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Best IT Career Paths for Software Professionals in 2022

Posted on 
March 16, 2022
|
by 
Team Interview Kickstart

Building a career in information technology can be remarkably beneficial in professional growth and compensation. There are numerous IT fields to choose from. Understanding the IT career path in various software engineering fields can assist you in making an informed decision on the area you want to pursue. This article is for you if you're trying to figure out the best IT career path. If you're already working in tech and want to know what skills to work on to pursue a specific IT career path, this article can help.

Let's look at the best IT career paths for software professionals in 2022 to get a sense of what's available in the IT field.

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Let’s go ahead and look at the best IT career paths for software professionals in 2022. We’ll look at some factors to consider while choosing a particular IT career path, followed by some frequently asked questions.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this piece:

  • Factors to Consider While Choosing an IT Career Path
  • Top IT Career Paths to Choose From in 2022
  • FAQs on IT Career Path for Software Professionals

Factors to Consider While Choosing an IT Career Path

Whether you’re working in tech or not, knowing what to consider before choosing a particular IT career path is necessary. Considering these factors can help you decide on the IT career path that is right for you.

  • The future demand for the particular IT career path. For instance, the full stack developer career path has a high demand.
  • The compensation associated with the career path.
  • Is the work stimulating enough?

Considering these above factors is key to choosing the right IT career path that will be rewarding and exciting.

Top IT Career Paths to Choose From in 2022

Before you begin pursuing a career in IT, understanding the available IT career paths can help you navigate the first steps and land the right job. If you’re already working in the technology industry, switching between different IT career paths is possible if they have shared skill sets. Let’s look at the top IT career paths to choose from in terms of the type of work, demand, and compensation.

Computer Support

Computer support covers a large set of roles, and many engineers in their early careers work in support-oriented roles. Support professionals understand how different computer operations and systems work, enabling them to move to more challenging and in-demand roles in the future, such as cyber security, network security, and cloud security.

Avg. Salary: $55,510 per year

Projected Growth: The demand for the profession is expected to grow by 8% per year.

Jobs: Some popular jobs that classify under this profession include IT support technicians, desktop support technicians, support desk managers, and help desk technicians.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity today is an in-demand field, especially given how rapidly businesses and processes are expanding online. A career in cybersecurity typically involves protecting sensitive information on the cloud, in devices, preventing data breaches, checking the spread of malicious malware, and restricting information access, among other things. 

Avg. Salary: $138,962 per year

Projected Growth: The field is projected to grow by a whopping 31%, making it one of the most in-demand professions in IT.

Jobs: Some popular professions associated with cyber security include Ethical Hacker, Cybersecurity Engineer, and Information Security Analyst.

Some necessary skills to become a cybersecurity engineer:

  • OOP languages, such as Python, Java, Ruby, and PHP
  • Scalable systems and building distributed systems
  • Network protocols and database security
  • Knowledge of different operating systems and systems architecture
  • Cloud architecture and cloud security
  • Penetration testing and applied cryptography

Web Development

Web Development is the most popular IT career path and includes multiple fields, including backend engineer, front-end development, and full-stack engineering. Web development roles have been growing substantially in the last few years. 

For instance, full-stack engineering roles, a prominent web development field, have been growing at a yearly rate of 35% since 2015. As such, choosing the web development IT career path can be extremely rewarding in terms of compensation, quality of life, and professional growth.

Avg. Salary: $41k to $90k per year

Projected Growth: From 2020 to 2030, the employment of web developers and digital designers is expected to increase by 13%.

Jobs: Web Developer, Web Designer, Front-End Engineer, Backend Engineer. Front-End Developer, Backend Developer, Full Stack Engineer, Full Stack Developer

Let’s look at some more popular IT career paths under web and application development.

Full Stack Development

The full stack developer career path is supremely rewarding for many reasons. As one of the most in-demand professions in the field of software engineering, full-stack developers enjoy lucrative compensations and get to work on challenging and stimulating software projects. As full-stack developers need to be good at both front-end and back-end development, top companies are often keen on hiring them.

Avg. Salary: $99,274 per year

Projected Growth: The demand for full-stack developers is expected to grow by a whopping 33% in the next decade, indicating that full stack development will still be an in-demand profession in the coming decade. Full-stack developers also enjoy a range of other benefits, including insurance, wellness, transportation, and maternity benefits, among others.

Jobs: Full Stack Engineer, Full Stack Developer

To become a full-stack developer, having a stronghold on both backend and frontend concepts is critical. If you’re just getting started in full-stack development, your full-stack developer career path should begin by understanding the fundamentals of front-end development and then moving onto backend development. The following concepts are important while traversing the full-stack developer career path:

  • Frontend concepts - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, UI design and Application+Web development
  • Backend concepts - Scalable systems, networks, servers, databases, system security 
  • Web and Site Architecture
  • Cross-platform optimization

Front-end Development

Another exciting IT career path to pursue is front-end development. You can begin navigating the front-end developer career path by getting good at a programming language, preferably an Object-Oriented Programming Language.

