If you're interested in tech and have the right training, earning a 6-figure salary may be easier than you think. The average salary across all computer sciences is around $104,434 per year. Tech jobs are also in high demand, so not only can you earn a good living, but you can get a level of job security as well.
To help you identify your future career path, we'll go through 7 tech jobs that pay a 6-figure salary, what each of them involves, and where you can start learning the skills you'll need to land them. The salaries listed below are for the U.S., but these jobs generally pay well no matter where you are.
1. Computer Hardware Engineer: $119,650
A Computer Hardware Engineer designs, researches, develops, and tests computer systems, as well as the components that make them work. Along with baseline knowledge about how computers work, the job requires analytical thinking skills and the problem-solving mindset of an engineer.
A Computer Hardware Engineer's tasks often involve ensuring computers operate efficiently with the components and software they help design, such as:
- Memory devices
- Circuit boards
- Access points
- Other networking devices
Making sure computers and the devices they develop work well together requires Computer Hardware Engineers to gain a basic understanding of coding. To get started with the foundations of coding, check out our Code Foundations skill path. You could also try our Computer Science career path.
2. Computer Information Research Scientist: $119,570
Also known as a Solutions Engineer, a Computer Information Research Scientist finds ways to use technology to solve problems. This often involves using existing technology to address significant business challenges in areas like:
Most industries can benefit from technological solutions, and a Computer Information Research Scientist helps them figure out how. Many have a background in data science, as analyzing a business's datasets can help them understand the challenges they face. To gain a solid foundation in information research, try our Data Science career path.
3. IT Project Manager: $118,822
IT Project Managers have a wide range of responsibilities as they're in charge of not just the deployment of IT solutions but also maintaining and securing them. Many report directly to their company's CIO, so they also need to be skilled communicators and understand high-level business concepts.
Given the complex threat landscape many businesses face today, much of an IT Project Manager's job will involve rolling out initiatives to help make the business's IT infrastructure more secure. To do so, they often work with cybersecurity professionals.
Because most IT and security systems are built with code, an IT project manager must have a strong foundational understanding of programming.
4. Software Systems Developer: $111,780
A Software Systems Developer finds software solutions for business and public sector challenges. Although many tools are already available on the market, there's no end to business problems that don't yet have a program able to fix them.
This is where a Software Systems Developer's skillset becomes invaluable. They develop solutions for a wide range of situations and challenges, such as:
- Mobile advertising
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine learning
- Laboratory research
- Medical facilities
- Sports therapy
- Building technologies
There's virtually no limit to the ways software can improve our processes, so Software Systems Developers are always looking for new solutions that can help their clients increase their revenue. To do so, a strong understanding of basic business principles is a necessity.
In many situations, a Systems Developer will also be in charge of optimizing the user's experience with an app, and for this, they need a background in front-end development. Check out our Front-End Engineer career path to start building user interfaces and visual elements for web applications.
5. Computer Network Architect: $107,870
A Network Architect designs, builds, and maintains the infrastructure on which an organization's network is built. This typically involves identifying the needs of the organization's communications system and finding ways to integrate the transfer of business-critical data and interactions between stakeholders.
Along with a basic understanding of computer science and programming, a Computer Network Architect also needs to be familiar with phone systems and communications hardware — like wiring, physical ports, and various kinds of optic solutions.
A Computer Network Architect is in charge of building and securing an organization's:
- Local area network (LAN)
- Wide area network (WAN)
- Anti-malware solutions
- Web application firewalls
- Security information and event management (SIEM) systems
- Cloud and hybrid cloud architectures
- Virtual private networks (VPN)
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems
- Instant messaging and videoconferencing systems
Network Architects need to understand the code behind different systems, including the functions associated with a wide array of languages and the differences in their syntax.
6. Full-Stack Developer: $109,668
A Full-Stack Developer handles everything involved in the product development process, from the back end to the front end. They make sure the user's experience is productive and comfortable while ensuring that back-end resources and processes run efficiently.
Full-Stack Developers work with all of an app's dependencies, including elements such as:
- Hard-coded business logic
- Hostname dependencies
- Application programming interfaces (APIs)
If you're interested in a career as a Full-Stack Developer, check out our Full-Stack Engineer career path. We'll teach you how to program with languages used for both front-end and back-end development, use them to build complete web applications, and more.
7. Big Data Engineer: $165,500
A Big Data Engineer finds ways to gather, use, and analyze data to address business challenges. Organizations generate an enormous amount of data. A Big Data Engineer knows how to leverage that data to improve processes, attract more customers, enhance efficiency, and generate more revenue.
Big Data Engineers often work with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that look for patterns in large data sets and use them to adjust what a program does. Collecting, organizing, and studying the data — with or without advanced algorithms — falls on the shoulders of Big Data Engineers. They then use the insights they gain to help the organization meet its objectives, some of which may include:
- Empowering AI systems to learn customer behavior
- Discovering opportunities to alter marketing tactics
- Understanding the behavior of key customers
- Finding inefficiencies in building systems and addressing them
- Uncovering ways to streamline or improve manufacturing processes
At the core of a Big Data Engineer's skillset is data analytics. You can learn more about what it takes to be a data engineer by checking out our Data Scientist: Analytics Specialist career path.
The road to a 6-figure salary has many paths if you're pursuing a career in tech. With our courses, you can get the knowledge and experience you need to pursue various avenues toward a 6-figure income.
Each of the Career Paths linked above will help you build the skills you'll need in your future career. You'll also use your new skills to build a portfolio that'll help you stand out in your job search. Or, if you already have a solid foundation and you're just looking to learn a specific skill, take a look through our catalog.