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The Best Tech Jobs in 2021: Emerging Careers, Skills, and Salaries

As we usher in a new digital age, tech jobs are on the rise. Companies are on the lookout for people with the right set of tech skills to fill the best tech jobs in the industry.

In this article, we give you a rundown of both. Learn about the best tech jobs in 2021, including the skills you’ll need and the salaries and responsibilities you can expect.

12 Best Tech Jobs: Future-Proof Your Career

1. Artificial Intelligence Engineer

Artificial intelligence has become a major part of modern technology, and it’s projected to keep transforming the way we live in this digital age. Because of this, artificial intelligence and machine learning jobs top our list of the best tech jobs today.

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Artificial intelligence engineers are responsible for designing, developing, testing, and deploying AI tools and machine learning systems and models. These may vary depending on the business problem that the company is trying to solve.

Essential Skills for an Artificial Intelligence Engineer

As an artificial intelligence (AI) engineer, you’ll need to be good with numbers, particularly statistics and linear algebra. Of course, knowing how to code in a variety of programming languages like Python, Java, R, and Haskell is a given.

Because AI engineers generally work with multiple departments, having excellent collaboration and communication skills is also crucial.

How Much Do Artificial Intelligence Engineers Earn?

According to ZipRecruiter, artificial intelligence engineers earn $164,769 per year on average. Artificial intelligence specialists also topped the list for LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, reporting a 74 percent growth in the past four years.

2. Full Stack Developer

As the name implies, full stack developers perform the full spectrum of software development. This means they can execute both front end development and backend development tasks. Becoming a full stack development expert thus makes you a versatile asset in the workplace.

Essential Skills for a Full Stack Developer

As a full stack developer, you may be tasked with handling various technologies, such as Express.js, Node.js, and MongoDB. You will also develop APIs and code in Java, JavaScript, Python, PHP, and C#, among others. Master as many of these as you can if you’re an aspiring full stack developer.

How Much Do Full Stack Developers Earn?

Full stack developers can expect to earn an average salary of $102,744 per year. This may go up or down depending on your seniority level, company, and geographical location.

3. Java Developer

In a nutshell, Java developers design, develop, and maintain Java-based applications. With Java being the third most popular programming language, Java developers remain in high demand whether in web development or mobile applications development.

Essential Skills for a Java Developer

As a Java developer, you’ll need to learn Java programming (naturally) and be up to date with Java developments. You also need to be proficient in the top frameworks used to build Java applications. These include Spring framework 5, JavaServer faces, Google web toolkit, and Hibernate.

How Much Do Java Developers Earn?

The average salary of a Java developer is $105,801 per year. If you’re looking for a field that offers multiple opportunities, Java development is a great career to pursue.

4. Information Technology (IT) Manager

Information Technology (IT) managers lead the management and maintenance of a company’s information systems and computers. Businesses rely on IT managers to keep everything up and running so that communication and technology systems are always operational.

Essential Skills for an IT Manager

As an IT manager, it goes without telling that you need to be technologically proficient to supervise IT professionals. That covers being knowledgeable in troubleshooting, technology design, and quality control analysis.

Alongside these, you must demonstrate excellent leadership and communication skills as well as the ability to adapt to stressful situations.

How Much Do IT Managers Earn?

In the United States, the average salary of an IT Manager is $87,289. Top-earning IT managers can pocket as high as $138,000. Those on the lower-end, on the other hand, may bring home close to $40,000 per year.

5. Data Scientist

Data scientists derive insights gleaned from multiple datasets to help companies make informed decisions. These insights may be about previous and current trends or projections about the market. Such insights, in turn, dictate how a company should proceed with its operations.

For instance, a retail company can use these data-driven insights to decide whether they should release a new line of products or not. Data scientists are also essential in measuring and improving customer experience.

Because of the power they hold, expect data scientists to appear in any list of the best tech jobs. A case in point: data scientists even ranked third in LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report.

Essential Skills for a Data Scientist

To become a data scientist, you need to be proficient with managing the entire data science project life cycle. This includes having a solid foundation in data manipulation, data analysis, and data visualization. Statistics and programming skills are also integral to a data science role.

How Much Do Data Scientists Earn?

As the demand for data scientists continues to rise, so do their salaries. Data scientists are among the top earners on our list, pocketing an average annual salary of $119,413.

6. Web Designer

Over the years, the demand for web designers has soared as companies work to build their presence online. Web designers, as the name implies, design the websites or web pages that you see today. Their web design covers the interface, visual elements, and navigation of the pages.

Essential Skills for a Web Designer

To become a good web designer, you’ll need a strong understanding of HTML and CSS programming, UX/UI design, and web server management. You must also be well-versed with the design principles as well as the software you’ll need to create a design.

