Choosing which career to pursue is a big decision. There are many factors to consider, from job security to average salary. If you’ve thought about working in tech, you’ve probably wondered—is technology a good career path?
The job market is changing rapidly, but tech remains a promising career path. All industries recruit tech professionals, so a major tech company isn’t your only option. You can pursue a tech career in finance, health, insurance, and many other industries.
Are tech jobs still in demand?
Careers in tech are still in high demand across the United States, but what these roles look like is evolving.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that computer and information technology jobs(opens new window) will grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031. This growth translates to around 418,500 job openings annually.
Tech jobs have evolved over the years. You can have a well-paid career without working for a big tech company. A recent report(opens new window) shows that companies outside major hubs are hiring more tech roles. Many of these positions are in cities like Durham, North Carolina, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Professional, scientific, and technical services
- Transportation and warehousing
- Administrative and support
- Finance and insurance
Why is technology a good career path?
The number of job openings isn’t the only reason to pursue a career in tech. These positions offer many incentives, like lucrative salaries and remote work opportunities. Here are four benefits of choosing a tech career.
Flexible career opportunities
Many sectors need in-demand skills like data science, software engineering, and more. You could get a tech job in healthcare, insurance, real estate, and other areas.
Because you can apply tech skills to various industries, you have flexible career options. For example, if your sector gets hit by an economic downturn, you can find a new job in a less affected area.
The range of available tech careers also allows you to work in an industry related to your passions.
The COVID pandemic accelerated the growth of remote positions. As a result, many companies and workers are now more open to the idea of working from home. Hiring remote workers (opens new window)increased by almost 300% at Fortune 500 companies between 2019 and 2021.
The nature of tech jobs makes them easier to do remotely. You can do many parts of your job from the comfort of your home. For instance, a Software Engineer can write code and meet with colleagues virtually without traveling to the office.
You can also pursue hybrid work opportunities, where you go into the office a few days a week. Hybrid has several benefits, especially for those starting their careers. You can network with and learn directly from your colleagues and mentors on the job.
High pay and benefits
Many of the top-paying jobs are tech careers. According to the BLS, computer and information technology jobs pay a median annual wage(opens new window) of $97,430. By comparison, the average median wage for all careers is $45,760.
Many tech jobs also offer impressive benefits packages. For example, you may receive a childcare stipend, extended parental leave, and unlimited paid time off.
A high salary can lead to financial security and significantly impact your overall quality of life. According to a 2021 study(opens new window), people with large incomes feel happier and have higher levels of well-being than low earners.
Fewer degree requirements
Many tech roles are in such high demand that employers are open to hiring candidates without college degrees. You can learn in-demand skills and prepare for job openings and interviews with an apprenticeship program like Multiverse.
With Multiverse, apprentices learn the practical skills they need for their area of study and gain on-the-job experience. Multiverse’s free apprenticeship programs match you with a top employer. As an apprentice, you’ll get paid a salary while you learn and work on real projects that you can add to your portfolio.
How much do tech jobs pay?
Salary is one of the top considerations when deciding on a career. It’s also one of the reasons that technology is a good career path.
The most in-demand and highly skilled positions tend to have the best wages. Developing your technical abilities can help you compete for top-paying jobs. Here are some of the highest-paying careers in tech.
A Data Scientist analyzes raw data to find patterns and unlock insights. They use this information to help companies make strategic decisions and respond to trends.
Web Developers and Designers
A Web Developer or Designer develops and maintains websites. These professionals improve website functionality and user experience.
Information Security Analysts
An Information Security Analyst protects a company’s confidential data and computer systems. Their responsibilities typically include implementing security measures and monitoring networks for breaches.
A Software Developer codes, tests, and fixes errors in software systems. They can work on various technologies like computer games, desktop applications, and robots.
- Job outlook - As technology evolves, companies need workers who can develop and improve new tools like artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Software Developer jobs will grow by 25%(opens new window) between 2021 and 2031. Approximately 162,900 new Software Developer jobs will open each year.
- Average salary - $120,730
Cybersecurity experts protect an organization’s devices, infrastructure, and data. They prevent and respond to cyberattacks that can damage computer systems and steal data.
- Job outlook - The demand for cybersecurity professionals has expanded quickly. Data from Cybersecurity Ventures shows more than 700,000(opens new window) unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. alone. Some companies have created their own on the job training programs to help recruit and train new cybersecurity specialists.
- Average salary - $120,000
A Cloud Engineer builds and maintains cloud infrastructures, which store data over the internet. These professionals migrate data to the cloud, keep information secure, and build applications based on cloud databases.
