10 Of The Highest-Paying IT Jobs In The World Right Now 2024

If you’re looking for a well-paying, in-demand job that rewards problem-solving skills, a career in information technology might be a good fit for you. The field of IT encompasses computer systems, programming languages, software, data, information processing, and storage to create, secure, and exchange electronic data. 

Even with recent layoffs in the tech sector, Gaurav Jetley, assistant professor of computer information systems in Colorado State University’s College of Business, says not to worry.

“IT jobs are still in demand,” Jetley says. “We will see more jobs open up later this year, hopefully.”

And it appears to be true: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 377,500 job openings are projected each year, with a median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations of $104,420 in May 2023.

For those who are interested in pursuing IT jobs, here are 10 of the field’s top-paying roles.

1. Chief Technology Officer 

Top-paying companies: Capital One, Bloomberg, AFL-CIO

Description: Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) manage an organization’s technological needs and oversee its research and development efforts. CTOs consider the needs of an organization and make investments to help them reach their goals. They also use technology to improve products that serve customers.

Average base salary: $186,703, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: San Diego, Calif. ($298,291), Seattle, Wash. ($255,930), New York, N.Y. ($224,111), according to Indeed.

2. Vice President of Information Technology

Top-paying companies: Oracle, Centene, USAA

Description: Vice Presidents (VPs) of Information Technology are tasked with overseeing the IT operations of an organization, including its infrastructure, security, data management, and software applications. VPs of IT direct and manage schedules, IT plans, programs, and policies related to an organization’s management of information systems, computer services, data processing, network communications, and business operations.

Average base salary: $167,619, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: Arlington Heights, Ill. ($228,699), San Diego, Calif. ($213,387), Dallas, Texas ($211,544), according to Indeed.

3. Application Architect 

Top-paying companies: Cisco, IBM, Amazon.com

Description: Application Architects manage the development and troubleshooting of applications. Whether overseeing a team of developers or working with clients to plan and design applications, this role addresses programming and coding issues to improve products. This position requires someone to be both a master developer and an experienced leader.

Average base salary: $138,429, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: San Jose, Calif. ($173,364), San Francisco, Calif. ($161,567), Washington, D.C. ($153,720), according to Indeed.

4. Data Architect 

Top-paying companies: Amazon.com, Accenture, IBM

Description: Data Architects design, deploy, and manage the data infrastructure of an organization. This role formulates an organization’s entire data strategy, including analyzing existing databases, planning future ones, and implementing data storage and management solutions. As practically every company employs data, this role is useful in every industry.

“They define how the data will be stored in the company, how it will be consumed,” Jetley explains.

Average base salary: $132,442, according to Payscale.

Top-paying locations: Washington, D.C. ($153,480), New York, N.Y. ($149,160), Minneapolis, Minn. ($122,717), according to Payscale.

5. Director of Information Technology 

Top-paying companies: Oracle, Bristol Myers Squibb, USAA

Description: IT Directors manage the information technology and computer systems of an organization under the CIO. This position makes sure that an organization’s tech solutions adequately manage the security, accessibility, and functionality of their IT framework. They also ensure proper communication between chief executives and the IT department.

Average base salary: $130,896, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: San Jose, Calif. ($193,636), St. Louis, Mo. ($176,150), New York, N.Y. ($159,317), according to Indeed.

6. Solutions Architect 

Top-paying companies: Cisco, IBM, Amazon.com

Description: Solutions Architects develop, build, and implement an organization’s systems architecture to meet customer and business needs. This role evaluates an organization’s existing system architecture and figures out solutions to change, improve, and modernize. 

“You usually have a solutions architect in companies that are employing a cloud solution. They design these solutions,” Jetley says. “These days we’re seeing an uptick in cloud solutions architects because of AI. Most AI is running in the cloud these days.”

Average base salary: $128,106, according to Payscale.

Top-paying locations: San Francisco, Calif. ($148,014), New York, N.Y. ($135,266), Chicago, Ill. ($132,515), according to Payscale.

7. Chief Information Officer 

Top-paying companies: Cisco, Walt Disney Company, Adobe

Description: Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are responsible for managing and implementing an organization’s information and computer technology systems. This executive position figures out which technologies will benefit an organization, improve business processes, and integrate systems that help an organization achieve their goals.

“This position is not about the nitty gritty but looking at the overall strategy for the entire company,” Jetley says. “They also take care of the implementation of systems.”

Average base salary: $128,101, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: New York, N.Y. ($211,773), Austin, Texas ($180,626), Washington, D.C. ($163,990), according to Indeed.

8. DevOps Engineer 

Top-paying companies: Capital One, Boeing, Northrop Grumman

Description: DevOps Engineers manage an organization’s IT infrastructure. This role updates and maintains software processes with the aim of fixing bugs and improving user experience. DevOps engineers have a strong focus on automation and coordinate all teams involved with a product’s development.

“These are very technically savvy folks that basically manage the entire IT infrastructure,” Jetley says. 

Average base salary: $125,152, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: Palo Alto, Calif. ($157,688), San Francisco, Calif. ($153,008), Herndon, Va. ($148,683), according to Indeed.

9. Information Security and Cybersecurity Engineers and Architects 

Top-paying companies: Capital One, MITRE, Honeywell

Description: Information Security and Cybersecurity Engineers and Architects are IT professionals who work alongside developers to make sure that software, systems, applications, and networks are secure. 

These roles may also respond to security risks faced by organizations, such as cyberattacks, security incidents, and data breaches. While architects are responsible for designing cybersecurity systems, engineers focus on building and maintaining cybersecurity infrastructure.

“These are folks who are at the forefront of technology,” Jetley says. “They have to be proactive. They have to be updated on what’s happening, what kind of new threats are emerging, and to take steps to mitigate these things.”

Average base salary: $112,619, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: Charlotte, N.C. ($162,158), Raleigh, N.C. ($146,450), Washington, D.C. ($122,770), according to Indeed.

10. Principal Software Engineer 

Top-paying companies: Microsoft, USAA, MITRE

Description: Principal Software Engineers lead teams of engineers to create high-quality, scalable software to achieve an organization’s goals. This role develops and tests software; they are also responsible for reviewing code written by other engineers, identifying the right technology to meet an organization’s needs, and creating architecture for complex software systems.

Average base salary: $111,822, according to Indeed.

Top-paying locations: New York, N.Y. ($165,480), Atlanta, Ga. ($157,432), Chicago, Ill. ($147,257), according to Indeed.

The takeaway 

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, the field of IT is a rewarding one for continuous learners who love to problem solve. For those who are just getting started, it’s a good idea to pursue certifications or a bachelor’s degree related to IT. Jetley recommends concentrating on a specialty.

“Have a general understanding of many specialties, but digging deep into one specialty is key,” Jetley says. “For that, you have to spend a considerable amount of time learning these systems.”

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