While “Software Developer” is only #4 in salary.com’s 8 hottest jobs of 2014 list in terms of growth rate (demand), it probably goes without saying that there are many well-paying career opportunities in Computer Science and IT (Information Technology) in general.
If you’re considering pursuing a computer science career, or just curious, here is a list of 50 of the top-paying jobs in the field. While salaries for some roles vary widely by location, industry, experience level, demand and sometimes as the wind blows, this list should give you a rough idea of the more financially rewarding IT-related roles.
Not all of the following roles are purely technical, although all are considered to be in the IT field in general or relevant to IT. In the interest of presenting as many different types of widely-achievable roles as possible for the average candidate, we’ve left out upper-level IT management positions such as CTO, VP and Director roles. In some cases, where job titles are merely different designations based on experience, we’ve grouped titles into one listing. E.g., we’ve made no distinction in entries between junior, intermediate, senior, and lead positions of the same type of role. So listed salary ranges usually cover all such variations. Salary ranges are a composite from different sources and should only be considered as a guideline.
50. Systems Analyst or Systems Engineer
This role is sometimes referred to as a Computer Systems Analyst, with duties that might overlap that of an IT Project Manager, if overseeing installation or upgrade of computer systems. This role typically analyzes an organization’s computer systems and procedures; makes recommendations for process improvement; interacts with partners/ vendors and with programmers or programmer / analysts. Educational background might be technical, though this is more of an analytical than technical role that is focused on the business aspects of technology, including: analyzing the cost of system changes; the impact on employees; potential project timelines. Needs to interact with department managers on IT requirements; incorporate feedback from both internal and external users into business requirements documents; incorporate feedback from designers; contribute technical requirements; advise technical teams on their and their technology’s role in the organization; provide guidance to programmer / developers with use cases.
Salary range: $ 50-108K
Suggested Degrees: Computer Science, Information Science, Computer Information Systems
49. Business Systems Analyst
This role focuses on specific computer systems – compared to a Business Analyst, who will analyze a broader range of processes and systems for an organization. Typically, it requires analytical skills and is business-focused, so often requires a BA background, not necessarily a B.Sc.. It does, however, require an understanding of computer systems and information, and more technical reporting and documentation procedures. Usually, understanding the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), UML (Unified Modeling Language) and other technical concepts and skills are often a requirement. The role has optional certifications which bring increased opportunities and compensation.
Salary range: $ 75-109K
Suggested Degrees:Business Administration, Finance, Accounting
48. CRM Business Analyst
Aka CRM Analyst. CRM = Customer Relationship Management: front office functionality. This is typically a less technical role which may require a marketing or business degree — often a master’s — combined with statistics, but usually requires certain technical knowledge such as database and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, specifically. Typical responsibilities / skills: analyze customer relationship data – especially within product channels – using CRM software, and recommend strategy changes for building customer loyalty; define organizational procedures based on the data; document new procedures for internal use — typically for staff in sales, marketing and support.
Salary range: $ 80-109K
Suggested Degrees:Business Administration, Marketing, Management
47. Software Systems Engineer
Typical responsibilities / skills: development and upgrade of computer systems; either interact with data and system security staff or define necessary procedures for them to follow; design, develop and test software when necessary — often middleware; document procedures for internal use, and provide various system and operations documents; participate in various review meetings, including design, program and test reviews with inter-departmental co-workers; define a process for change management.
Salary range: $ 76-111K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, System Architecture,
46. Solutions Architect
A Solutions Architect role is similar to other architect roles and can go beyond the scope of IT. experience with hardware and software systems is common requirement, as is an understanding of business operations. This role is sometimes but not always synonymous with a Director or CTO (Chief Technical Officer) position. Typical responsibilities/ skills; understand the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle); have broad technical knowledge of computer systems; conduct process flow analyses; transform business/ customer requirements into technical requirements (functional design document); understand and have experience with databases; interact with developers and bridge different IT architect roles.
Salary range: $ 79-112K
45. E-Commerce Analyst
Aka E-Commerce Business Analyst. Backgrounds for this role vary: computer science, finance, statistics, management, marketing, communications. While a bachelor’s degree is standard, a master’s degree is sometimes required. Typical responsibilities / skills: analyze customer e-commerce data for behavioral or other trends; setup or configure reporting or dashboards for easy internal access to such data; create customer profiles for demographic targeting; utilize Web analytics.
