Internet Self Improvement

6 of the Best Paying Tech Careers for 2016

Rob Nightingale 02-11-2015

A good salary is only one measure of a “good job”.


But it’s often the huge deciding factor when you’re making future career decisions.

With this in mind, the following tech jobs are set to be some of the best paying in 2016. Prepare your eyes to water.

Robert Half recently published a report predicting the state of tech careers in 2016. The American HR firm is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. Some of its findings may not come as a shock to you. But once you see the size of the salaries on offer, I take no blame if you decide to change career paths right away.

Just in case you do decide to pursue one of these lucrative paths, we’ve included a few links to resources and courses that’ll help you pursue those tech careers Tech Jobs of the Future: What To Study If You Want a Cool Job Tomorrow If you're a student and looking to land a good technology job of the future, understanding the direction of technology will help you position yourself to succeed, and figure out what to study to get... Read More .

Chief Technology Officer ($147,500 — $229,000)

Tech Office


A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) doesn’t have a clear job description. Their main role is to oversee the technology within an entire organization. They must view the organization’s current technology from a practical stance. And they must make crucial technological decisions that support the goals of the company.

If you love technology, have great people skills, and want to develop technological and business knowledge, this could be a long-term aspiration for you. Unfortunately, there’s no set career path. You need to develop the experience, skills, and personal attributes required, along with opening yourself up to as many opportunities and people as possible.


Achieving Success As a CTO — A comprehensive PDF on what it takes to be a great CTO.

CTO Vs VP Engineering — Brad Feld clears the confusion between these two positions.


Carving Your Career As a CTO — To stand a chance of ever becoming a CTO, keep these tips in mind.

Senior Web Developer ($111,250 — $154,000)

Developer Desk

A Senior Web Developer is more than a glorified Web Developer. They are the ones who have proven their worth in the trenches with tenacious team management skills and ideas that solve big problems.

As a Senior Web Developer, you’ll oversee the development of large-scale websites or web applications. Tasks include user analysis, designing UX and UI wireframes, recommending solutions to clients, managing schedules and teams, and ensuring deadlines.



Senior Web Developer Job Description — Take a look at this sample job description for a fuller understanding of what’s involved.

Become a Web Developer From Scratch — This Udemy course has been studied by over 60,000 people, showing you how to become a skilled developer even if you’ve never programmed before.

How To Pick The Right Programming Language To Learn — Knowing the right programming language is an important step to landing a quality job. Find out which you should be studying here.

Mobile App Developer ($115,250 — $175,750)

Developer At Work


With the mobile industry bursting at the seams, the demand for Mobile Application Developers is huge. This is exactly why developers with mobile specializations can demand such high compensation for their work.

Help organizations succeed by utilizing mobile to its full potential. Employers will be scrambling over each other for you to help them in this marketplace.


Your Next Job: Mobile App Developer — A detailed look at the responsibilities of this role.

How To Become a Mobile App Developer — A brief look a few routes you could take to become a professional Mobile App Developer.

Top Mobile Development Blogs To Follow — Before committing, follow these blogs for a while to make sure it’s something that excites you.

Big Data Engineer ($129,500 — $183,500)

Big Data Engineer

Big Data Engineers collect the right data so Analysts and Data Scientists can use this data. They work with systems architects to build, maintain, and test big data solutions. They create large scale processing systems, and understand how data can be stored.

Without these engineers, Data Scientists wouldn’t have any data to work from. As an expert in Big Data platforms such as Hadoop, you’ll be a desirable hire for companies looking to make use of Big Data.


The Rise Of The Big Data Engineer — Understand the job responsibilities, and how this relates to other members of an organization.

Big Data Engineer Profile — Read a full career profile of Big Data Engineers.

Skills All Big Data Engineers Should Learn — A comprehensive list of skills, courses, books and qualifications for pursuing this path.

Data Scientist ($109,000 — $153,750)

Data Scientists

“Data Scientist” is a broad job title, largely synonymous with “Data Analyst”. The responsibilities involve techniques to gain valuable insights from many different kinds of data. For you to do well, business acumen will be extremely handy.

It’s a multi-faceted job, often starting with studies in Computer Science. The role itself will require you to get to grips with statistics, data modeling, analytics, math, data wrangling, and data visualization among many other skills.


Becoming a Data Scientist How to Become a Data Scientist Data science has gone from a newly coined term in 2007 to being one of the most sought-after disciplines today. But what does a data scientist do? And how can you break into the field? Read More — We published this article a few months ago, which gives a comprehensive overview of what qualifications and skills you’ll need, along with where to learn those skills.

Online Data Science Degrees — There are a ton of places offering (paid for) online data science degrees. This is a list of many of them.

Network Architect ($120,000 — 175,000)

Network Architect

The people who design computer and telecoms networks/systems are “Network Architects”. Very roughly, these architects plan blueprints of complex networks that perform as needed. Once those designs are completed, these networks are then (usually) created by Network Engineers ($96,000 – $138,750).

