Lucrative IT Specializations for the Ambitious Professional

Amidst the Great Resignation, many professionals are looking to make major changes in their careers. Plenty of professionals are tired of long, rigid work hours and low pay; they are eager for positions that provide benefits like flexibility, autonomy, and — perhaps most important of all — a high salary. It should come as little surprise, then, that many professionals end up looking at IT.

As more and more organizations invest in digital transformation, adopting complex and advanced digital tools and processes, the demand for IT staff is high — which means IT professionals have more power to ask for advantageous compensation packages. However, some IT specialties are more in-demand than others, so professionals eager to fast-track their career success might consider the following information about the most lucrative positions in IT:

Information Security Engineer

Information security engineers plan, design and sometimes build and operate cybersecurity tools and systems. Also called cybersecurity engineers, these workers can expect a salary between $126,000 and $155,000 according to

DevOps Engineer

DevOps is the IT department responsible for aligning the goals, practices, tools, and cultures of development and operations teams within an organization. DevOps engineers tend to be IT generalists, but their critical role earns them an average salary of about $116,000, according to ZipRecruiter.

Enterprise Architect

One of the most critical roles for IT systems in large corporations, an enterprise architect maintains an organization’s networks and services. Because enterprise architects tend to work with more complex IT architectures, they tend to take home salaries of around $150,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.

Technical Program Manager

Unlike other IT professionals on this list, technical program managers — often abbreviated to TPMs — are hardly IT workers at all; rather, they are business professionals who oversee technical projects. According to Indeed, TPMs earn around $115,000 per year, on average.

Software Architect

Sometimes confused with software developers, software architects function more like high-level engineers, making design choices pertaining to application structure and behavior. Due to the increasing importance of well-designed programs, software architect salaries are increasing and currently average about $133,000, according to Indeed.

Applications Architect

Distinct from software architects, application architecture focuses on the connection and interfunctionality of multiple applications. Application architects design systems, not software, and for their contribution, they typically take home over $144,000 in salary, according to ZipRecruiter.

Software Development Manager

Software Development Manager

Another business professional working in the IT space, software development managers lead teams of software developers, overseeing the completion of software projects. According to Glassdoor, software development managers earn an average salary of about $156,000.

Data Warehouse Architect

Data warehouse architects are responsible for the design and maintenance of data management solutions, which are becoming increasingly complex as business consumption of data expands. According to Payscale, the average data warehouse architect will take home about $124,000 in pay per year.

Advice for Pivoting Into a Specialized IT Career

IT workers are highly in-demand — but that doesn’t mean just anyone can slide into a specialized IT position and find success. The above IT roles are so lucrative because they require advanced technical skills and knowledge that tend to be rare, even amongst the ranks of IT professionals. While it is possible to work one’s way into these positions, no newbie to IT should anticipate beginning their career with such a comfortable gig.

Instead, pivoting into a specialized IT role requires an abundance of preparation. Workers might consider which core and agile skills will apply to an IT career and identify resume gaps that require education, practice, and credentials to fill. Workers at every level should take advantage of online information technology courses to gain a stronger foundation in IT knowledge and skill, and they should tap their network for IT contacts who can guide them through the beginning stages of an IT career.

Many who participated in the workforce exodus of the Great Resignation are eager for new opportunities that offer high pay and supportive perks, and many roles in IT can fit that bill. By devoting some time to gaining the right knowledge and certifications and leveraging one’s existing skills and network, an employee can see themselves in one of the most lucrative IT positions in no time.


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Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa
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