In the tech industry, compensation is linked to tech skills that are in demand. Higher the demand for a skill, the higher the compensation. Premiums on salaries are one way for companies to attract top talent. The average premium on salaries for the top in-demand tech skills ranged as high as $25,000 (Burning Glass Technologies study, Forbes).
It’s simple wisdom that by adopting the right tech skills, you can boost your market value immensely and command higher-than-average compensations.
If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read Tech Skills in High Demand for FAANG Interviews and 10 Highest Pay Tech Jobs in FAANG Companies for specific insights into what’s in demand at FAANG.
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In this article, we’ve covered the top 10 highest-paying domains in tech and the skills and roles in each field:
- Cloud Computing
- Data Science
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Software Engineering
- Mobile Application Development
- Project Management
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Web Development
1. Cloud Computing
The benefits of reduced costs and increased operational efficiencies have led to an increasing number of companies, including government organizations, adopting cloud systems. A Fortune Business Insights report estimates a 17.9% growth in the market size for cloud computing globally. The cloud computing market is estimated to hit a value of $791.48 billion over the next 7 years.
Key Cloud Computing Skills:
- Cloud platforms of leading companies including Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), Google (GCP), IBM, Dell, Oracle, HP
- SQL, Linux
- Orchestration, Automation
High-paying Cloud Computing Roles (average salary):
- Senior Solutions Architect - $141,000*
- Cloud Architects - $135,977**
- DevOps Engineers - $121,216**
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2. Data Science
Data Science helps companies improve their business offerings which results in enhanced profitability. The demand for data science is prevalent across industries and job sectors.
Data Science has witnessed a growing demand for talent over the last few years. With demand exceeding the supply of qualified talent, this trend is likely to continue and amplify in the near future. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates a 28% growth in data science jobs over the next five years. This comes on the back of growth in AI, ML, and Big Data technologies.
Jobs in data science are less competitive, offering huge scope for growth.
Key Data Science Skills:
- Math, Statistics
- Python, R
- SQL, Hadoop, Pig, Spark, Hive
- Machine Learning, GPUs, AI, NLP
- Data visualization, mining, analysis, modeling, manipulation, wrangling
High-paying Data Science Roles (average salary)*:
- Machine Learning Engineer - $149,847
- Enterprise Architect - $144,013
- Data Architect - $133,840
- Big Data Engineer - $132,571
- Data Scientist - $122, 519
3. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are emerging as top skills following the COVID-19 pandemic, as companies evolve and adapt to changing circumstances. With multiple applications across various industries, the demand for AI and ML professionals is projected to grow manifold over the next few years.
AI statistics (as reported by semrush.com) indicate an annual AI market growth rate of 33.2% until 2027. The global AI market is expected to hit a market value of $190.61 billion by 2025.
Key AI and ML Skills:
- Python, R, C, C++, Java
- Linux, Unix, SQL, Hadoop
- NLP, ML techniques, Computer vision
- Applied mathematics, Statistics
- ML Algorithms, TensorFlow, Spark, Scikit learn
- Artificial neural networks
- Data engineering
- Signal processing techniques
- Language, audio, video processing
High-paying AI and ML Roles (average salary)*:
- Principal Software Engineer - $155,000
- Software Architect - $135,107
- Senior Data Scientist - $127,500
- Data Engineer - $122,060
- Machine Learning Engineer - $125,000
- Senior Software Engineer - $120,000
- Data Scientist - $110,000
(*Indeed, as quoted on cnbc.com)
All companies, irrespective of size or type, face cyber threats. Even government organizations and leading global businesses have experienced security breaches and hacks. The targeted companies suffer financial losses, job losses, and erosion of customer trust.
Cybercrimes are on the rise as cybercriminals devise new ways to breach security systems. This has underlined the need for companies to develop robust security systems and proactively detect and prevent potential threats.
The US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates a 31% growth in cybersecurity jobs by 2029.
Key Cybersecurity Skills:
- Application Development Security
- Risk Management
- Incident Response
- Cloud Security
- Blockchain Security
- Threat Intelligence
- Data Privacy
- Compliance and Controls
- Computer Forensics
- Security Governance
- Access Management
High-paying Cybersecurity Roles (average salary)*
- Software Architect - $137,014
- Application Security Engineer - $130,809
- Senior Security Consultant - $129,251
- Penetration Tester - $119,142
- Risk Manager - $118,222
- Network Security Engineer - $109,281
DevOps helps companies develop high-quality software and increase productivity for a competitive edge. Globally, companies across industries are increasingly adopting DevOps technologies making it one of the most in-demand tech fields.
Increasing automation of businesses and large-scale adoption of cloud computing are key drivers for the growth of this sector. DevOps is well-suited to remote work environments, enhancing its demand through the COVID-19 pandemic.