How Much Do Web Designers Earn?

The average salary for a web designer is $60,202.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for digital designers is expected to grow by 8 percent by 2029. That’s equivalent to the addition of 14,000 jobs.

7. Systems Administrator

A systems administrator or sysadmin configures, maintains, and manages an organization’s computer systems and servers. From providing technical support for firewalls to working with computer networks, systems administrators ensure that all systems run smoothly.

In most cases, systems administrators are tasked with general IT operations without a focus in any particular field. However, larger businesses require specialized administrators due to the complexity of their systems.

Essential Skills for a Systems Administrator

To become a systems administrator, you must be skilled in problem-solving and administration. Since you’ll also be configuring firewall policies, you must know security best practices and monitoring tools and platforms.

How Much Do Systems Administrators Earn?

Systems administrators have an average salary of $83,510 a year, with employment growth expected in the healthcare industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the finance and insurance industry pays systems administrators the most at $89,420.

8. Blockchain Engineer

Blockchain engineering is a relatively new career path in the tech industry. In this position, you specialize in creating and implementing applications and solutions through blockchain technology.

In the simplest terms, Blockchain is an online ledger that allows users to keep a record of transactions without any risk of tampering or hacking. Bitcoin is the most popular example of Blockchain technology in play.

Essential Skills for a Blockchain Engineer

In order to be a blockchain engineer, you need strong programming skills in C++, Python, Java, and JavaScript, among others. You must also possess extensive knowledge in data structures and algorithms and Blockchain architecture.

How Much Do Blockchain Engineers Earn?

Blockchain engineers earn $154,550 per year. This is matched by a dramatic rise in demand for blockchain engineers. In 2018, staffing site Hired.com said that blockchain engineering showed year-on-year growth rate of 517 percent.

In 2020, blockchain skills topped LinkedIn’s list of the most in-demand hard skills globally. Little wonder why blockchain engineering is among the best tech jobs to pursue this year.

9. Cyber Security Engineer

The growth in technology means that businesses and organizations are vulnerable to cyberattacks. As a cyber security engineer, your job involves creating systems that can defend itself against malicious attacks and other potential disruptions.

If you’ve ever used a software to protect your computer from virus, odds are a cyber security engineer had a part in making it.

Essential Skills for a Cyber Security Engineer

To become a cyber security engineer, you must be a natural in problem-solving. On the more technical side of things, you must also have a solid understanding of hacking and computer forensics.

Most cyber security engineers are not required to have programming knowledge. However, knowing how to code can help you advance to other careers.

How Much Do Cyber Security Engineers Earn?

In the United States, the average salary of a security engineer is $120,708.

While cyber security engineers are in high demand, the supply of qualified talent remains scarce. Browse our list of the best cyber security bootcamps and become an expert in the field in no time.

10. Mobile App Developer

Mobile app developers design, develop, and test applications and programs for mobile devices. The field is relatively new, with the tech constantly improving alongside the increased performance of new mobile devices.

Essential Skills for a Mobile App Developer

To become a mobile app developer, you need to be skilled in programming. You must also be abreast of the trends in modern media to know which apps and features consumers would like to see.

How Much Do Mobile App Developers Earn?

The median salary for a mobile app developer in the United States is $101,899.

11. DevOps Engineer

DevOps engineers have the important task of overseeing code released by companies. These engineers work closely with the IT staff and software developers to ensure that secure software is released by the company.

Essential Skills for a DevOps Engineer

A DevOps engineering role is highly technical. To become one, you must be an expert in Linux fundamentals and scripting, configuration management, and continuous testing and monitoring.

How Much Do DevOps Engineers Earn?

DevOps engineers earn an average salary of $114,359 per year. Those on the higher end can earn as much as $163,000.

12. UX Designer

UX designers are in charge of making sure a website remains engaging and aesthetically pleasing to the user. As more people visit websites and purchase services and products online, UX designers become more important towards ensuring a seamless experience for users.

Essential Skills for a UX Designer

Becoming a UX designer requires a strong understanding of user psychology and user empathy. You must also be skilled in UX research, wireframing and prototyping, and information architecture.

How Much Do UX Designers Earn?

On average, a UX designer earns $98,816 per year. This may go up to as high as $155,000 or go down to as low as $45,000 per year.

Launch Your Tech Career

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As we usher in a new digital age, tech jobs are on the rise.

So, there you have it: 12 of the best tech jobs in the industry. Remember that some of these positions require years of knowledge and experience. Others can be learned in a short time. So, choose which career to pursue wisely.

If you wish to jumpstart your tech career now, check out our list of the best coding bootcamps in 2021. Start training for one of the best tech jobs today.

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