The world is facing its worst health crisis in a century. The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 400,000 people, infected millions, and brought the economy to a standstill. Its changes to the economy and society have been nothing short of profound, with an unprecedented number of jobs destroyed across all industries.
In March, the International Labor Organization (ILO) predicted that nearly 25 million jobs could be lost by the end of 2020. Later, the organization acknowledged that the actual number could be significantly higher. The US has seen an unprecedented number of people file for unemployment, and 57 percent of Americans surveyed recently report being worried about losing their jobs.
Millions of laid-off workers around the world are now looking for new opportunities, and many are turning to the tech sector. This industry offers some of the safest career paths today, particularly as thousands of companies worldwide realize the importance of digitalization, remote work, and moving to platforms.
These are some of the career paths in tech with the best prospects:
Database Administrators create, update, and manage databases and associated programs. They are responsible for ensuring a database is accessible and functions as intended. They play a critical role in many companies, especially those that generate large amounts of data.
A Database Administrator also needs to ensure a database is secure by protecting confidential information and setting up the right user permissions. They work with other Database Administrators and other professionals to ensure an application can consume and amend information from a database correctly. In many cases, a Database Administrator stores internal information rather than information used for a specific app.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts that demand for these professionals will grow by 9 percent in the next ten years. The median salary for a Database Administrator is $90,070.
One of the best-paid career options for Database Administrators is to become Data Scientists. These professionals are in charge of collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data. Companies used their findings to make decisions critical to their bottom line. The Data Scientist turns massive lists of data into actionable recommendations that help a business achieve its goals. They are one of the most in-demand professionals in the sector.
Marketing is a very lucrative industry for Data Scientists. Insights produced by a Data Scientist can tell a retail store which products to stock or recommend to a customer. In combination with modern Artificial Intelligence techniques like machine learning, Data Scientists can play an important role in creating targeted campaigns that boost sales.
The average salary for a Data Scientist last year was $120,495.
According to LinkedIn, Systems Operator is the second most in-demand job right now in the US. Network and Systems Administrators manage complex systems that are vital to the functioning of businesses and organizations. These professionals are in-demand today in virtually every industry in the country, with the Bureau of Labour Statistics predicting that the number of job openings for this position will grow by 5 percent from 2018 to 2028
Every business can potentially employ Network and Systems Administrators. These professionals earn high salaries, even compared to other technology jobs. In 2018, the median salary for this profession was $82,050.
A job closely related is DevOps Consultant. DevOps is a combination of two teams, the development team and the operations team. The two groups work together to create products faster and more efficiently.
To pursue a career as a DevOps Consultant, you must first gain experience as a DevOps Engineer. You need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering and years of experience in software development and systems operations.
Additional qualifications, like the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional, make you a competitive candidate for DevOps jobs. As a DevOps Consultant, your duty is to help companies implement software development principles to optimize applications. You answer to company leadership and liaise for management, software developers, and the IT team, combining their unique views into actionable steps. You need excellent technical skills for this role.
In 2019, the average salary for a DevOps Engineer was $99,604.
In this category, we also have IT Infrastructure Engineers. These professionals ensure that all the IT systems that support businesses of any size function efficiently. With global connections predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2023, the demand for Remote Engineers can only go up. IT Infrastructure Engineers have the flexibility of being able to work remotely.
Infrastructure Engineers work with Internet connections, cabling, virtualization platforms, and storage area networks. They ensure all the systems within an organization function seamlessly. A Network Infrastructure Engineer works on-site or remotely evaluating all the systems within an infrastructure.
These professionals interact with all vendors on behalf of their organizations and must possess excellent written and spoken communication skills.
The average salary for this position is $72,323 a year.
From phone apps to Internet browsers, Software Engineers are responsible for many of the programs that power the modern economy. Every industry in the world uses the software of some kind, so the demand for this type of engineer isn’t waning anytime soon.
Moreover, consider this: almost 6 in 10 employers would consider changing their work-from-home policies if their workers were able to maintain productivity during the pandemic, according to a March survey from Monster. To enable workers to do their jobs from home, the software architecture that powers remote digital services need to be built and maintained. As demand for the services increase, so will job in this area.
There are several paths to a career as a software developer if you’re interested in this growing field. Some developers opt for a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s in computer science. But more and more tech companies and other employers are favoring workers with practical experience in developing software applications. This is why you should consider attending a coding boot camp.
The median salary in 2018 for Software Developers was $105,590 a year or $51 an hour. In 2018, there were 1,365,500 people employed in this area, but this is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2028.
Someone has to design all of the web pages and applications we use every day. The people who design these products are in high demand and command handsome salaries, which makes a career in UX/UI design very attractive.
A User Experience (UX) Designer focuses on how users experience a product. Their goal is to create a product that is as easy to use and as intuitive as possible. They conduct research that exposes the potential challenges customers may face with a given product. Based on their findings, UX Designers make changes to a design or feature to optimize the user experience.
On the other hand, a User Interface (UI) Designer is responsible for creating a product’s overall design. Their responsibilities may include choosing the colors of a website or making sure that the font is as readable as possible. They also assess the accessibility of design and the overall style of each element. UI Designers use the information gathered by UX Designers to create beautiful and functional designs.
In short, the UX Designer conducts research and identifies problems customers face with a product. They then pass that information to the UI Designer, who uses it to create an attractive and functional design for the product.
Breaking into a Career in Tech
If you are considering starting down a path in the tech sector, you first need to acquire the necessary technical skills and knowledge. To do this, you have several options at your disposal. The traditional route is to study computer science at a university or college to earn an academic degree. Many tech employers indeed favor university graduates.
A second—and increasingly more popular—the path is to attend a coding boot camp. Bootcamps allow you to acquire the skills you need to have your foot at the door in a short time. In less than fifteen weeks of intense, practical training, you will learn the basics of your chosen profession and will be ready to apply for jobs.
More and more people are choosing coding boot camps over studying full-time at a university. This is because boot camps represent a much smaller time and money investment and are considered the smarter alternative.
Finally, many tech sector hopefuls choose to teach themselves. Depending on how disciplined and able to motivate yourself you are, this may be the right option for you.
~ Artur Meyster