Salary range: $ 79-114K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Marketing, Business Administration (with an IT Focus)
44. ERP Business Analyst
An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Business Analyst focuses on “back office” functionality for an organization’s various facets, including CRM, management, accounting, sales. Typical responsibilities / skills: have an understanding of typical business uses of ERP software; interact with various stakeholders to analyze business processes and gather requirements; incorporate business requirements to configure ERP software; interact with developers to build a reporting environment; document organization-specific customizations; conduct any necessary training sessions for use of ERP software and reporting environment. This role usually requires experience with a specific ERP solution.
Salary range: $ 83-115K
Suggested Degrees:Business Administration, Finance, Accounting
43. Pre-Sales Engineer / Technical Engineer
Similar titles include Pre-sales Engineer, PreSales Engineer, Pre-sales Technical Engineer. This role is for a product advocate/ evangelist who works with internal sales staff and possibly offers technical consulting to potential customers prior to a sale. They give product demonstrations to sales staff and potential customers and handle the technical aspects of RFIs / RFPs (Requests for Information / Requests for Proposal). So the ability to communicate with both technical and no-technical staff and customers is important, especially to pass on customer requirements to Product Managers. It requires some level of technical knowledge, especially about the systems/ software being offered, and may require some certifications. Post-sales interaction with a client is a possibility.
Salary range: $ 82-116K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Engineering, Information Technology
42. CRM Technical Developer
AKA CRM Developer. Most CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software has both internal and external (Web) components. Users can be internal (sales staff, support, admin, systems developers) and external (customers, vendors, partners, researchers). These are the users a CRM Developer needs to keep in mind when developing solutions. Typical responsibilities/ skills: experience with a specific CRM system; custom configure a CRM used by the organization; develop custom modules to extend CRM functionality; integrate CRM features into an organization’s own computer systems, including for customer use – which requires experience with a programming or scripting language, and either server, desktop/ laptop, Web or mobile (phone, tablet) development experience as necessary; document custom settings, modules and features for different levels of user.
Salary range: $ 89-119K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Programming
41. Portal Administrator
This role is focused on Web portals and often requires knowledge of a specific portal software platforms. E.g., IBM WebSphere, Microsoft SharePoint. Typical responsibilities / skills: interact with Web and other systems administrators; create or oversee creation of necessary portal databases and user profiles; configure and manage portal applications; perform configuration and upgrade process tests; oversee integration of new technologies into the portal; document portal use policies and procedures (internal); handle relevant trouble tickets; train developers, content managers and end-users as necessary.
Salary range: $ 91-121K
40. Programmer Analyst
Aka Computer Programmer / Analyst. May have some overlap with a Business Analyst role, such as performing requirements analysis. In some organizations, there is a lot of overlap with a Software Developer role, and in other places, the two roles work together. Typical responsibilities / skills: design of applications from a high level first – such as by using flowcharts or other graphical views — as well as actual coding of software; testing and maintenance. Specific programming language skills influence salary ranges.
Salary range: $ 69-122K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Marketing
39. Network Analyst or Network Engineer
Sometimes referred to as a Network Support Engineer. The role sometimes overlaps with Network Architect roles. Typical responsibilities / skills: work with a variety of types of networks including LANs, WANs, GANs and MANs; determine network capacity requirements and ensure that the infrastructure can handle it; monitor and administrate the network; troubleshoot problems. Depending on the size of the organization, a person in this role might also setup, install and configure all types of hardware, from servers and printers to desktops and laptops, routers, switches, support internal network users. Non-standard work hours are a possibility.
Salary range: $ 58-124K
38. Wireless Engineer
Typical responsibilities / skills: analyze wireless networking and communication requirements; design and develop network infrastructure; capacity planning; recommend system improvements; document necessary processes; develop any necessary software such as drivers; monitor systems use and performance; setup and run wireless network tests. A senior position might lead a team of junior and intermediate engineers.
Salary range: $ 46-125K
Suggested Degrees:Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering,
37. Business Continuity Analyst
This role is primarily focused on focused on disaster recovery after a crisis with computer systems. Typical responsibilities / skills: develop strategies for disaster prevention and for resuming operations; ensure backup of data for the organization (process-wise); design and implement computer systems that will support continuous operations; interact with vendors when necessary; design and test recovery plans; report risk potential to senior management. The role may require risk management experience and knowledge of specific 3rd-party systems/ applications.