- Job outlook - Cloud Engineers fall into the broader category of Computer Network Architects. These jobs will increase by 4%(opens new window) between 2021 and 2031. Demand for Cloud Engineers, in particular, will likely grow faster as more companies adopt cloud computing. Forbes estimates that global spending on cloud computing(opens new window) increased from $313 billion in 2020 to $482 billion in 2022.
- Average salary - $122,678
Machine Learning Engineer
A Machine Learning Engineer researches and builds self-operating artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Their responsibilities include conducting experiments with AI, developing algorithms, and improving machine learning processes.
- Job outlook - Experts predict that the global AI market will increase by 37.3%(opens new window) between 2023 and 2050. As more companies develop and use AI technologies, they’ll need Machine Learning Engineers and experts.
- Average salary - $129,849
Which is the best career in technology?
Choosing a career path is a highly personal decision, so there’s no one best tech career for everyone. The right job depends on several factors, including your expected salary, interests, and skills.
For example, a high-paying data science career might not be the best fit if you don’t love mathematics and statistics. If you like experimenting with design tools like Adobe XD and Figma, you may thrive as a Web Developer or Designer.
Required skills for tech careers
Developing hard and soft skills can help you compete for high-paying tech careers. The abilities you’ll need vary depending on your role and company. Here are the most in-demand skills across all tech career paths.
Soft skills for tech jobs
Soft skills help you build strong interpersonal relationships and handle challenges in the workplace.
- Communication - You’ll share your results with clients and executives through written reports and presentations. You should know how to interpret a person’s needs and explain how and why a particular solution will help them.
- Collaboration - Teamwork skills help you work with people from different backgrounds. Practice active listening and update everyone on the team about the project’s progress.
- Empathy - The ability to understand other people’s challenges and desires can help you develop solutions to problems. You’ll also use this skill to design accessible products with the end user in mind.
- A growth mindset - The tech world is constantly evolving, so you’ll need to update your skills and learn new tools continuously.
- Problem-solving - You’ll develop innovative solutions to help your company resolve problems and debug complicated programs. For example, Data Scientists use data analytics to predict the changing needs of consumers.
- Time management and productivity - You can maximize efficiency by automating tasks and using time-saving tools.
Aspiring tech professionals sometimes overlook soft skills, which are as important as hard skills. Developing soft skills often leads to career advancement and higher salaries.
Hard skills for tech jobs
Hard skills vary the most from role to role. You can review the responsibilities or qualifications sections in relevant job postings to identify specific skills and tools you need.
Here are common hard skills in tech.
- Database management - You can use database management systems to organize and protect information. For example, a Systems Administrator develops database security plans and backs up data.
- Statistical analysis and data mining - Tech workers like Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers use data mining tools to collect and manage information. You’ll need a strong understanding of statistics and probability to extract meaning from data.
How to start a career in technology
You don’t need a computer science degree to build a tech career. There are many ways to build your skills and develop a professional network. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Explore different tech careers
People often assume that most tech professionals work in software engineering. But there are many great options outside this field, such as:
- User interface/user experience (UI/UX) design
- IT support
- Business intelligence
- Product marketing
You can explore careers of interest by browsing job descriptions and watching “day in the life” videos on YouTube. Other options include asking professionals for 15-minute informational interviews and enrolling in relevant mini-courses. Some companies may let you shadow their employees for a day.
Start programming as early as possible
These strategies can help you learn and master programming languages.
- Participate in hackathons - Collaborate in-person or online with other tech professionals on coding challenges.
- Practice with freelance work or mock projects - You can hone your skills and earn extra cash by completing projects for freelance clients. You’ll choose what you want to work on and develop a portfolio to show prospective clients. If you want to practice first, you can start with a mock project or brief.
- Participate in open source projects - Help improve open-source projects like TensorFlow, a machine learning software. You can develop skills and learn from other developers. Most importantly, you’ll network with other tech professionals and potentially attract the attention of employers.
Build your skills with a tech apprenticeship program
Multiverse offers paid apprenticeship programs that help prepare you for tech careers. Unlike bootcamps, Multiverse apprenticeship programs include on-the-job training. As an apprentice, you’ll work with a top employer that pays you a salary while you learn.
And, unlike a college degree, you don’t pay over $30,000 a year or spend four years or more to learn. Multiverse apprenticeship programs are free and typically take 12-15 months to complete.
If you’re interested in a tech career, apply for one of Multiverse’s apprenticeships(opens new window). You can learn full-stack development with a Software Engineer apprenticeship or learn analytics and SQL with a data science apprenticeship. The first step is to apply and build a profile of your skills and interests. Then, we’ll set up a call to get to know you better and help pair you with one of the many top companies that are Multiverse partners.