If you are thinking of a career change, or are wondering how your IT position compares to others in the industry, both CareerCast and Dice have recently issued rankings for the best jobs in the United States today. The following list combines information from two independent reports issued by CareerCast and Dice.
The Dice survey was released in January 2012, compiling the feedback of nearly 1,200 hiring managers and recruiters across the United States working specifically in the IT industry.
CareerCast released a survey of 200 jobs across all industries, ranging from software engineers to lumberjacks. Each job was assessed based on average pay, unemployment rates, hiring outlook, stress factors, physical demands and environmental factors. Salary and hiring outlook were given more weight than the other factors. Of course, few IT positions are as stressful or hazardous as being a soldier or a nuclear contamination technician.
1. Software Engineers and Developers
Ranked as number one of all 200 jobs indexed by CareerCast, a software engineer can expect to earn $88,000 on average. Dice reported in January 2012 that software engineers and developers accounted for the top four priorities for hiring managers and recruiters in the tech industry, including Java developers, mobile developers and .NET developers. CareerCast also reported a favourable hiring outlook for these positions.
2. Project Managers
Project managers in the IT industry can expect to be in high demand as well this year. According to the Dice survey, project management positions are ranked fifth as the most in-demand jobs amongst hiring managers and recruiters surveyed. According to Indeed.com, a project manager earns an annual salary of $91,000 on average.
3. Business and Systems Analysts
The hiring outlook for systems analysts is also good this year according to CareerCast. At an average salary of $78,000, analysts have slightly better working conditions and fewer physical demands than software engineers. This is probably due to the fact that they don't spend quite so much time in a server room, nor do they usually have to lift equipment. Dice lists business analysts as the tenth most sought-after resource in the tech industry.
4. Web Developers
With a great hiring outlook according to both CareerCast and Dice, web developers earn an average of $76,000 each year. Indeed.com actually gives the average a higher figure at $91,000.
5. Computer Programmers
Those who responsible for organizing and listing instructions for computers to process data have a good job outlook this year as well. CareerCast gives this position an average salary of $71,178, however Indeed.com estimates it significantly higher at $82,000 per year.
6. Technical Writers
With an average salary range between $60,000 and $63,000, technical writers translate scientific and technical information into easy-to-read language. The position has a solid hiring outlook according to CareerCast. Taking into consideration a good work environment, relatively low stress and few physical demands, they ranked this job as 37th overall.
Last But Not Least...
At the bottom of CareerCast's list are Computer Service Technicians, Electronic and Electrical Equipment Repairers. Computer technicians were ranked 143rd out of their 200 job listings, with an average salary of $37,000. Those who repair electronics and electrical equipment were ranked 148th. This is above professional buyers, sheet metal workers, janitors and sailors, but just below photographers, recreation workers and auto mechanics. According to Indeed.com electronic repair work pays $48,000 per year, while electrical repair pays somewhat less at $46,000 per year. CareerCast's estimate is somewhat higher, averaging both types of work at $52,000.