Salary range: $ 87-125K
Suggested Degrees:Business, Information Management, Computer Science
36. ERP Technical Analyst / ERP Functional Analyst
ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning. This is a broad term covering many “back office” facets of an organization — some technical, some less so. This role is often focused on an area of expertise within ERP software, or could require broad knowledge, depending on the specific position. ERP use is common in manufacturing companies, hence why backgrounds for this role vary, including information technology or a variety of relevant engineering education, depending on the industry and the organization. Typical responsibilities / skills: understand business operations and how ERP supports them, to be able to develop improvements; interact with various stakeholders; apply continuous improvement principles, processing mapping, and engineering principles; perform troubleshooting. This role typically requires experience with specific ERP solutions is common
Salary range: $ 90-125K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Business,
35. Database Administrator
Aka DBA. Sometimes has overlapping duties with Database Programmer, Database Analyst and Database Modeller, and may report to a Database Manager and/or Data Architect. Typical responsibilities / skills: maintain an organization’s databases; design and implement databases, in coordination with a Data Architect; schedule and run regular database backups; recover lost data; implement and monitor database security; ensure data integrity; identify the needs of users and provide access to data stakeholders, data analysts and other users, as necessary. DBAs can have broad or specialized duties. E.g., divide tasks up: System DBA upgrades software for bug fixes and new features. Application DBA writes and maintains code and queries for one or more databases in an organization. The role may require certification.
Salary range: $ 63-126K
34. Software Developer
Typical responsibilities / skills: produce the overall design of new software or modules based on requirements passed down; produce flowcharts, algorithms and anything else necessary for the actual coding. Junior developers might start out by maintaining (debugging) existing code / features rather than design new code. If code in an organization is not done separately by Computer Programmers, then it falls to the Software Developers — who might also do testing and debugging, or work with teammates who do that work.
Salary range: $ 80-127K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Programming
33. Telecommunications Manager
Typical responsibilities / skills: identify telecom needs for an organization, including voicemail; create policies for the installation and maintenance of telecom equipment and systems within an organization; take into account any compliance needs, especially for a publicly-traded company; oversee actual installation and maintenance of equipment (cabling, modems, routers, servers, software); manage of a team of telecom/ networking specialists; stay abreast of new telecom technologies for upgrade consideration; interact with vendors as necessary.
Salary range: $ 76-128K
Suggested Degrees:Telecommunications Management, Information Technology, Management
32. ERP Technical Developer
Typical responsibilities / skills: understand the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle); interact with business teams to understand requirements; analyze technical problems in ERP configurations and assess risk; write any necessary code for extending an ERP platform’s features, or to integrate with an organization’s applications. This position usually requires experience with a particular ERP solution and with one or more facets/ modules.
Salary range: $ 94-130K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Computer Engineering,
31. Network Manager
Depending on company size, this role may overlap with Network Administrator. A Network Manager has overall responsibility for an organizations networks; ensures that networks are always running, especially if customers and/or partners rely on them; devises and implements a plan to either prevent or recover from a disaster. Overall, they are responsible for all the networks, local and non, that drive an organization, and for maintaining the hardware and cabling that goes with the networking infrastructure. That includes installing hardware and software, monitoring networks, etc., or managing a team of Network Analyst/ Engineers and/or the various Network Administrators. Certification may be required for some roles, depending on the networking technology used and especially if the role is significantly hands-on.
Salary range: $ 94-130K
30. Network Security Administrator
Typical responsibilities / skills: implement and follow a network security plan; document the networking infrastructure, including any firewall protocols and policies, monitoring and disaster recovery plans; use vulnerability assessment tools to determine potential risks; monitor and investigate security breaches; recommend organizational security policies; keep up to date on changing networking technology, and review software and hardware to be able to recommend upgrades when necessary.
Salary range: $ 95-130K
29. Project Manager, Applications Development
This role may overlap with Application Development Manager. This is a fairly technical role and sometimes requires a background as an application developer. An App Dev PM needs the ability to interact with co-workers from multiple departments, to keep them on track to achieve milestones, drive a project forward and resolve bottlenecks. They understand the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle), budgets, project management principles, basic psychology of motivating people. This role sometimes requires industry knowledge and solutions, e.g., Financial software.
