When it comes to rising IT compensation, a perfect storm has quickly crossed the country and changed tech landscapes everywhere. The national IT unemployment rate sits at 2.8%, setting the stage for a shortage of tech workers. In Chicago, there’s been a 34.9% increase in tech positions since 2010, which indicates healthy demand. Meanwhile, in the Los Angeles area, IT startups received funding of $3 billion in 2016 alone, a figure that is trending upward. These elements of a talent shortage, increased demand, and heavy investment coupled with a renewed focus on security, updating legacy systems, and information has produced the highest paying tech jobs in 2017.
Information Security Manager
The role of Information Security Manager is so important that the average salary slightly overtakes that of a CIO. At $143,733 in Southern California, it gives proof that companies are investing strongly to keep their environment safe. With security often cited as the single most important tech project for IT departments, this role is experiencing a large amount of demand. Information Security roles are expected to grow 18% through 2024, so expect the trend to continue.
Chief Information Officer
The coveted CIO role is a regularly-cited dream job for tech workers. With an average salary of $143,400 in Chicago, the ceiling for what one can earn in the role is very high. This position is unique in that it requires someone who can function as an executive while simultaneously possessing the know-how of tech processes at the ground level. Involved in the decisions that shape every area of IT for an entire organization, the CIO must own responsibility for overall IT operations.
Turning raw data into discernable and useful information is a feat that few can accomplish. Being flooded with too much data is a top challenge for IT executives, and they will pay for someone’s ability to solve that problem. As a result, Southern California Data Scientists earn an average of $131,563.
Senior Network Architect
In charge of the bones of an organization’s computer environment, Senior Network Architects in Chicago report a salary of $129,500. Demand for this role has been driven by the need to replace or update legacy systems, as well as adopting the cloud and safeguarding against the security threats that come with it. The knowledge of how to build a safe and efficient digital atmosphere will continue to be desired as new technology enters the market at an increasingly fast rate.
Mobile Applications Developer
People are now accessing the internet via mobile devices more than from desktop computers. By demanding convenience out of their internet browsing experience along with constant advancement in cell phone technology, the need for Mobile Applications Developers is strong. In Southern California, the average pay is $128,492 with the 90th percentile enjoying over $150,000 in salary.
User Experience Designer
Consumers have grown accustomed to tech products, websites, and programs that are easy to use and can successfully accomplish what is expected of them. Enhancing the entire digital experience for end users is the goal of a User Experience Designer, and organizations recognize the necessity for this role by offering a mean salary of $122,453.00 in Chicago. Investing in this role means investing in consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
Business Intelligence Developer
With an average pay of $115,643.00 in Southern California, Business Intelligence Developers make themselves essential to organizations by improving workflows and increasing efficiency. The world of business intelligence encompasses numerous software tools and moving parts, and many with BI experience are nearing the age of retirement. As the tech workforce generational shift continues, the opportunity exists for younger talent to specialize in this role.
Senior IT Project Manager
Just as a CIO manages an entire company’s IT, a Senior IT Project Manager must likewise take complete ownership over specific IT projects and be able to lead Software Developers and others. While project management itself is not a new concept, those who are successful in the role are able to balance modern managerial methods with cutting-edge technical knowledge. Agile PM methods generate 30% higher profits than non-agile companies. Experience in such a specialty can take the average Chicago pay of $103,400 and drive it far higher.
The Highest Paying Tech Jobs
It’s no secret that today’s IT employment landscape is a job seeker’s market. With conditions ripe for driving up salaries, those workers that have kept their skills up-to-date, particularly in security or big data, have their inboxes flooded with opportunities. Whether you’re looking for one of 2017’s highest paying tech jobs or whether you’re trying to hire for one, it all begins by knowing industry compensation rates.