Information technology (IT) professionals are responsible for helping organizations maintain their digital infrastructure and providing troubleshooting assistance to technology consumers. IT employees are in demand to help others keep up with technological advances and security procedures.
If you are interested in developing skills in programming and problem-solving, you may consider a career in IT. In this article, we provide examples of IT jobs to help you find the right career path that suits your interests, skills and goals.
Types of information technology jobs
Here are several different types of IT jobs—including their average salaries, typical duties and requirements—to consider if you're interested in working in this field:
National average salary: $30,540 per year
Primary duties: Support specialists are responsible for reviewing and solving computer network and hardware problems for a business. They can work in a variety of industries to provide general support to a company's employees, or they can work at a technology or software as a service (SaaS) company and provide technical support on user experience issues that require technical assistance.
Requirements: Support specialists typically obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology. Having a certificate or an associate degree paired with relevant professional experience may also be acceptable.
National average salary: $58,343 per year
Requirements: A programmer typically completes a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and an internship to build their skills. Certifications are also strongly encouraged, and there are many coding academies to choose from.
National average salary: $70,000 per year
Primary duties: Quality assurance testers are technicians or engineers who check software products to see if they're up to industry standards and free of any issues. This role is common for gaming systems, mobile applications and other technology that needs further testing and maintenance when recommended.
Requirements: Many quality assurance testers have a Bachelor's Degree in Software Design, Engineering or Computer Science. Testers can work on different software for IT companies, which may influence what degree or specialization they pursue. These professionals should also have excellent time management and communication skills to help document test cases.
National average salary: $72,040 per year
Requirements: Many web developers earn an Associate Degree in Web Development or another relevant IT field. Some may pursue a Bachelor's Degree in IT or another business field. Others may develop their web design skills through certificate programs or self-paced learning. To secure employment, previous experience and a portfolio of work are often required.
National average salary: $74,664 per year
Primary duties: An IT technician collaborates with support specialists to analyze and diagnose computer issues. They also monitor processing functions, install relevant software and perform tests on computer equipment and applications when necessary. They may also train a company's employees, clients and other users on a new program or function as well.
Requirements: IT technicians must earn an Associate Degree in Information Technology or a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Networking. Technicians render services for IT companies depending on the industry they choose to work in and may need to learn more about database programming to give themselves an advantage in an entry-level role.
National average salary: $78,587 per year
Primary duties: A systems analyst reviews design components and uses their knowledge of information technology to solve business problems. They identify ways that infrastructure needs to change to streamline business and IT operations. They can also assist technicians in training staff to implement the changes they propose.
Requirements: A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or a related field is often required. Coursework in business administration, management and finance may help these professionals better apply their IT knowledge to improving business practices.
National average salary: $87,919 per year
Primary duties: Network engineers work on the day-to-day maintenance and development of a company's computer network, utilizing their skills to make the network available and efficient for all employees within an organization.
Requirements: These professionals typically need a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and Information Systems to understand the functions of a network and become familiar with potential solutions needed to maintain one. Some employers may also require a Master of Business Administration (MBA) for those who work with other internal stakeholders of the organization to determine the best technology practices.
National average salary: $89,250 per year
Primary duties: A user experience (UX) designer is involved with all facets of product development regarding its purchasing, branding, usability and functionality. They collect and review user feedback to determine what a product needs to be efficient, functional and successful. They apply this feedback to the design, organization and usability. These professionals then monitor the process of testing and revising products until they meet their consumers' high-quality standards.
Requirements: UX designers may pursue an associate or bachelor's degree program in an IT field and pursue additional coursework or training in design, business, web development and programming. Others may be self-taught in programming, design and development. Many employers do seek previous experience, so an internship or portfolio may help these professionals secure employment.
National average salary: $92,194 per year
Primary duties: Database administrators employ specialized software to organize and keep track of data. The software can be associated with software configuration, security and performance when applicable. These professionals frequently diagnose and solve complex IT issues related to the data infrastructure to ensure an organization's data is safe, accessible and easy to navigate.