Salary range: $ 88-131K
28. Systems Security Administrator
Overlaps with others administrator roles. Security administrators oversee access to an organization’s computer systems, whether by internal or external users. Typical responsibilities / skills: develop and configure automated solutions for granting user access rights; oversee internal/ external user access rights manually when necessary; have knowledge of traditional and leading-edge security techniques and tools; understand security auditing procedures; determine security risks; investigate security breaches. This position may require knowledge of specific security-related software and applications.
Salary range: $ 95-131K
Suggested Degrees:Cyber Security, Computer Science,
27. Network Security Engineer
This role is typically responsible for network and server architecture; implementation, admin, upgrade of hardware and software, e.g., firewalls, etc.; enforcement of security policies set down by either the organization’s Network Architect, Network Security Administrator, or similar position; monitoring and analyzing network usage for security issues; troubleshooting network problems; contributing to the selection of new technology and/or upgrades; contributing to the documenting of systems and processes; providing technical support for IT coworkers. Certification may be required. Knowledge of computer telephony technologies such as VoIP may be required, along with an understanding of relevant compliance issues. May require some physical effort, for cabling and installation work
Salary range: $ 99-131K
Suggested Degrees:Cyber Security, Computer Engineering, Computer Science
26. Data Warehouse Developer / Analyst
A data warehouse is a repository that combines data from several sources, internal and external, within an organization – e.g., sales and marketing – and is used for trend reporting. Typical responsibilities / skills for a Data Warehouse Developer: interact with business analysts to understand the necessary business logic; follow standards and procedures for databases set down by a Data Warehouse Manager; design and create databases for the purpose of data warehousing; design and run ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) procedures to extract external data and load into a data warehouse; test integrity of data warehouse; write and maintain any code necessary for data warehousing tasks including report generators. This position may require experience with specific 3rd-party applications, and often overlaps with Database Developer duties.
Salary range: $ 60-133K
Suggested Degrees:Data Science, Computer Science, Information Management
25. Database Developer
This role sometimes overlaps with Database Engineer or Data Warehouse Developer (see above job description) and can cover a broad range of tasks. Typical responsibilities / skills: data management and administration, data modeling, data warehousing, investigate data integrity issues; devise and conduct data tests for integrity, and follow an action plan for any necessary recovery; document access of specific databases for developers in other departments; work with logical and physical models of data; understand principles of distributed data, data redundancy; incorporate database updates as per stakeholder requirements; produce reports on analyzed business intelligence data; write database queries and complementary computer code to support internal applications, and which are possibly shared with developers in other departments. This may require knowing “back end” programming or scripting languages such as Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, etc., as well as knowledge of both traditional RDBMSes (Relational Database Management Systems) and newer NoSQL databases such as Cassandra, CouchDB, MongoDB, Hadoop and others. The role tends to require specific commercial database system experience, experience with database performance tuning and troubleshooting, and may require some forms of certification.
Salary range: $ 73-134K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Computer Engineering,
24. Data Modeler
Typical responsibilities / skills: creates the Conceptual Data Model representing an organization’s data requirements for various business processes; produces the plan for building the Logical Data Model(s) from the conceptual model. (The physical data model is the actual implementation (database) where data will be stored.) Data modeling (aka database modeling) covers business requirements for databases and is an organic process, so this role also requires adapting a database to business requirements changes.
Salary range: $ 76-134K
Suggested Degrees:Information Systems Management, Information Systems, Computer Science
23. Project Manager
For an IT project, this overlaps with Computer and Information Systems Manager. This is a broader role than for an Applications Development Project Manager and may not require as much of a technical background. Project Managers should have at least an understanding of — if not experience with — the computer systems or software being built / maintained. Responsible for defining, maintaining, and enforcing a project schedule; updating schedule when requirements change or project facets become overdue; keep projects on or under-budget. Other responsibilities and requirements: understand Agile development process (where necessary); run scrums; interact with multiple departments and many levels of co-workers, and convey to them the importance of their respective stakes while also keeping technical resources such as developers goal-oriented; update management on the status of projects, bottlenecks, requests for resources. IT Certifications such as PMP (Project Management Professional) can increase opportunities and salary.
