Top 5 High-Paying Technology Career Paths in 2020
It’s the year 2020, the start of a new decade! And looking back at the last few years, we have come so far in terms of technology. The new digital age keeps surprising us year after year leaving us frantic with the whats and hows of adopting and adapting to this fast-paced era. With that in mind, here are the Top 5 Technology Career Paths that will pay the most in 2020 and beyond.
It’s clearly a ‘Never-Enough’ age. Businesses are always charged with passion to do something better. Every small progress is volatile – lasting only until a better technology comes by.
Take this for instance.
Did you ever picture yourself sitting in the driver’s seat of your car and letting your vehicle judge its environment and drive… AUTONOMOUSLY?!
Thanks to companies like Tesla, the impossible was challenged and brought to life.
And not to forget, the boom in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Citizen robots like Sophia and mind-reading wearables like AlterEgo are just one of the verticals of the multi-faceted AI domain – a teaser to the big picture of what’s coming in the next few years.
Such is the speed of this digital age and keeping up with it seems exciting and challenging at the same time.
But, with new technology comes new hope – in terms of progress in different disciplines and also in terms of the job pockets that these open up.
With increasing complexities in technological advancements, there is a surge in the need for highly talented professionals with unique skill sets who can also adapt to the ever evolving innovative technologies.
Almost all of the career paths we’re sharing today can be considered specialized paths of the more general study of “Computer Science” or “Programming”. A background in either will help you a lot, but the fact is that more specialized skill sets are in demand and will make it much easier for you to have the career and life that you want.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 High-Paying “Computer Science” or “Technology” career-paths to look forward to in 2020:
1. Artificial Intelligence Specialist
Remember the day Alexa started to laugh unexpectedly, sending chills down your spine? People joked about AI beginning to take over the world thereon.
But, AI is now a sought after career path with very many domains, despite Alexa’s chuckle.
2.3 million jobs were forecasted to open up in 2020!
That’s how much the recent innovations have gained traction. From transportation to entertainment, AI has made its mark everywhere and is continuing to expand.
This brings in a need for extremely qualified professionals who can develop software that mimics human behavior and develop machine learning algorithms to learn how humans learn, to do tasks much faster than we could ever imagine.
The demand is so high that companies are willing to pay more just to hire professionals with an artificial intelligence skill.
According to Payscale, an average salary for a job that requires these skills is USD $122,000.
Many big companies like Amazon, Microsoft and IBM are very heavily invested in AI.
Be it a navigation system for cab drivers or having drones deliver packages to your doorstep, AI is constantly learning and so should you to keep up with this snowballing domain.
2. Data Engineer
Have you ever wondered where all this data that’s coming in is heading towards?
Who is walking them into the databases?
Who is managing the Big Data ecosystem?
Data Engineers, that’s who!
Data Engineers are the pillars of the Big Data ecosystems. They are involved in writing complex code to build scalable platforms that businesses can use to run various algorithms.
Equipped in tools like MongoDB, Cassandra, and DashDB, data engineers are often performing hands-on functions to expand existing systems and building newer platforms that work smoothly to optimize the company’s Big Data ecosystem at large.
IT giants like Facebook and Google have higher requirements while hiring. They seek candidates with experience working with Hadoop, Kafka, Spark, knowledgeable of algorithm and distributed systems.
As a data engineer, your contribution will focus more on the design and architecture of the platform that also sometimes involves running extract, transform and load (ETL) functions on data sets and creating data warehouses for data scientists.
Data engineers engineer data, that is, they deliver, store and process the data by building reliable infrastructure with high system resiliency.
You will be paid USD $91, 000 per annum or more on this job based on your experience and skill set.
If you are all about building large database platforms, this is a job opportunity you don’t want to miss.
3. Data Scientist
Data Scientists, aka the wizards of this era. They can touch raw data and turn them into insightful information.
Data science is a very specialized branch in technology. It is a concoction of algorithms, analytical thinking, statistics and communications, which when executed in the right combinations, perform highly complex functions.
As a data scientist, you will have to first understand the client’s problem to get an idea of what kind of information you need to draw out of the data set. Then you will need to perform data munging and jump into in-depth data analysis.
This involves a lot of machine learning, and applying statistical models to unearth highly insightful predictions.
With such high-level skills, a data scientist is often paid over USD $96,000, according to Payscale.
Your role as a data scientist is multi-faceted. You begin with asking questions to get a deeper understanding of the core of the problem at hand, followed by data exploration, analysis and visualizations.
This is THE hot job on the market in 2020. This is not just a programming and algorithms kind of role, but a role that merges business and technology.
The multidisciplinary nature to this job is what makes it so challenging and interesting at the same time.
4. Data Analyst
The amount of data available these days is immeasurable with Big Data governing the world. It is therefore prudent to use the information at hand sensibly to make meaningful deductions about the data.
Thus, giving rise to the need for data analysts.
Data analysts have a myriad of tasks to deal with. Given that they are the suppliers of meaningful data, they have to be very well equipped with a lot of different skills.
The most crucial task of a data analyst is data optimization. This means that a data analyst must understand the business goals that the data set is trying to address. With the massive amounts of data at hand, a data analyst then performs selective slaughtering to pick out the most relevant data.
Post that, you should be able to perform data wrangling and data processing to clean up the data and convert it into meaningful information that provides answers to an issue.
You should also be skilled in data visualization to be able to display meaningful data through charts, graphs and maps to provide the viewers with an easy interpretation of the information.
Along with the above skill set, a data analyst is also involved in collecting customer requirements, managing technical issues through data warehousing and excellent data reporting skills.
According to Payscale, a data analyst can command over USD $60,000.
Companies like Kaiser Permanente, Amazon, Inc and JP Morgan who are knee-deep and beyond into data collection, are always on the lookout for data analysts all the time.
5. DevOps Engineer
DevOps engineers are known to be a lot more efficient in terms of developing engineering tools, processes and capabilities.
This claim arises from the fact that organizations that use DevOps practices deploy codes much faster than its peers. A DevOps engineer streamlines and automates systems and processes.
In a development operations team, you will find yourself coding, scripting and resolving issues in testing and development environments. Additional responsibilities include code deployment and system diagnosis.
Collaboration with IT teams is crucial to ensure smooth flow of operations to streamline the integration and deployment processes.
You could earn a handsome sum of USD $93,000 according to Payscale as a DevOps engineer in 2020.
By assimilating IT and businesses, a DevOps engineer is bringing great value to the table to create and deploy software.
You will be juggling several functions including scripting, integration, deployment and production, thus moving the business processes forward.
A multidisciplinary role that pays very well too!
With this new decade comes new avenues in technology. Imagine what the next ten years will evolve into! You will be spoiled for choice with the abundance of opportunities going forward.
Great progress in technologies and innovations leads to many new opportunities in the job sector.
What’s more? There are plenty of companies who are looking for qualified people plus these companies are also willing to pay a generous wage for your skills.
The key is to understand the current needs of the industry. It is important that you keep your ears to the ground and adapt your skills accordingly.
Because, these high-paying jobs are on a thirst for skilled people.
Having relevant skills and up-to-date knowledge of the current trends will give you a leg up during interviews. Negotiation will be plausible and with good reason too.