The usual route Network Architecture is a degree in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering. There are other civil routes into the profession, too. With the relevant qualifications, you’ll be required to work as an engineer (in the field) for a number of years, before turning your hands to architecture.


Everything You Need To Know About Home Networking Everything You Need to Know About Home Networking Setting up a home network is not as hard as you think it is. Read More — If you can read to the end of this article with a sense of excitement about the network you could build in your own home, you could well be a budding Network Architect.

Networking Tutorials For Beginners — This Udemy blog posts goes through the basics of networking, while including links to several useful online courses.

Architect Certifications — Read up on the certifications available from Cisco. These are widely accepted in the industry, and are said to be “the highest level of accreditation achievable”.

Which Path Would You Take?


These are just a few of the high paying careers that were mentioned in the Robert Half report. There are many others in there, which may interest you if none of the above do the trick. And if you’d love to work in tech without being too techy, there are several non-techy choices Coding Isn't for Everyone: 9 Tech Jobs You Can Get Without It Don't be discouraged if you want to be a part of the tech field. There are plenty of jobs for people without coding skills! Read More available.

Remember, however, that working in tech isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be Do You Have What It Takes for a Career in Technology? The digital world may tempt you to jump on the information technology wagon. But is it the right choice for you? You have to make a decision. Ask yourself these seven questions. Read More . Along with this, salary is only one component of a fulfilling career. Respect, making a difference, and being challenged and passionate are all-important in finding a career you love. If you can envision having all of these components in one of these careers, by all means, you have my blessings!

Which of these career titles inspires you? If you are already on one of the career paths above, how is that going, and is there any advice you would give to our readers?

Image Credits: My Office by Sean McGrath (Flickr). Developer at Work by Jim Larrison (Flickr). My Desk @ SimpleGeo SF by John Rohan (Flickr). Server Room by reynermedia (Flickr). Network by CEA+ (Flickr). Data+ Content Variety Show via NYC Media Lab (Flickr). Careers by Got Credit (Flickr).

Related topics: Careers, Education Technology, Job Searching, Programming, Web Development.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Rob Nightingale
    April 12, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks for joining the convo, yzd!

  2. Danny
    March 3, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Senior developer, Big data engineer, or App developer? I honestly want to be a big engineer or senior developer because I would like to get into that field, but I want to do something in my life that I would enjoy, thus an app developer. But I don't know If I can get a good working game to get known. I also don't know if I'm too late In the game developing career, I see so many kids learning java already and I'm already a junior In highschool. With no tech experiences. I don't even know how to make an app game, I have so many great Ideas but I don't know where to get the knowledge and I don't know If Im too late to get ahead with the game*

    • Rob Nightingale
      March 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Danny, you're definitely not too old, and your additional experience will probably be a positive. Search online for the kind of courses you need to take, get hold of some relevant books, and start teaching yourself in your spare time. There are quite a few articles here on MakeUseOf you might find useful, so search for a few relevant topics, and see what comes up!

      Good luck!

  3. Zan
    January 18, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    what would be a good way to move from Business analyst into data science?

  4. Anonymous
    November 4, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    what would be a good entry level position to start when you're pursuing the field of system analyst? Can this be converted to being a data scientist as well?

  5. Anonymous
    November 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I'll throw another tech job at there that can pay a lot (and somewhat highlighted in the other non-techy choices article). A Sales Engineer, Presales Engineer or Solution Consultant (all the same thing) is the technical end of a sales process. You have an Account Executive (sales guy) that manages the relationship between the prospect or customer but doesn't know that much about the product and technology. Here comes the Solution Consultant, which works directly with the sales person to gather requirements, build a solution, deliver the solution (demo), and talk with the IT to figure out how the solution will be implemented (cloud vs on-prem, security concerns, authentication, etc).

    The SC position is highly technical because you're always talking with IT and CTOs, especially if you're working at an enterprise software company. You have to know the product inside and out but also be able to code sometimes depending on what the demo needs are. At the very least, you're working with the administration and configuration of the product.

    On the low end of the spectrum, you're making $70k/year but these tend to be companies that hire straight out of college. With 3-6 years of experience, you're looking at $130-150 (includes commission). With 7-10 years of experience, an enterprise software company will pay $200-300k depending on the amount of revenue you're generating. Typically, base is $50k, $100k, and $150k, respectively.

    Some people may not like a "sales" job, as this is what it is. I argue that everybody that works at the company is in "sales" but the people in the front lines are the account executives and the solution consultants. The SC has to make sure the solution presented can actually be delivered at the price the customer was told. Saying "yes, yes, yes" is not an option. You have to say, "yes, no, maybe at an additional cost, and you shouldn't do it that way".

    I should also note that I'm a solution consultant.

    • Rob Nightingale
      November 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks for this addition, JonKim929 - definitely a lucrative option.

    • yzd
      April 6, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Strongly agree. Sales engineering is a rapidly growing career that is in high demand, especially in technology centers like San Francisco. This position requires very well rounded skills including technical skills, presentation sills, sales skills, and consulting skills as well. I absolutely love my position as a sales engineer, as I continue to gain new skills by interacting with different groups of people within an organization.