Salary range: $ 56-135K
Suggested Degrees:Management, Business
22. Web Developer
Salary range: $ 60-135K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Programming
21. Product Manager, Software Development
Aka Software Product Manager. Usually “owns” (the development and maintenance of) one or more software products / applications / platforms within an organization; works with marketing, UX / design, developers, project managers, etc., in a largely cross-departmental role. Other requirements and responsibilities: be an evangelist for the product — internally and externally where appropriate; research the market and understand what the user wants — either in terms of improvements or new features; be an influential personality and possibly have an entrepreneurial mindset; be outward-facing and understand both customer needs and strategies for acquiring customers; have broad knowledge of relevant from products from various disciplines, not necessarily deep knowledge of one discipline.
Salary range: $ 99-136K
Suggested Degrees:Management , Business, Computer Science
20. Data Security Analyst / Information Security Analyst
Typical responsibilities / skills: determine security risks for an organization’s computer systems, databases and networks; monitor external activity; install and configure security-related software (firewalls, encryption); understand compliance issues related to security, especially for a publicly-traded organization; make recommendations to management for security policies and procedures; design and run penetration testing (simulation of attacks); keep abreast of new attack techniques and implement means of preventing these.
Salary range: $ 61-137K
Suggested Degrees:Cyber Security, Computer Science, Programming
19. Applications Developer
Aka Application Developer. Typical responsibilities / skills: focus might be on middleware applications; interact with business analysts to understand and incorporate customer and business requirements; understand the SDLC (System Development Life Cycle); follow design specs and programming standards for coding applications; develop and test application-specific software and modules; interact with quality assurance specialists. Possibly requires experience with multi-tier environments. Requires an understanding of specific programming/ scripting languages and development frameworks, and possibly specific database packages.
Salary range: $ 69-137K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Programming, Information Systems
18. Technical Support
Aka Help Desk Technicians. The focus of a support tech’s work is interacting with non-IT users, whether internal to a company or external. One group of technicians may support internal users of 3rd-party software, while another group may support internal and external users of company software. Responsibilities include being familiar with the software, hardware or systems they support, including keeping up to date with both new and retired features; knowing where to find the answers to questions that come in to the help desk; possibly contribute to a repository of FAQs (frequently asked questions).
Salary range: $ 49-140K
Suggested Degrees:Information Technology, Engineering
17. Manager, Design & UX
Aka, User Experience Design Manager. Typical responsibilities / skills: oversee the user experience for an application or portfolio of applications; interact with marketing/ business, technical and other departments to collect requirements and make recommendations; interact with product owner/ manager (sometimes UX owns the product); interact with technical managers, project manager, executive management; manage a team of UX Designers – hiring, management, resource planning, mentoring. This not always a strictly a technical role, though such a manager might have a background that combines management, interface design and coding — or at least be tech-savvy enough to understand what is and is not possible for an organization’s software products.
Salary range: $ 94-140K
Suggested Degrees:Graphic Design, Industrial Psychology, Management
16. Manager, Technical Services/ Help Desk/ Tech Support
This is a general technical manager role and in some organizations, this title can incorporate other managerial duties including overseeing networks, managing network engineers, databases, database analysts and developers and more. Typical responsibilities / skills: manage help desk/ technical support teams for both internal and external users; budget for support staff equipment and software; be involved in corporate plans for hardware and software upgrades; define service call procedures and policies and monitor employee behavior on calls; ensure the updating of relevant documentation. The role usually requires industry-related technical experience and can require physical effort.
Salary range: $ 76-141K
Suggested Degrees:Information Technology, Management
15. Information Technology Manager
This role usually requires a technical background and leads a technical team, which could consist of developers, testers, analysts and more – whether or not the organization is technical. Typical responsibilities / skills: oversee the technical aspects of internal projects; maintain corporate IT procedures, with documentation; hire and lead a technical team to support the procedures; manage resources within a budget; keep up to date with new technologies, for recommending possible internal upgrades; interact with various departments, vendors and possibly consultants /contractors. The role can require a master’s degree in computer science or a related field.
Salary range: $ 99-142K
Suggested Degrees:Information Technology, Management
14. Business Intelligence Analyst
This is not always a purely technical role, though background could be and often is in computer science or a similar field. Usually, it’s a business-focused role that analyzes and reports on data used within the organization. Reports are a key part of such a role and are targeted for executives who will make business decisions upon the recommendations. This could be IT process improvement, software and hardware upgrades, networking, etc. Typical responsibilities / skills: collection and analysis of business data for process improvement, similar to “continuous improvement” philosophy; ability to express technical topics in a form non-technical decision makers can absorb; ability to structure business intelligence for internally-defined purposes. The role can require an understanding of a specific software, particularly database systems, and may involved working closely with developers.
