Within the world of infotech, there myriad professions and specializations with varying levels of complexity in computer systems and demand, as well as significant overlap of transferrable skillsets.

ITChapter has compiled here a brief guide to help individuals contemplating career paths in information technology to inform themselves on some of the particulars of the various specialties that exist in digital.

Our goal in this post is to help the reader delineate the job that is right for them whether it be in testing, development, data science, network, cloud or otherwise. Rest assured that regardless the chosen path in information technology, job outlook and prospects are numerous, profitable, and afford plenty of growth opportunities be they vertical or horizontal, or in a related field.

With information technology being the fastest growing sector of the economy, you should consider jobs in software and web domain beyond the support entry level jobs.

You simply can’t go wrong with any of the technology career paths iterated below! 

Tester in information technology

The principal task of the tester is to evaluate a program for their “correctness”. Testers determine whether a program’s functions are operating properly and identify the existence of bugs when/where present. Testers check how codes work in different usage situations, looking specifically for errors and vulnerabilities.

In addition to technical skills, testers also need soft skills as they must be able to effectively communicate feedback to developers, network architects and write reports. Testers are a prime support to help and fix identified issues. 

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $62,092 (glassdoor.com

Prospects of career path

Testers who grow their skills and experience in computer science can eventually become QA engineers or alternatively, move into a related field or job like project development and management. 

Mobile Developer 

A mobile developer creates programs/apps for mobile devices: phones, tablets, watches, etc. Their principal task is to make functional applications that are convenient and easy to use. 

Today, from all information technology skills, mobile developers are – unsurprisingly – in great demand. Mobile applications are needed by everyone, from shops and banks to universities and governmental organizations. 

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $97,217 (glassdoor.com

Prospects of career

There is plenty of space for vertical growth leading to jobs like Team Leader at the same time that there are opportunities to pivot into other areas of programming. 

Front end Developer 

These developers focus on the visible part of websites that customers interact with. They are responsible for ensuring the proper operation of menus, buttons, forms, and other GUI elements. 

This position is both technical and creative at the same time: Having the requisite knowledge to do this task is a must but having familiarity with a wide range of tools enables the developer to add their own style to the website or interface they are designing.  

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $120,000 (angel.co

Prospects of career

As frontend developers career’s take shape, they can easily move upward to being the leader of a development team, or having gained a versatile base of experience, they might also pivot for jobs as a full-stack programmer. 

Back end Developer 

In contrast to the front-end developer, the back-end developer is busy with the hidden side of software that the ordinary user never touches. They work with the server part of the site or application and do extensive work with database communications (but not design architectures).

The back-end is where the “nitty gritty” takes place; e.g. making sure an online order on a store site is saved, transferred to the warehouse, and tracked through the user’s personal account within a given firm’s website.

Their role is essential and required whenever working with applications or websites. To work at the entry level, requirements are to understand databases and know at least one of the programming languages such as PHP, Python, or C#. 

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $125,924 (glassdoor.com

Prospects of career path

Back-end works closely with the front-end at the same employing firm and with respect to related business areas/functions. Their career path is also similar in that they may grow vertically to become a top specialist in the field or alternatively by growing in scope to becoming “full-stack” developer that works with both front and back ends.

A firm knowledge base/experience pertaining to the internal structure of web applications may also facilitate their transition to jobs in DevOps, Information Security and information security analysts jobs. (These security jobs help defend an organization’s computer network)

Full-Stack Developer 

These are “jack of all trades” developers who can work with BOTH users AS WELL AS the server functions of a website, or application (i.e. both front and back ends). Such specialists know equally well how to build structures that do not fall apart as they do to combine beauty with functionality and ultimately “wow” customers and end users with final products.  

Naturally, these experts in network and computer systems are more in demand than those who specialize either only in front end or back end development given that they are capable of doing both. Being a full stack developer is as such naturally more challenging but job outlook is in full growth.  

Average Salary Base Payfor this job: $97,874 (salary.com

Prospects of career

An experienced Full Stack Developer naturally has options when it comes to changing their career trajectories as they will have deep knowledge of both front and back ends. It is not difficult for them to learn new technologies, manage development teams, become software architects, or even launch their own startup and create new projects.  

