,810
Network and computer systems administrators make over $84,000 per year9 running the day-to-day operations of computer systems in companies and organizations. The field is expected to grow at a slower than average pace but should still offer almost 25,000 new positions per year9.
Web Developers and Digital Designers Average Annual Salary: $77,200
Web developers and digital designers make over $77,000 per year10, creating and designing websites and landing pages. They can also build mobile experiences. The field is expected to grow 13% over the next decade, faster than average, and should offer 17,900 new positions each year10.
Computer Support Specialists Average Annual Salary: $55,510
Computer support specialists make $55,510 per year, facilitating troubleshooting and offering advice for managing computer systems. The field is expected to grow at an average pace and produce more than 70,000 openings per year over the next 10 years11.
Popular Career Paths With an Information Technology Degree
Students can apply their information technology degrees to nearly every industry, thanks to the internet and digital transformation.
Finance and Banking
The finance and banking industry will put more emphasis on cybersecurity, digital transformation, and data systems in the coming years. Information technology careers could include building digital experiences for customers, handling fraud concerns, and even building things that accommodate cryptocurrency.
The e-commerce industry needs experts who can design customer experiences, handle customer data, build security features into websites and networks, and manage things like IoT within their supply chains. The entire industry is expected to undergo a full digital transformation.
Marketing and Advertising
Digital marketing needs information technology specialists to build systems that handle data and design digital campaigns. They also help troubleshoot the complex systems and dashboards that digital marketers and advertisers need.
Manufacturing and Supply Chain
As these sectors undergo their own digital transformation, information technology specialists can help run everything from their networks to their IoT systems. They will also need cybersecurity specialists that can keep everything secure from hackers. They will also build new networks that can accommodate machine learning principles.
The thriving technology sector needs talent that can design new products and services. Whether working with an established company like Google or joining a brand new startup in Silicon Valley, students can put their knowledge and expertise to great use.
Health information technology salaries remain competitive with the rest of the field, but healthcare will require many new minds to keep information safe. The industry also needs network administrators that can manage and protect the field of big data.
Average Salary for Information Technology Graduates
PayScale estimates that information technology graduates can make around $82,000 per year. However, niching down to one of the previous jobs could net students salaries of over six figures per year.
Students can gain higher salaries with certifications and more experience. In some cases, certain states may also offer higher salaries than others. For example, computer support specialists make an average of $55,510 per year12. However, in New Jersey, the same position earns around $89,760 per year 12, and, in Washington, the position earns $89,080 per year12.
How to Find a Job After You Graduate
The information technology field respects accomplishment, so portfolios can provide an edge for students looking for a job. Students can build portfolios through internships at their degree programs. They can also join open-source projects to work on. For example, GitHub offers online portfolios for collaborative projects.
Students should take advantage of their school’s networking as well. They can join meetups with like-minded peers and receive mentoring. That could help students find jobs more quickly, even in a crowded field.
Learners who choose to niche down into a field can take post-graduate certifications to showcase their skills. Options such as the CompTIA or Microsoft certifications add new elements to a student’s resume.
Discover More About a Career With an Information Technology Degree
Q. Are IT jobs worth it?
Information technology is an expanding field in many areas. Students make an average salary of well over the national average, and many of the IT niches pay well over six figures per year. Learners can also apply their skills to nearly any industry that exists, thanks to digital transformation.
Q. How do I get a job in IT?
Students can leverage self-taught skills, degrees, and certifications for a standout resume. Including a portfolio lets employers know what skills they’ve mastered. Taking an active role in continuous learning also provides students with a wealth of experience and foundational knowledge to advance.
Q. What should I study to get a job in information technology?
Students can take courses like web development, programming, and data science. Choosing to niche down in a certain subject also helps students choose the right courses. For example, taking Python for web development or network administration for network architects.
Q. Do I need a degree to work in information technology?
While students can teach themselves many of these skills, a four-year degree provides an efficient pathway for learning all the right skills. Plus, students receive support and mentoring, and can rely on their network to find jobs later.
Q. What qualifications do companies require to work in IT?
The required qualification depends on the company and the position. Students can look for professional certifications or tool-based certificates that match the requirements of the position. A four-year degree in information technology or computer science can provide a great beginning to an information technology degree.
Q. How long does it take to become eligible for IT jobs?
A typical bachelor’s degree takes four years of full-time study, including state-required core courses to complete. Some students may choose to pursue a master’s degree for an additional 1-3 years. Some certifications only require students to register for the exam and pass. Self-taught students might take several years of study to complete their skills mastery.
Q. Which information technology skills are in demand?
Cybersecurity and network administration skills can provide lucrative career paths. Other in-demand skills include machine learning, database administration, and skills applicable to IoT use cases.
 PayScale. (2021). Salary for Information Technology (IT) Services. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Industry=Information_Technology_(IT)_Services/Salary
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020) Occupational Outlook Handbook. Computer and Research Scientists. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Network Architects. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-network-architects.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Information Security Analysts. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Database Administrators and Architects. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/database-administrators.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Systems Analysts. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Programmers. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-programmers.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Network and Computer Systems Administrators. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Web Developers and Digital Designers. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer Support Specialists. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm
 Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics: Computer Support Specialists. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151231.htm#st