Information technology and engineering withstood the job-market impact the Great Recession brought to other industries. Now that the employment landscape has started to improve, IT & Engineering are two of the most lucrative sectors for job seekers in a buyers’ market.
The competitive wage potential, high growth outlooks and sheer importance to the evolving job landscape land several IT professions in the Top 20 of the 2016 Jobs Rated report. In fact, the No. 1 and No. 3 overall positions are both IT jobs: Data Scientist and Information Security Analyst.
Both are recent additions to the Jobs Rated Report’s tracking. Data Scientist first made the list in 2015, Information Security Analyst in 2016. Because these are burgeoning fields, the future offers many exciting and still unknown possibilities for those breaking into these professions.
David Gester, a data scientist in San Francisco, told CareerCast.com companies “used to have to hire someone with a PhD in math to get this kind of advanced analysis.”
Advancements in data analysis technology has made the profession more open, contributing to a 16% growth outlook by 2024. Also contributing to the field’s projected boom: the variety of industries using data analytics.
Finance, marketing, education, healthcare, retail – all are implementing data analysis. It’s no wonder that IEEE Spectrum calls data programming the “big winner” of 2016.
Likewise, Information Security Analysts are needed across a wide range of industries. Banks, medical centers, retailers-- all store invaluable customer and client information that requires dedicated professionals to manage and protect. They are expected to stay up-to-date on the latest intelligence, including hackers' methodologies, in order to anticipate security breaches.
The explosion of Cloud-based storage drives the 18% growth outlook for Information Security Analysts.
Hiring growth outlook in the upper-teens to over 20 percent through the year 2024 unifies our best IT jobs. Computer Systems Analyst is expected to jump another 21% in the next eight years, with businesses seeking expert advice on best practices for their technology.
Growth for Software Engineers is projected at 17%, with an annual median salary in the low six-figures. Skilled Software Engineers can command high wages as employers look to leverage the shift from desktop to mobile interfaces.
In a similar vein, Web Developers who have the ability to optimize sites for technology are in high demand. The field’s growth outlook through 2024 is a robust 27%.
Median salary well above $100,000 is one reason Petroleum Engineer appears on this list.
Petroleum Engineers command a median wage of $129,990, the highest of the 10 jobs below. Their high pay can be attributed to the new ways in which petroleum companies extract fossil fuels. Petroleum Engineers are on the cutting edge of the industry’s shift.
Similarly, Environmental Engineers are tasked with developing best practices for the future of energy. Growing emphasis on new methods of generating power gives Environmental Engineers a high-growth outlook of 12%, and competitive, median wages of $84,560 annually.
Civil Engineer and Mechanical Engineer round out the best jobs in engineering. Heightened emphasis on improving infrastructure contributes to the strong pay prospects ($82,220 median) and steady growth outlook (8%) for Civil Engineers, while Mechanical Engineers can expect to command a median wage of $83,590.
Below are the 10 Best Jobs in IT & Engineering, per the 2016 Jobs Rated Report.
1. Data Scientist