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Career Development

The Top 5 Highest-Paying Careers in Tech (2024)

General Assembly
April 14, 2022

It’s no secret. Tech talent is in high demand across industries, but finding people with the skill sets to fill these roles has been challenging, causing competition amongst businesses for talent in tech — in software engineering, UX design, data science, and digital marketing. As a result, jobs in data analytics, computer science, cloud computing, software engineering, digital marketing, and others pay well.

So what does “pay well” really mean? Using data from PayScale, Glassdoor.com, we’ve put together the numbers for the most common entry level tech jobs. (Note: salary levels quoted below are for the U.S. and can vary from country to country.)

1. Web Development and Software Engineering

Web developers build websites, typically in collaboration with a graphic designer. Most people interested in a programming career start as a web developer before graduating to other forms of software engineering. Junior web developers typically possess strong knowledge in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and can work the back end as well.

Depending on which city you live in, the median salary for a web developer is $60,611 and can range from $41,000 – $90,000. Many consider web development the gateway to engineering. As web developers level up, they may find themselves in software engineering positions. Software engineers generally make between $64,000 – $130,000.With experience, software engineers command salaries above the $100,000 pay grade.

2. Data Analytics and Data Science

Wrangling data, finding insights, and building predictive models are some of the most critical needs of the modern-day business. As a result, data analysts and computer science professionals are in high demand. This job is perfect for the math-oriented who enjoy working with numbers to drive business impact. Skills required include programming languages for wrangling data, using tools to deliver visual and statistical analysis, know commonly used modeling techniques, and be able to synthesize findings to guide business decisions.

Most graduates with a bachelor’s degree enter the data science field as a data analyst, a role where they’ll work with data to solve existing business problems. Data analysts command an average salary of $75,076. With experience, they can graduate to becoming a data scientist, a role that involves using data to make predictions about future trends and problems. Moving from a data analyst to a data scientist position will most likely mean a pay raise, with data scientists earning an average salary of $122,051. Here are the top 5 industries hiring data scientists.

(Curious to learn more about the difference between data analytics and data science? Read on here. Think this is the right career for you? Learn more about our Data Analytics and Data Science Immersives.)

3. User Experience Design

User experience (UX) design is a critical function of the tech industry. UX designers determine the interaction experience the user encounters with a website, app, or software. Great designers are able to anticipate a user’s needs and expectations, making the experience simple and intuitive and have skills in user research, information architecture, prototyping , wireframes, and graphic design.

The national average salary for a junior UX designer is $86,285. Senior UX designers average $121,599.

Note that there are many other roles in the field related to disciplines like product design, information architecture, service design, and UX research.

4. Digital Marketing

The ever-evolving field of digital marketing is about leveraging communication channels to acquire, engage, convert, and keep customers. Fluency in SEO (search engine optimization), digital advertising, and social media platforms are key requirements for digital marketers. Because digital marketing is highly measurable, a solid digital marketer embraces data and can pull reports to explain campaign performance.

In the digital marketing field, the average advertised salary is $101,567. After working as a digital marketing manager and proving your ROI, your next level up is marketing director, generally earning upwards of $125,000. Once you’ve truly mastered all sides of digital marketing — advertising, SEO, social media engagement, and more — you may reach the level of chief marketing officer, earning an average of $210,000 per year. Comparatively, with the rise of social media and essential need for a competitive online presence, the digital marketing industry has started to offer some of the highest paying careers in tech.

5. Product Management

Arguably the most interdisciplinary career path in tech, product management touches web development, business and analytics, and UX design. As a product manager, you drive the development and implementation of a product, using market insights to inform the way a product is built, used, and distributed. You are the product’s biggest advocate and an enthusiastic team leader, managing the workflow for design and development teams, keeping an eye on outside competition, and establishing a larger identity for what the product can be. You might work closely with a large scope of tech professionals, from the database administrator and computer scientist to the software developer and cloud architect.

The average advertised salary for product managers is $119,208. Many product managers climb the ranks, a small portion eventually becoming chief product officer. Some find that their cross-disciplinary skill set allows them to become entrepreneurs themselves, and decide to start their own companies.

What other benefits come with a tech job? 

Salaries are just one of the many benefits of working in tech. Tech companies traditionally have more flexible schedules than legacy companies, generous vacation policies, and are better equipped to let employees work from home. 

If you do go into the office, expect a livelier culture than the typical corporate setting. Tech companies incorporate engaging benefits into the everyday work environment, offering things like catered meals, the ability to bring your pet to the office, and company events. They may also offer benefits outside the office, like discounted gym memberships and transit passes. 

If you’re getting into a startup in its early stages, you may also have the opportunity to build equity. Since many startups can’t offer their employees market salaries, they instead give you the chance to accrue (or “vest”) shares in the company over a scheduled period of time. By locking you in at a set price, you’re essentially able to buy your shares at a “discount” if the company goes public. 

Want to learn more about vesting (and all the other added benefits of working in tech)? Check out our blog post

Do you need a college degree to get into tech?

With all of the different responsibilities that these positions require, you may be wondering: do I need to hold an advanced degree to get a job in tech? 

The short answer: no. Degrees don’t matter nearly as much as experience when it comes to starting a tech career. 

And one of the best ways to build up that experience is with one of General Assembly’s bootcamps, which can help you develop the skills and portfolio you need to land your first job in tech. The best part? You don’t need any prior experience to start.

Ready to explore new career paths?

Download Our Career Changers Guide

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