Most people assume that every information technology (IT) job opportunity requires slaving away for countless hours in front of a computer screen, staring down lines of tedious programming code and other less-than-exciting responsibilities. While there’s no denying that these jobs do exist, the truth of the matter is that there are also plenty of opportunities to do something truly engaging and unique in this field. Here’s a look at the five most interesting–and lucrative–IT careers of 2015.
Big Data Scientist
As a “Big Data” scientist, you’ll put your skills to the test managing vast amounts of data related to everything from consumer trends and habits to national security intelligence and threat management. Aside from building structures and systems that house countless terabytes of data, a Big Data scientist will also often be called upon to delve into this information and piece together trends and insight that would otherwise go unnoticed. Think of this part of the job as solving the most complex and expansive digital puzzles ever created.
Taking on this kind of responsibility is a major commitment and requires either extensive on-the-job training or a graduate degree in data management. Fortunately, the team at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out that most Big Data scientists make around $118,709 a year, so it’s safe to say that you’ll be well compensated for your hard work and effort.
Computer Forensic Investigator
Snuffing out crime isn’t just about putting on a badge and heading out into the streets anymore. More and more IT graduates are falling into the investigative computer forensics line of work, thereby helping law enforcement and other regulatory bodies solve cybercrime mysteries and digital cases.
So, what kind of education does one need to start combating hackers and tracking down other online wrongdoers? A bachelor’s degree in either computer forensics, information security, or cyber security is a start, with certifications from a computer examiner board being preferred. In return, you can expect to earn about $91,210 annually.
For those of you who have always wondered how geography and modern technology interact, a career as a geospatial analyst might be right up your alley. These IT professionals integrate data related to human population trends, movement, and activity into virtual geographical models, thus telling the story of our current global standing and extracting valuable data and insight at the same time.
Generally, an aspiring geospatial analyst pursues a traditional IT degree – like data modeling or systems management – and then acquires a graduate certification in geospatial intelligence analytics, cartography, or another related field. From here, the average yearly salary for these professionals sits at about $74,760.
Starting a career as a software engineer is akin to standing in front of countless job opportunity doorways. Want to design the next big online or console video game? What about crafting a new social platform that competes with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+? Becoming a software engineer provides you with the tools and skills needed to chase these dreams or stay flexible via short-term freelancing project opportunities.
To enter this field, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or a related field if you have a particular career path in mind. The BLS notes that software engineers and developers make around $93,350 a year.
Popping up regularly on the “best job” lists of CNN and other major outlets, it should come as no surprise that IT consulting ends up snagging a spot in this conversation. Essentially, becoming an IT consultant is all about finding a niche, becoming an expert in this portion of the IT world, and then utilizing this knowledge and insight to provide services to everyone from startups to multinational corporations.
There are no clearly defined limits to what kind of expertise and services a consultant offers, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find another career opportunity that provides as much freedom and flexibility as this path. On average, IT consultants bring home about $96,400 a year after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in information technology.
As you can see, there are plenty of interesting and intriguing careers to consider in the world of IT. From the wide open field of consulting, to combating serious criminal problems as a computer forensics investigator, you can rest easy knowing that there’s a lucrative IT job waiting for you after college that caters to your professionals needs, desires, and ambitions.
About the Author
As owner of the higher education site Accelerated Degree, Joy Miller researches and reviews colleges offering accelerated classes and degrees, connecting students with programs that match their educational goals and career interests.
AfterCollege features 400,000 entry level jobs and internships. Find your dream job using our career search. Create a profile on AfterCollege and we will directly connect you with interested employers.