Information technology is a wide-ranging field that includes jobs like computer programmer and computer systems designer. Contrary to popular belief, these jobs are not limited to highly skilled workers with years of experience and master’s degrees. With more demand than ever for information technology gurus, the barrier to entry is lower than ever. Many excellent certificate programs and associate’s degrees have cropped up, and even self-taught workers who majored in something entirely different are able to slot in and learn on the job. On top of helping create new and disruptive technology, these jobs pay well, are generally flexible and often provide telecommuting options.
Here are four of the best jobs in the IT sector in 2015.
Information Security Analyst
If you enjoy a challenge, this job involves staying one move ahead of cyber-attackers. While installing software and monitoring networks for breaches are routine for this position, you also get to run penetration testing -- essentially a simulated attack on the system -- and develop security standards. Employers usually require only a bachelor's degree, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show a median annual income of $86,170. What’s more, job growth in this sector is 37 percent faster than in other occupations. @@From the federal government to banks to the earliest-stage startups, security analyst positions are popping up everywhere.@@
Mobile Developers (iOS or Android)
According to IT Career Finder, this is one of the world's fastest growing occupations. There is currently a large surfeit for qualified developers, with innumerable apps already on a market that continues to grow by the day. This means that many companies are willing to take a risk on workers with year-long certificate degrees or more limited technical ability than in years past. With more people relying on their smartphones to gather information, this is a field that is growing rapidly, but in lowering the bar employers are still paying extremely well: The average base salary is $95,000.
@@User experience designers test software and apps to ensure they are seamless to use and pleasant on the eye.@@ They identify any elements that may be tricky to use and cost the company money. They also look at packaging and marketing to be sure that the overall product is appealing. The average salary is $90,000 per year. A bachelor's degree in a related field is helpful, however experience working in a similar role is key.
Artificial Intelligence Expert
If software developers and UX designers are doing the dirty work of building apps and other technology products, artificial intelligence experts -- data scientists, robotics experts and game programmers -- are thinking about what comes next. The field is prestigious because those who work in it are expected to predict what humans will want before they even know they want it.
AI experts developed Siri and predictive text in a time when neither was on most people’s radars, and today you can see their influence in things like 3D printing and robotics. @@Companies like Apple, Facebook and Amazon are ramping up their AI departments@@ and creating partnerships with research universities in order to bolster this area, but beware: artificial intelligence is a demanding field, requiring both a wealth of experience and, usually, a PhD in a related field.