2017 looks bright for the tech industry, as more companies look to hire IT professionals with advanced skills to continue digital transformation efforts.
"The IT sector is still growing faster compared to many other occupations," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "The outlook is generally encouraging."
The new year will likely see increased emphasis on soft skills in IT, as more projects overlap with business units, Herbert said. "In collaboration between developers and CMOs or CFOs, project management skills, communication skills, and presentation skills will be in-demand by employers," he said.
It will also be incredibly important for IT professionals to stay abreast of new technologies and keep their skills sharp in 2017. "Remaining static and passive is the biggest risk right now for IT professionals," Herbert said.
Here are the top 10 IT jobs with the hottest outlook for 2017.
1. Data scientist
Data scientist ranked first on Glassdoor's list of best jobs in America across all industries in 2016, based on the number of job listings open paired with employee insights on earning potential and career opportunities. The site listed 1,736 open jobs in the position, with a median base salary of $116,840.
Data skills rate high on business priority surveys conducted by CompTIA. Companies now have large data sets that require knowledge of Hadoop and other distributed systems to analyze, Herbert said.
2. Entry-level engineer
Entry-level engineer ranked first in clicks to impressions for job postings in the tech and engineering sector on Indeed, indicating that it was the most sought-after position in various fields.
3. UX designer
UX designer ranked #18 on Glassdoor's Best Jobs in America list, with 863 open positions and a median base salary of $91,800.
In CompTIA's research, enterprises reported an increased focus on using innovation to improve the customer experience. This will likely lead to the emergence of UX and UI developers with more specialized skills in this area, including mobility skills.
4. Quality assurance manager
Quality assurance manager ranked #2 on Indeed's list, and #15 on Glassdoor's list of best jobs in America, with 3,749 openings and a median base salary of $85,000. This position is responsible for ensuring that products or services meet established standards.
5. Analytics manager
Ranked #11 on Glassdoor's list, analytics managers are responsible for creating effective strategies to collect data, analyze information, conduct research, and implement analytics solutions for products and services. There are 982 open positions in this field on Glassdoor, with a median base salary of $105,000.
6. Salesforce developer
Herbert said he continues to see demand in job posting for Salesforce developers that integrate different apps with Salesforce or build new features on top of the platform. "Companies increasingly need someone to have experience with different platforms, and allowing various products and apps to connect with them," Herbert said.
7. Security analyst
Amid constant reports of data breaches, larger companies especially are seeking dedicated roles to focus on cybersecurity, Herbert said. People in these positions take a proactive approach in terms of prevention, detection, and incident response, as well as training employees.
8. Full stack developer
Enterprises are increasingly looking for a person with expertise across different layers of the stack, Herbert said. "As software now affects all areas of business, and there are expectations to provide great customer experience and interfaces, it's critical for companies to understand how everything works up and down the stack," Herbert said.
9. Solutions architect
Solutions architect ranked #3 on Glassdoor's list of best jobs in America, with an median base salary of $119,500 and 2,906 open positions. This position involves translating requirements created by analysts into an actual solution using technology.
10. Machine learning engineer
Machine learning engineer ranked #25 on Indeed's list, and will likely only become more popular with the rise of artificial intelligence across various industries.
- 10 programs to help you break into a cybersecurity career (TechRepublic)
- Predictions 2017: A year of action (ZDNet)
- 16 tech jobs with the largest gender gaps (TechRepublic)
- Digitally enable the businesses - don't just digitally transform (ZDNet)
- IT hiring is broken. Here are three ways to fix it. (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO and the convergence of tech and the workplace.