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What are the best paying tech jobs to have in 2024?

A complete list of the highest paying roles to go for in your field: software development, cybersecurity, data science, cloud, SDLC, leadership, and more.

Apr 15, 2024 • 10 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Public Sector
  • IT Ops
  • Software Development
  • Engineering Leadership
  • Data
  • Security
  • Business
  • Developer Experience
  • Professional Development
  • Software Delivery Process
  • Team Development
  • Product & UX
  • AI & Machine Learning
  • Learning & Development

Honestly, it’s never been a better time to be in or get into the field of IT. At base it pays extremely well, IT professionals experience higher pay increases than non-IT professions (Average raises of 9.3% vs 5.2%), and they rank #2 in job security and opportunities, according to Gartner research. 

Considering they only fall behind executive management and medical professionals in terms of job security, it means it’s the hottest profession for anyone who doesn’t want to run a board meeting or pick up a stethoscope. It’s also far easier to get into IT than to become a doctor — take Winston Smith, who went from phone sales to a cloud professional in a year and a half, multiplying his wage by six!

Of course, not all tech professions pay the same. If you’re after the hottest careers to chase in 2024, here’s a list of ones to consider. We’ve created this list from a meta-analysis of industry research sourced from thousands of tech professionals across the United States. Keep in mind that salary ranges will differ depending on your region, and the figures below are in USD.

NOTE: For the below charts, Novice means someone starting out in this role (Bottom 25%), professional are those well-adjusted to this role (50%), and Expert is someone who excels in this role and is likely ready to step up into a new position (75%).

The 10 best paying non-exec tech jobs in 2024

It’s no surprise that the hottest non-executive profession in 2024 is the AI Architect, and that there are a lot of data-related roles on the list this year. AI/ML is listed as the #1 “most in demand tech skill” for 2024, and Gartner ranks employees with AI skills as having the second-highest hiring difficulty, which translates into higher wages. It’s no wonder that AI and Machine Learning Specialists is expected to grow by 40%, or 1 million jobs, in the next five years according to the World Economic Forum — that’s of all careers, including non-technical ones.

It’s refreshing to see that working in traditional tech roles such as cloud computing and software engineering still can bring home a sizable paycheck. There is an increased demand for cybersecurity professionals, which fits into our prediction that the motto of 2024 will be “Cybersecurity or Die” for many larger at-risk companies due to advancements in AI (You can read our 2024 predictions here).

Web development, Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Quality Assurance, and IT Operations roles continue to pay mid-tier, according to our research. Because of the lower skill levels required, Help Desk roles were at the lowest end of the remuneration scale for 2024.

The best paying jobs in AI and Data

AI continues to be a power role in 2024, just as it was in 2023. While these are AI-heavy roles, expect to see regular roles in cloud computing and software development that have AI-related skill requirements, such as learning how to use GitHub Copilot. There’s a fairly accurate saying going around: “You won’t lose your job to AI, but you will lose your job to someone who knows AI.”

How to become a AI and data professional

Pluralsight offers a wide range of AI/ML courses catering to a wide range of needs and skill levels: courses on core AI skills, as well as dedicated paths on the intersection of AI and cloud, cybersecurity, IT ops, data science, and more. You can sign up to the platform for free and start upskilling yourself in AI today.

You can also take the following skill tests to see where your current AI/ML skills are at, where you need to fill in the gaps, and suggested learning resources you can use to do that. These skill tests are great for anyone from beginners to experts.

The best paying jobs in Software and App Development

Even for entry-level software engineers, coming into the profession still has a decent starting wage. There’s traditionally multiple career levels available in this field and a lot of opportunities. While the latter makes the market more competitive and lowers wages, it also means you won’t be short of jobs to apply for.

How to become a software or app developer

The best way is to look at the position descriptions for your ideal roles, then go about getting these skills. One of the great things about software development is you can figure out a lot of it by learning some programming languages, and then practice them with hands-on learning or projects. Formal qualifications are the most obvious path (Bachelor of Computer Science, IT, Software Engineering) or developer certifications (AWS Certified Developer Associate), but not essential to acquire these skills.