Salary range: $ 101-142K
Suggested Degrees:Data Science, Statistics, Business
13. Mobile Applications Developer
This covers multiple related roles which require knowledge of at least one mobile operating system and development platform, such as Android or iOS, and the underlying programming languages. In some roles, Mobile Web development skills are a requirement. Typical responsibilities / skills: design, write and maintain mobile application code; port features for an app from another platform (such as desktop, Web, phone, tablet, wearable computing) to the mobile platform in question; integrate databases (internal) and REST APIs (internal and external); produce API components as necessary and document usage for other developers (internal and sometimes external); devise and run code tests in simulator or hardware; work with Quality Assurance staff for additional; testing log and fix defects. The role can sometimes require design skills for a front-end position.
Salary range: $ 100-144K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Programming
12. Information Technology Auditor
Aka IT Auditor, Information Systems Auditor. Typical responsibilities / skills: reviewing and recommending compliance processes, especially for a publicly-traded company; determine and assess risk pertaining to technology, both for a single location and other corporate offices; audit an organization’s computer systems and infrastructure for secureness; comply with company audit policies (e.g., if in a divisional office); draft a security breech prevention plan; define audit procedures; report audit findings. This role is more likely to require a background in MIS (Management Information Science) or business administration, although IT skills are valuable.
Salary range: $ 67-146K
11. Quality Assurance Associate / Analyst
Software Quality Assurance (SQA) work is on of those unusual sets of roles where compensation varies widely. Companies that appreciate the value of proper testing and “code coverage” pay more for a good Software QA Analyst/ Engineer than they might for a Software Developer / Software Engineer, and thus often require a seasoned developer/ engineer. Other companies pay less much less and tend to employe QA testers — although both variations are sometimes referred to as a Software QA Engineer. In QA work, these are overlapping roles. The tester role is focused on running pre-defined test suites and verifying the results, reporting bugs or interacting with Software Developers/ Engineers. A QA Analyst / Engineer is more like to be the person designing test suites and improving code coverage to verify that everything that needs to be tested is being tested. The latter role can require experience with programming/ scripting languages and/or Web or Mobile platforms.
Salary range: $ 57-147K
10. Database Manager
Aka DBA Manager; has a role that overlaps with other database specialists. Typical responsibilities / skills: oversee how data assets are managed within a company, including data organization and access: internally-generated private and public data, as well as externally-created (user) private and public data; data modeling; database design; define and ensure data backup processes; monitor and analyze database performance; troubleshoot data integrity issues; manage a team of other database specialists, including Database Administrators. The role may require an understanding of one or more traditional DBMSes or the newer technologies, as necessary.
Salary range: $ 107-149K
Suggested Degrees:Data Science, Management, Computer Science
9. UX Designer
Aka User Experience Designer. This role comes in various forms: desktop, Web, mobile, wearables. Typical responsibilities / skills: design software interface flow, user interactions, screen layout and organization, screen interaction (between screens), overall appearance (visual design), and optimizes the user experience — typically through iterative improvements and user feedback, to create engaging user experiences; create wireframes or more realistic prototypes — possibly with the help of front-end web developers or a web designer with the necessary development skills; recommend design patterns that are both tested (on other Web sites or apps or desktop software) as well as appropriate to the software at hand; define A/B Split Testing studies to determine which variation of an interface is more engaging. In some companies, UX teams own an application instead of a designated “content owner” and can thus request changes from software developers directly as needed. This is not necessarily a strictly technical role, and is always a creative role that involves an understanding of user psychology. However, it can require technical skills, especially if combined with another role, such as front-end Web development or front-end mobile app development. At the least, an understanding what is and is not possible for a particular software platform is important.
Salary range: $ 65-150K
Suggested Degrees:Graphic Design, Psychology, Marketing
8. Manager, Software Quality Assurance (QA) / Testing
Aka Quality Assurance Manager, (S)QA Manager. Typical responsibilities / skills: oversee all IT-related quality assurance efforts within an organization — e.g., the entire application portfolio; manage a team of QA specialists (testers, QA analysts, leads, supervisors); interact with stakeholders; attend high-level project meetings for new/ updated computer systems; budget resources for inter-departmental efforts. Whether or not a QA Manager codes in their role, this position tends to require senior-level QA analyst experience.