Requirements: Database administrators typically need to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or Management Information Systems. They often start as a database analyst or a developer before moving into this role so they can get the experience in data collection and working within a network's databases.
National average salary: $100,945 per year
Primary duties: A computer scientist applies their technological skills and resources to solve IT problems for businesses. They write new software to complete tasks in a quick and efficient period as well as develop new functions that can be of use for employees or clients.
Some computer scientists may also be application developers who help program software to serve users. IT companies heavily rely on computer scientists to create new programming languages and bolster the efficiency of hardware and software programs.
Requirements: Most computer scientists need to have a bachelor's degree, but many employers may require a master's degree as well. Previous work experience may also be valuable to prospective employers.
National average salary: $105,090 per year
Primary duties: Software engineers apply their knowledge of mathematics and computer science to create and improve new software. They may work on enterprise applications, operating systems and network control systems, which are all examples of software that can be used to help businesses scale their IT infrastructure.
Requirements: Most computer scientists need both a bachelor's and a master's degree to become experts in software development and maintenance. They learn and practice skills in technical problem-solving, diagnosis, troubleshooting and programming languages.
National average salary: $115,819 per year
Primary duties: IT security specialists work in various industries to build and maintain digital protective measures on intellectual property and data that belong to an organization. They help companies create contingency plans in case information gets hacked from their networks and servers. These professionals also create strategies to troubleshoot problems as they arise.
Requirements: A bachelor's degree or professional certification is often required. Courses may involve math, programming and operating systems and certifications offered by the Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2).
13. Data scientist
National average salary: $121,853 per year
Primary duties: A data scientist analyzes and organizes data to determine trends that can influence business decisions. Their methods and IT tools use statistics and machine learning to help collect and process a company's data such as financial records, sales, prospects and lead generation. Some duties vary for specific industries. For example, data scientists in the healthcare industry keep electronic health records (EHRs) intact for hospitals to have access to confidential medical information. They may also use data to help healthcare organizations make sound business decisions.
Requirements: Many of these professionals choose to pursue both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in IT or other business fields. Some pursue additional degrees, coursework and certifications that relate to their specific industry, such as healthcare.
14. IT director
National average salary: $123,900 per year
Primary duties: An IT director oversees the strategy and execution of IT operations for an organization. They ensure that department tasks align with the company's goals and development. These professionals may also collaborate with other internal IT professionals as well as executive management to generate contingency plans, budgets and development goals.
Requirements: This position may require a graduate degree and relevant industry certifications, such as in certain programs or applicable management courses. Entry and mid-level roles in IT support and database architecture can provide these professionals with well-rounded experience to help them advance to this management position.
Other IT jobs
Here are other related positions to explore in the IT industry:
- Management information systems director: A management information systems director spearheads the implementation of software, equipment installation and other projects to improve the quality of a company's information systems.
- Web administrator: A web administrator sets up an organization's web host, grants access for specific users, creates mail servers and helps users understand the basic functions of the system they're using.
- Applications engineer: An application engineer is a liaison between engineers and customers. They review customer sales data and to assist in producing and testing complex software programs. They also present engineers' findings to the public to render feedback on changes that need to be made.
- Data quality manager: A data quality manager manifests data practices for an organization. For example, they can establish processes with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to keep the operational quality high for its users.
- Help desk technician: A help desk technician renders technical support to address issues with a company's hardware or software equipment. They can serve as in-house or remote employees and must convey issues to employees in a clear and understandable way.
- IT coordinator: An IT coordinator completes administrative tasks to help maintain an organization's computer networks. Some tasks include giving IT advice to users, providing training to new employees and applying new IT practices to computer hardware or software.
- Cloud system engineer: A cloud system engineer estimates the amount of database storage a company has and measures the availability of programs for the user. They also evaluate if data is being processed correctly within an organization's cloud infrastructure.