The highest-paying tech roles for in-demand skills in 2019

A look at the most in-demand tech and IT skills in 2019, along with a breakdown of the highest-paid roles within each specialization area.

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Tech continues to be a leading employment sector, accounting for almost 10 percent of all jobs in the U.S. economy. Tech job postings in Silicon Valley on Indeed increased by 12.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, which accounts for just one major tech talent hub and one job listing site. Overall IT job postings saw a 30 percent increase YOY between the same period, according to CompTIA’s recent analysis.

Whether you look at the job reports or news headlines, tech is everywhere, and most companies will be looking to make new tech hires in 2019 for needs ranging from improved data analysis to AI and ML algorithm implementation, cloud development, and IT security improvements, just to name a few. To help you remain competitive, here’s a look at the most in-demand tech skills in 2019 and the average salary ranges for the highest-paid roles you’ll need to offer to attract the in-demand talent you’re after, sourced from Mondo’s 2019 Tech Salary Guide.

AI, ML and IoT

These acronyms represent the most in-demand, emerging skill sets in tech. Artificial intelligence capabilities, machine learning algorithms, and data analysis provided by interconnected IoT devices are what enterprise CIOs and hiring managers will be looking to implement before competitors in 2019. With these hot new skill sets, everyone is looking to take advantage of the new technologies being developed to implement faster and more efficient ways of operating the business, along with helping drive increased revenue where possible.

When it comes to hiring for these newly developed skill sets, expect to pay a premium for talent with proven experience given how small and relatively new this talent pool is stateside.

Highest-paid roles:

  • IoT Solutions Architect. The IoT solutions architect role continues to be the highest paid position given the role’s expertise in a variety of IoT disciplines, like edge and cloud analytics, enterprise integration, platforms, compliance, scaling, connectivity, and DevOps. Average salaries for this role range from $140,000 to $210,000 based on job responsibilities and experience required.
  • AI Developer. AI development is crucial to boosting business efficiency and helping increase profitability, which is why this niche role continues to be one of the highest paid. Average salaries range between $120,000 and $200,000 depending on location and responsibilities.
  • Machine Learning Engineer. To take the code created by your team of data scientists and make it more effective and scalable, you’ll need to hire this emerging role. Given the effectiveness of ML algorithms in driving business efficiency and improving analytics capabilities, it’s no surprise the salary range for this role remains as high as AI developer titles with an average range of $120,500 to $200,000.

BI and data

But before you expand your AI, ML, or IoT talent, you’ll need experts to build the necessary architecture and develop cloud solutions to support these new technologies, which is where BI and data talent come in. Hiring these niche experts is a crucial step toward powering and implementing AI and ML-driven solutions. Although BI and data skill sets have been around longer, they are rapidly evolving to better meet the use cases of businesses today, which is why they remain a core need for enterprise-level companies. 

Highest-paid roles:

  • Cloud Engineer. This role is responsible for developing, planning, designing, maintaining, and supporting the cloud systems your business needs to enable ML-powered algorithms and enhanced data analytics capabilities. As such, average salaries tend to range between $120,000 to $195,000 based on the scale of the project and the level of experience required.
  • Database Architect. The quality of your database is everything, which is why this position remains one of the highest paid tech roles. Working closely with software designers, these architects create the comprehensive databases your business relies on. The average salary range for this role is $145,000 to $200,000.
  • Data Scientist. It should come as no surprise to see this in-demand position top the list of highest-paid roles. IBM predicts demand for this position will grow at least 28 percent by 2020 as more businesses look to improve how they gather, process, and analyze vast stores of data. Average salaries range from $110,500 for more junior-level roles to $180,500 for more experienced professionals.

Cybersecurity and IT security

More than a billion people were impacted by enterprise data breaches in 2018 alone. The rise of increasingly complex and effective cyberattacks and threats to businesses of all sizes, especially those at the enterprise-level, continue to drive demand for both cybersecurity and IT security talent. These evolving threats and the weaponization of AI to make old threats, like phishing and spear phishing, more effective and frequent has put a premium on security-based talent in all specialization areas, including InfoSec, network security, application security, and cloud security.

Highest-paid roles:

  • Application Security Engineer. As you continue to increase the number of business applications your company relies on, you also increase the number of potential vulnerabilities hackers hope to exploit. Look to hire talent skilled in the specific, niche applications that are most vulnerable in your tech stack. Average salaries for this role from $120,000 to $182,500, but considering the cost of a potential hack, skilled talent is more than worth the investment.
  • InfoSec Manager. This role manages the entire InfoSec department and develops and executes on strategic data security decisions for the business. Given the recent data breaches from national and global brands like Marriott International and Facebook, this role continues to be in high-demand and well-paid. The average salary range expected for this role is $120,000 to $185,000.

While this is only a snapshot of the highest-paid and most in-demand skill sets within tech, salaries will continue to climb for these roles until the talent supply can keep up with the ever-growing demand for niche experts. Although salaries remain high, consider reevaluating your current budgets to better align with the average salaries expected for these roles in order to attract and recruit top talent before competitors do.

This story, "The highest-paying tech roles for in-demand skills in 2019" was originally published by CIO.