Avg. Salary: $101,055 per year

Projected Growth: Front-end engineering as a career is almost never going to die simply because of the enormous number of applications and websites that exist in today’s world. Web developer job opportunities are expected to grow 8% by 2029.

Jobs: Front-end Engineer, Front-end Developer

To become a front-end developer, you should be adept with -

  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • HTML
  • U/I Design
  • Application Development

Backend Engineering

Backend Engineering is another exciting IT career path for software professionals. To begin your back-end developer journey, your knowledge of back-end programming languages, especially Java and Python (or either one of the two), is extremely crucial.

Avg. Salary: $117,398 per year 

Projected Growth: Backend engineers enjoy rewarding careers as they often get to work on high-impact and challenging projects. Backend developer jobs are in high demand and are expected to grow by 13% by the next decade.

Jobs: Backend Engineer, Backend Developer

To excel while you navigate the IT career path in backend development, make sure you’re adept with -

  • Backend scalable systems
  • Programming languages
  • Database management
  • Server management
  • Front-end languages
  • Application design and development
  • Network security

Data

The amount of data that’s being generated every second on the internet is prompting companies to adopt new and innovative ways to process, analyze, and gather insights from data and build advanced data models. The exponential rise in demand for data skills has made IT career paths in data highly rewarding, both in terms of professional growth and compensation.

Avg. Salary:  $76k to $170k per year

Projected Growth: The field is expected to grow by 10% a year, according to data from Coursera.

Jobs: Early career jobs in data include - database administrators, data analysts, and data engineers.

The more in-demand professions are typically a combination of data and engineering. They include - data engineering, data science, and machine learning (artificial intelligence).

Some skills required to excel in the data IT career path -

  • Knowledge of databases
    Knowledge of data security frameworks
  • Working knowledge of programming languages
  • Understanding of data architectures and data modeling
  • Working knowledge in building data-driven algorithms

Let’s take a look at the most popular IT career path in data - Artificial Engineering, also known as Machine Learning.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the most sought-after IT career paths in recent times. The exponential rise in demand for AI engineers has made it one of the highest-paying professions in the US, at least in the realm of software development. 

With the growing adoption of automation technology, several of the biggest technology companies are upping their hiring of AI engineers. The IT career path in Artificial Intelligence involves starting off as an AI developer and rising up the ranks to take on more challenging managerial roles at top companies.

Avg. Salary: $145,297 per year

Projected Growth: AI and related information technology research and science jobs are expected to grow by 15% between 2019 and 2029.

Jobs: Data Analytics, User Experience, Natural Language Processing, Researcher, Research Scientist, Software Engineer, AI Engineer, Data Mining and Analysis, Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist, Business Intelligence Developer, Big Data Engineer/Architect 

If you wish to start navigating the IT career path in artificial engineering, make sure to be thorough with:

  • An object-oriented programming language
  • Machine Learning concepts
  • Scalable systems
  • Deep Learning
  • Predictive Analytics

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a rapidly fast-growing IT career path that has grown exponentially in demand over the last decade. Companies are increasingly expanding their operations on the cloud, thereby increasing the scope of cloud computing jobs. Top companies are hiring cloud engineers and architects aggressively to manage the volume of data, information, and applications on the cloud.

Avg. Salary: $104,624 per year

Projected Growth: The LinkedIn emerging jobs report predicts that cloud computing will grow by 27% per year in the coming years, encouraging a huge percentage of engineers to pursue careers in cloud computing.

Jobs: Some in-demand jobs in the cloud computing IT career path include - Cloud Engineer, Cloud Architect, Cloud Security Engineer.

In order to excel in a career in cloud computing, below are the most in-demand skills you should possess-

  • Programming - Java, Python, C++, etc.
  • Network systems and protocols
  • Online Processing systems
  • Scalable systems
  • Database architecture and security
  • DevOps
  • Virtualization
  • Knowledge of Operating systems
  • API modeling 
  • File-sharing systems

FAQs on IT Career Path for Software Professionals

Q1. Which are the top IT career paths for software professionals in 2022?

The top IT career paths for software professionals in 2022 are full stack development, frontend development, backend engineering, artificial intelligence, fullstack engineering, and web development.

Q2. What concepts should you learn to have an IT career path in backend engineering?

To pursue a career in backend development, you should be adept with - database management, backend programming languages, server management, network security, scalable systems, and application development.

Q3. Which is the highest-paying IT career path for software professionals in the US?

The highest-paying IT career path in the US is Artificial Intelligence. The average salary offered to artificial intelligence engineers in the US is $164,769 per year.

Q4.  How long should you be practicing interview questions and answers to ace the technical interview?

Ideally, you should spend 8-10 weeks practicing interview questions and answers in coding, systems design, and behavioral psychology if you wish to ace software engineering technical interviews.

Q5. What is the average salary paid to backend engineers in the US?

The average salary paid to backend engineers in the US is $117,398 per year.

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