Salary range: $ 67-150K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Management
7. Data Architect
Depending on the size of an organization, this role can overlap with that of over database specialists. Typical responsibilities / skills: provide a data architecture for an organization’s data assets, including databases, data integration (combining data sources into one view), data access; define the formal data description, structures, models, flow diagrams, and overall metadata; enable stakeholders to manage their portion of the databases or data warehouse, under guidance and data access policies; have logical and physical data modeling skills, whether they’re used in actuality or to oversee a Data Modeler’s efforts; defines data warehouse policies including for Information Assurance. The role usually requires senior experience as a Database Developer/ Analyst / Engineer.
Salary range: $ 111-153K
Suggested Degrees:Data Science, Computer Science
6. Manager, Data Warehouse
Aka, Data Warehouse Manager. Typical responsibilities/ skills: collect and analyze business data from external and internal sources; interact with stakeholders to understand and incorporate business requirements; database modeling, business intelligence skills, data mining, data analysis, reporting; oversee data warehouse integrity; oversee benchmarking of performance; manage a team of Data Warehouse Developer / Analysts.
Salary range: $ 115-154K
Suggested Degrees:Data Science, Computer Science, Management
5. Network Architect
Aka Computer Network Architect. Depending on the size of an organization, this role can overlap with that of other network specialists. Typical responsibilities / skills: design internal and intra-office networks, including physical layout: LAN, WAN, Internet, VoIP, etc.; monitor network usage and performance, devise network tests and evaluate them; incorporate any new business requirements so as to upgrade overal network architecture; do any necessary cabling, routers, and install and configure hardware and software; follow or recommend a budget for projects; choose or recommend the appropriate network components; sometimes report to a CTO (Chief Technology Officer). Network Architects usually have five or more years of experience as a Network Engineer, and supervise various other engineers in implement a networking plan. Besides a Bachelor of Science degree, depending on the employer and the specific role, sometimes an MBA in Information Systems is required as well.
Salary range: $ 78-156K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Information Systems
4. Software Engineer
Aka Computer Software Engineer. In government positions and some more established corporations, Software Engineer and other IT positions are often divided into Levels indicating experience / rank. Each higher rank incorporates more responsibilities for the role. While there is a theoretical technical difference between a Software Developer and a Software Engineer, many organizations use the term Engineer when they mean Developer. True “software engineers” are certified by an engineering board. While a Software Engineer creates/ tests/ documents software just as a Software Developer does, the former is more likely to also optimize software based on their technical, mathematical and/or scientific knowledge. They produce more reliable software through engineering principles. The salary range listed here covers any use of the title Software Engineer.
Salary range: $ 61-160K
Suggested Degrees:Computer Science, Computer Engineering
3. Manager, Information Systems Security
An Information Systems Security Manager oversees the security of company and customer data and computer systems in general. Typical responsibilities / skills: oversee all IT security needs for an organization; determine security requirements; document security policies; implement security solutions; manage a team of information security specialists. This role tends to require experience with computer or information science or a related field, experience with specific computer systems security software, and may require one or more certifications.
Salary range: $ 115-160K
Suggested Degrees:Cyber Security, Information Systems, Manager
2. Manager, Applications Development
Aka Application(s) Development Manager. Typical responsibilities / skills: oversees an organization’s internally-created software applications and platforms; gather application requirements; interface with VP Tech, marketing, project managers, managers of other teams; manage software analysts and/or developers for an organization’s application portfolio; monitor timelines and resources; schedule projects where necessary. This role often requires senior-level experience with developing applications and may require experience with database design.
Salary range: $ 86-162K
1. Applications Architect
Aka Application Architect. This title is sometimes misused and applied to what would otherwise be a software developer or software engineer position. Typical responsibilities/ skills: broad knowledge of software used within an organization; project management experience; senior-level software development experience; broadly oversee the entire software development (application portfolio) effort for an organization; define application architecture; interact with the various role-specific architects, project manager, customer representatives; interact with developers while enforcing architecture. This might require experience with specific programming languages and software development frameworks.
Salary range: $ 66-183K
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