A MarketsandMarkets report estimates the DevOps market to reach a value of $10.31 billion by 2023.
Key DevOps Skills:
- Programming, Python, Ruby, Go
- Cloud, Docker, Kubernetes
- Ansible, Chef, Salt
- Monitoring tools
- System Administration
High-paying DevOps Roles (average salary)*:
- Senior DevOps Engineer - $118,801
6. Software Engineering
Advances in the field of automation have given rise to new opportunities in the field of software engineering. Today, software is ubiquitous and necessary for the smooth functioning of business operations. Software is constantly evolving to meet new business requirements. This drives demand for skilled software engineers with expertise in the latest programming languages, advancements, and updates.
The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates a 17% growth in software engineering for the period 2019-29.
Key Software Engineering Skills:
- Docker, Kubernetes, Redux
- AWS, Azure
- Apache Kafka, Apache Spark
- HTML, CSS
- Web, Mobile applications
- Database applications
High-paying Software Engineering roles (average salary)*:
- Technical Program Manager - $145,977
- Software Engineering Manager - $144,954
- Enterprise Architect - $140,877
- Data Warehouse Architect - $134,922
- Site Reliability Engineer - $128,537
- Full Stack Developer - $113,011
- Software Engineer - $109,907
7. Mobile Application Development
Mobile application development is one of the fastest-growing tech fields as mobiles continue to influence consumption, business interactions, and communication. This, in turn, drives demand for mobile applications. The COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand for mobile apps, for example, video conferencing apps. Security and privacy are leading requirements in the mobile app development field while ML, AI, AR, and VR trends continue to influence it.
The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics estimated a 22% market growth rate for the period 2019-29.
Key Mobile App Development Skills:
- UI/UX designing
- Cyber Security
- Native, Cross-platform development
- C#, Java, Kotlin,
- HTML 5, CSS
- APIs; iOS, Android, Windows Mobile
- Backend computing
High-paying Mobile Applications Development Roles (average salary)*:
- Software Architect - $135,900
- Senior Software Engineer - $127,647
- Android Developer - $120,277
- Mobile Developer - $118,934
- iOS Developer - $116,807
- Full Stack Developer - $107,303
8. Project Management
Project managers (PMs) are in demand across various industries globally. An increasing number of companies are now charting clear career paths for advancement as project managers.
The demand for PMs is driven by the growing awareness of how they enable cost control, cost reduction, increased productivity, and increased profitability.
With talent in short supply, certified PMs can command high salary premiums. PMs are in demand at companies with complex, large-scale projects.
Mordor Intelligence estimated a 10.67% CAGR for project management software for the period 2020-2025. The Project Management Institute estimates the creation of 22 million new jobs in the field of project management by 2027.
Key Project Management Skills:
- Project management methodologies; Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, Kanban
- Project Lifecycle Management
- Financial Modelling
- Data Analysis
- Cost Management
- Risk Management
- Quality Management
- Conflict Management
- Planning, Forecasting
High-paying Project Management Roles (average salary)*
- IT Project Manager - $100,456
- Engineering Project Manager - $99,701
- PMO Manager - $94,366
9. Internet of Things (IoT)
Increasing development and usage of internet-enabled devices, increased investments in smart cities, and greater adoption of cloud services are driving the phenomenal growth of the IoT market. Besides increasing existing business efficiencies, IoT is also predicted to create new revenue streams for businesses. This, in turn, presents emerging opportunities for companies to gain competitive advantages. IoT has diverse applications across multiple industries.
Fortune Business Insights estimates the IoT market to hit a value of $1,854.76 billion by 2028, considering a 25.4% CAGR for the period 2021-28.
Key IoT Skills:
- Data Management, Analysis, Visualization
- Hardware Interfacing
- Field Gateways
- Embedded Software Development
- Information Security
- Business Intelligence
- UI/UX Design
- AI, ML
- Application design and development
High-paying IoT roles (average salary)*:
- IoT Engineer - $123,189
10. Web Development
Today, businesses everywhere are optimizing their online presence to stay competitive. Websites and online platforms continue to gain traction as a means to connect and engage with customers in order to drive sales and revenue.
As existing businesses grow and new companies enter markets, the demand for web development services will continue to rise. The proliferation of new technologies is also boosting demand for web developers who have the ability to implement complex, scalable website applications.
Key Web Development Skills:
- BrowserDev Tools
- Versions Control
- HTTP, MySQL
- PHP, Ruby, Python, Java
- Scala, Go, Rust, Kotlin, Perl
- C, C++, C#
- Angular, React, Vue
- Node, Django
High-paying Web Development Roles (average salary)*:
(*Indeed on kinsta.com)
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