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From developer to data scientist: Top tech salaries by profession

This is the third in a series of articles on careers in coding from our friends at Career Karma. Check out their previous posts on tips for creating a technical resume and JavaScript technical interview prep.

With so many different fields in the technology industry, it can be hard to choose which one to specialize in. That’s why it is helpful to consider the salary you could earn if you worked in a particular field. Salaries act as a barometer for demand — the higher the salary, the more demand there is for a particular set of skills.

One thing is for certain: no matter what job you choose in the technology industry, you will be compensated well. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of all workers in computing and information technology is expected to grow 12 percent by 2028. The median annual wage for these workers was $88,240 in May 2019 – an impressive sum indeed! And tech salaries are high in international markets as well.


What salaries can I expect to earn if I work in technology? That’s a good question. We’ve prepared a list of top tech salaries by profession to help you start answering this question. Note that the salaries listed in this article are averages. Entry level positions may pay less, while your salary is likely to increase as you gain experience and spend more time in the industry.

Full-stack web developer salary

Full-stack web developers are sort of the “swiss army knife” of developers. They are experts in connecting the front-end of a website to the back-end. The front-end is what the user sees: the images, the text, and so on. The back-end is the “brains” behind a site.

For developers who enjoy building the designs for a website and who thrive at logical tasks, a career as a full-stack web developer is worth considering. The salary for this type of engineer? An impressive $105,813 on average, according to Glassdoor.

Front-end web developer salary

Front-end web developers build the part of a website that a user sees. They take a website design and break it down into a structure. Once this structure is identified, they write the code that creates a website with that structure.

Front-end web developers act as a bridge between design and development. Without them, you will not be looking at this pretty web page. This career is particularly suited for people with a creative mindset who enjoy thinking about designs and layouts.

On average, front-end web developers earn $76,929 per year, according to Glassdoor.

Cybersecurity analyst salary

A cybersecurity analyst helps protect a business’ sensitive data. Their job is to think about how a business can be exploited and to build systems that prevent those exploits from happening. On an average day, a cybersecurity analyst analyzes data, makes security recommendations, and implements any changes they believe are necessary.

Jobs in cybersecurity are a good fit for those who enjoy protecting against the bad guys who use technology. Having an interest in data security and privacy is helpful. If you enter into this field, expect to earn a salary of about $76,410 per year.

UX/UI designer salary

A UX/UI designer is responsible for designing and improving the experience a user has with a digital product. UX/UI designers research how people interact with a product and identify any potential pain points. They come up with designs to help improve the usability of a service so users have a more positive experience.

Do you enjoy design? Do you like figuring out ways to solve everyday design problems? If you answer “yes” to these questions, a career in UX/UI design may be for you. As for the salary of these workers, the average UX/UI designer earns $85,277 per year.

Data scientist salary

When you click on this page, you generate data; when you last make a purchase with your credit card, you generate data. Data is collected everywhere. This has led to a growth in demand for data scientists.

These are the workers who build systems to analyze data, clean data so that it is readable, and produce recommendations to an organization based on what that data suggests.

Data scientists operate at the intersection of computing, maths, human behavior, and business. If you enjoy working across multiple disciplines, a data science career may be for you. What’s more, the average data scientist earns $113,309 per year.

Data analyst salary

Like data scientists, data analysts spend their days working with data. They apply statistical processes to identify trends and patterns in a dataset. For instance, a data analyst could analyze sales figures at a retail store or user behavior on an online shopping website.

Data analysts, unlike data scientists, are not as concerned with gathering or cleaning data. They spend most of their time analyzing data and coming up with recommendations. On average, data analysts earn $62,453 per year.

Product manager salary

A product manager is responsible for defining the strategy for a product. They analyze the use cases of a product and ensure a team understands the long-term value a product may bring to an organization.

Product managers come up with ideas for products and identify ways to implement those ideas. They delegate tasks to other team members, like data scientists and software engineers, to bring those ideas to fruition. What’s more, product managers oversee all the other employees working on a project and must ensure they stay on-track with deadlines.

The average product manager earns $108,992 per year.

Software engineer salary

This list is not complete without mentioning software engineers. Software engineers use programming languages to build software. They take principles from computer science and programming to build a project.

First, software engineers analyze the specifications for a project. Then, they design a project and implement it. Finally, a software engineer tests a project, releases it, and maintains the project after it has been launched.
What about the salary for software engineers? The average software engineering salary earns $92,046.

What's next?

While reading about all of these different fields may feel intimidating, the plethora of options you have is to your advantage. It means that you’re almost certain to find a job in tech that aligns with your goals and interests. Do you enjoy design? You could become a front-end web developer. Are you concerned about data privacy? A job in cybersecurity may be for you.

Before you make a choice about which field to pursue, take some time to research the areas that interest you. Not sure where to start? Codecademy offers Career Paths in Web Development, Data Science, and Computer Science. The more research you do, the more likely it is that you will find a role you'll enjoy.

James Gallagher is a writer at Career Karma. He leads technical content on the Career Karma publication. James has authored dozens of articles for an audience of code newbies on Python, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, and Linux.

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James Gallagher

James Gallagher

James Gallagher is a writer at Career Karma. He leads technical content on the Career Karma publication. James has authored dozens of articles for an audience of code newbies.

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From developer to data scientist: Top tech salaries by profession
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