DevOps Engineer 

Development Operations Engineers help developers to interact effectively with other IT specialists. For example, programmers and testers are responsible for development whereas administrators are responsible for operations. When a specialist is involved not only in the direct development, but also in the deployment process and system operation, that makes them a DevOps Engineer. 

Requirements for this job include knowledge of code architecture, computer network, cloud computing technologies, logging and orchestration systems, and obviously, strong analytical skills gained through experience. 

Average Salary Base Payfor this job: $89,817 (glassdoor.com

Prospects of career

From this position, it is possible to move into adjacent pathways in development, though most DevOps engineers tend towards pursuing predictable vertical growth with Head of DevOps or Technical Director being their typical end jobs.  

Data Engineer 

These are specialists in technology who collect data from various information systems, clean it, and then transmit it in a convenient/usable format so that analysts can make informed business decisions. They are chiefly responsible for maintaining the data architecture: I.e. they manage huge databases, repositories and information systems for processing data. 

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $116,781 (indeed.com

The prospects of career

This is not a typical entry level career in technology industry. Large corporations are especially interested in big data, so an experienced Data Engineer can count on finding opportunities in larger firms where where big data is most powerful. Senior positions are readily available for those willing to climb the ladder. 

Data Analyst 

The data analyst understands in projects data, looks for patterns, prepares visualizations, and issues reports based on them. Compared to data engineers, this position involves a bit more creativity as data analysts use tools to find solutions to problems as well as to suggest new ideas to understanding disparate and, at first glance, unrelated data sets.  

One of the requirements for a Data Analyst to have knowledge of mathematics and especially statistics. They also need to be able to work with visualization and analytics platforms, such as Tableau.

Communication skills are a must, as the results of analytics need to be presented to employers/customers in a comprehensible manner with which they can make informed decisions. 

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $65,074 (indeed.com

Prospects of career path

Data analysts are characterized by a standard professional growth curve of Junior, Middle and Senior. Becoming a data engineer is a common and relevant pathway for the analyst and with experience and skills they can grow both vertically or horizontally as they master related professions and gain new perspectives in digital and technology. A data analyst may also become a database administrator or a related field.

Data Scientist 

Data scientists use data to solve specific business problems. They conduct in-depth data analysis, build models to test hypotheses and issue their findings to decision makers. In doing so, they help to make real breakthroughs in business, projects and science through their laser-eyed focus on the particulars of a problem OR opportunity by finding patterns where others see only “noise” in the data. They have natural problem solving personality.

Data Scientists work essentially on databases and use one of the programming languages called Python to do their work. Their main requirements are having a firm knowledge of mathematics and statistics, as well as an analytical mind. An understanding and knowledge of the field of research can be a huge bonus as it enables them to identify patterns more quickly. 

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $74,442 (indeed.com

Prospects of career

A Data Scientist may well grow their credentials through experience and become end up becoming a chief digital office (CDO), but horizontal growth in this profession opens up great prospects as well. Due to the rapid development of the industry in this profession, there is no visible ceiling to growth.  

ML-Engineer 

An engineer in the field of Machine Learning (ML) puts into practice the models that are formulated by the Data Scientist. They create program models built on given sets of information so that they can independently analyze the data and make conclusions and forecasts for future decisions.

It is difficult to become an ML engineer as an entry level position; minimum requirements are a good mathematical knowledge base, programming languages as well as development experience.  

Average Salary Base Pay for this job: $91,299 (glassdoor.com

The prospects of career

As is the case with other developers, ML specialists first gain experience and skills, having the potential to become team leaders. With enough experience, they can easily become the head of a department, web division, and/or eventually a CDO. 

Conclusion on job outlook in computer science

The world of computer and information is expanding at an exponential rate with jobs in IT and opportunities for growth following suit. Here are other jobs interesting to consider with excellent job outlook:

If you’re reading this page, you are already on the right track – the question remains, which pathway is right for you in information technology?  We offer support to companies in staffing. If you are looking for a job, you might want to have a look at our recruitment page. Build and maintain your career with our list of companies in search of experts in information technology.

(Data acquisition date for salary specifics: Feb 3, 2022 )

 

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