Pluralsight also offers hundreds of courses that can help you learn the most popular programming languages, developer tools, software practices and application development platforms. I would particularly recommend the following courses to start with, then springboard from there into other things that interest you: 

And like with AI/ML above, you can also take the following skill tests to see where your current developer skills are at, where you need to fill in the gaps, and suggested learning resources you can use to do that. These skill tests are great for anyone from beginners to experts.

The best paying jobs in cloud computing and networking

Cloud is intrinsically linked to other fields such as AI, cybersecurity, and software and app development. That means if you’re a master at architecting and working in these environments, you can make a lot of money. 65% of organizations have multicloud environments, but only 9% of technologists are multicloud proficient, which means people will pay good money for someone who knows a lot about different cloud technologies.

How to become a cloud computing expert

Here are some courses you can take to build your cloud proficiency:

Each of the major cloud providers offer a foundational-level certification designed to teach you the fundamentals of each platform, and give you a solid foundation in cloud computing. Even if you don’t take the exam itself, taking a cloud certification prep course will give you important baseline skills. You can then decide to take more advanced certification courses as needed, such as the associate-level certificates.

We suggest taking the following cert courses by Pluralsight, which include hands-on labs that allow you to practically learn your skills in a risk-free, simulated cloud environment:

If you’re considering more advanced certifications, check out these handy articles which cover what pathway might be best for you.

The best paying jobs in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a brilliant profession if you’ve got a desire for continuous learning. So long as you’ve got a desire to “drink from the firehose” of catching up on the endless threats and technologies out there, you can make a lot of money in this field. The starting wages are highly attractive, and it’s one of the best paying careers out there.

How to become a cybersecurity expert

Pluralsight offers a wide range of information and cybersecurity courses which you can check out with a 10-day free trial, as well as dedicated courses on security fundamentals.

Some certifications that may be worth taking to help you brush up on cybersecurity are the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate (CBROPS 200-201) or CompTIA Security+ (SY0-601).

You can also take the following skill tests to see where you are currently at, where you need to fill in the gaps, and suggested learning resources you can use to do that.

The best paying jobs in Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

SDLC roles are still a stable and highly relevant profession, even though they don’t have quite the same upper limits as some of the AI and cybersecurity roles. DevOps is not dead, and the space continues to evolve to help businesses deliver with new paradigms such as platform engineering, so it can be a highly rewarding career.

How to become a SDLC expert

A great place to start is to take the CSSLP® (Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional). Pluralsight offers a learning path which will prepare you to take this certification, and give you all the skills you need to succeed in this role.

The best paying jobs in technology executive leadership

Obviously, when you’re in executive leadership, you’re going to be pulling in the bigger figures. In 2024, being a Chief Information Officer is the highest paid tech career you can have, with seasoned CIOs typically earning a whopping $252k USD. This makes sense, because CIOs are responsible for overseeing the entire information technology strategy, which is integral to almost every aspect of a modern business.

CISO and CTOs garnering high salaries also makes sense due to the increasing focus in 2024 on cybersecurity and technological information. While well compensated, the VP of Information Technology and IT Director roles are a step below in the salary hierarchy. While these roles are important, they tend to be more operational and less strategic compared to other C-level roles. It also reflects the paradigm shift over the last two decades away from traditional in-house IT teams to more specialized roles.

Want to check out other tech trends?

Report methodology

The figures above are a meta-analysis of 2024 salary figures from Robert Half and, sourced from thousands of respondents (technologists and hiring managers). These included small, midsize and large private, publicly listed, and public sector organizations across the United States. This was supplemented by consulting Gartner, McKinsey, and World Economic Forum research to establish wider employment trends and market demand.

Adam Ipsen

Adam I.

Adam is a Lead Content Strategist at Pluralsight, with over 13 years of experience writing about technology. An award-winning game developer, Adam has also designed software for controlling airfield lighting at major airports. He has a keen interest in AI and cybersecurity, and is passionate about making technical content and subjects accessible to everyone. In his spare time, Adam enjoys writing science fiction that explores future tech advancements.

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