The best careers you can land with an IT degree include jobs in data science, cybersecurity, and software development — fast-growing fields where you can make a competitive entry-level salary. All these jobs, and this umbrella major, call for analytical, adaptable, creative-minded problem solvers. Read on to learn more about what to expect from an IT degree and what career paths earning one may open for you.

11 best jobs for IT majors

While many jobs for IT majors have a positive outlook and substantial salary, some roles stand out. Depending on your information technology degree level, work experience, certifications, and specialized skills, you may qualify for one of the top positions detailed below. To rank the best IT careers, we assessed roles based on salary, job demand and projected growth, remote work opportunities, work-life balance, and work satisfaction. The criteria that we weighted the most heavily were salary, work-life balance, and work satisfaction.

1. Software engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Computer programmer, systems software developer, application software developer Candidates should have:

Explore Best online software engineering degrees 2022: Top picks A software engineering degree teaches you how to design, maintain, and integrate computer software in the ever-expanding technology field. Read now Desire for innovation and improving designInterpersonal and communication skillsAttention to detailStrong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills

These workers specialize in creating applications, networks, or operating systems that allow users to navigate software and carry out tasks. Software engineers typically work as part of a team alongside project managers, graphic designers, software developers, and quality assurance analysts.

2. Computer systems analyst

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Systems architects, applications analyst, business systems analyst Candidates should have:

Attention to detailCritical thinking skills and problem-solving creativityStrong communication, teamwork, and project management skillsAdaptabilityInitiative

These professionals help organizations’ daily operations and computer systems efficiency through problem-solving and creating solutions. They focus on streamlining current systems or implementing new customized systems. Experienced systems analysts often obtain leadership roles as project managers, chief technology officers, and IT directors.

3. Data scientist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Big data scientist, data engineer, data storyteller Candidates should have: 

Explore All about data science bootcamps: Are they right for you? Launch or advance your career through a data science bootcamp program. Qualify for competitive tech jobs with the latest bootcamp skills and training. Read now CreativityProblem-solving and troubleshooting skillsCommunication and teamwork skillsFluency in several programming languagesExcellent statistics and math skills

These analytical experts strive to solve organizations’ business-related challenges using data-centered strategies. They work with programming languages, analyze and collate large amounts of data, and try to improve business profits using mathematics, data patterns, and model building and testing.

4. IT manager

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: IT project managers, information systems project manager, IT program manager Candidates should have:

Analytical skills Leadership, organization and decision-making skillsAbility to develop and implement business strategies

IT managers ensure that an organization’s hardware and software remain up to date and meet its needs. They often oversee network security, help develop business plans, and direct other IT employees.

5. Database administrator

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Database administration manager, database analyst, database coordinator Candidates should have: 

Critical thinking, inductive reasoning, and data analysis skillsFluency in a variety of programming languagesCommunication, writing, and teamwork skillsAttention to detail

These administrators create systems to organize, store, and secure financial information, customer shipping records, and other sensitive information. They oversee data storage and its safety and backup systems. They also transfer data between old and new databases.

6. Computer programmer

Minimum degree required: Associate Alternate job titles: Application program analyst, computer programmer analyst, web applications programmer Candidates should have:

Strong mathematics and engineering skillsCritical-thinking skillsKnowledge of database management system and platform development softwareTeamwork skillsFluency in primary coding languages

These professionals write and test code for software programs and applications. They may work on programs developed by others — including engineers and software developers. Computer programmers remedy issues with program code when necessary.

7. Computer network architect

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Network analyst, network systems consultant, telecommunications analyst Candidates should have:

Leadership, teamwork, collaboration and interpersonal skillsAttention to detailKnowledge of telecommunications and design tools

Network architects build data communication networks. These projects range from small networks between organizations to large-scale cloud infrastructure serving many clients. They may also troubleshoot network issues and provide general maintenance and updating.

8. Cloud computing engineer

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Cloud architect, cloud consultant, cloud services developer Candidates should have: 

Openness to new ideas and learning new skillsExcellent interpersonal communication skillsAbility to collaborate and work in teamsKnowledge of business and organizational operations

Cloud computing engineers serve a wide variety of functions, including setting up architecture with cloud providers such as Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure, managing cloud security, and moving existing systems to cloud-based systems. They often work in teams with other cloud engineers and IT experts to keep systems updated.

9. Web developer

Minimum degree required: High school diploma Alternate job titles: Back-end web developer, front-end web developer, webmaster Candidates should have: 

Communication and customer service skillsAbility to see projects from start to finishAttention to detailTeamwork and collaboration skills

Web developers develop and maintain websites They may also code web applications, interactive web interfaces, and application databases. Web developers may work with designers or on their own to create and integrate graphics, video, and audio into websites.

10. Information security specialist

Minimum degree required: Bachelor’s Alternate job titles: Information security officer, information systems security analyst, IT security analyst Candidates should have: 

Knowledge of virus protection and transaction security softwareUnderstanding of telecommunications systems, applications, and programmingProblem-solving and critical-thinking skills

These professionals develop and carry out security guidelines to protect computer systems and networks for organizations and businesses. They work to defend systems against cyberattacks and security breaches. They must also stay up to date on the latest defenses for new security threats.

11. Computer support specialist

Minimum degree required: Associate Alternate job titles: Computer technician, help desk analyst, technical support specialist  Candidates should have: 

Knowledge of database query and user interface softwareStrong customer and personal service skillsProblem-solving and critical-thinking skillsUnderstanding of operating system and web platform development software

These specialists help customers with computer issues by diagnosing problems and offering steps toward resolution. They may also perform regular maintenance on networks, setup or repair computers and related devices, and work in teams to resolve customer computer issues. Some top-paying IT careers include computer and information research scientist, computer network architect, and computer programmer. These workers earn a median annual salary between $89,190-$126,830.  Higher earners in the field often possess tech certifications, several years of work experience, and at least a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related area. Some employers prefer applicants to hold a information technology master’s degree, especially for research-focused positions such as those held by computer and information research scientists.