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7 Hottest Jobs in IT

CIO surveyed recruiters, executives, and tech pros to find out the best IT job opportunities that are evolving in the year ahead. 

In addition to high salaries, several of these high-demand roles come with signing bonuses, stock options, the ability to work remotely, and even unique perks like college debt payoffs and planned sabbaticals.

7 Hottest Jobs in IT

AI and deep learning engineers

“Today there is a huge demand for AI and deep learning related work with very limited supply, and the pay is extremely good -- in fact, overpaid sometimes,” says Subbu Rama, CEO of Bitfusion. “So that’s a good area to focus on.”

“With the intense focus on predictive analytics, deep learning, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, these positions should remain relevant for years to come,” says Flavio Villanustre, head of HPCC systems at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.


“The integration of the next wave of apps requires immense coordination and security across systems, data centers, and applications,” Sayed says. “Companies will begin to realize incredible efficiencies and cost savings by leveraging immersive enterprise apps. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality immersive solutions will be a part of 20% of enterprise’s digital transformation strategy.”

Security analyst

“In the United States, more than 285,000 cybersecurity positions sat vacant in 2016, and an estimated 2 million positions will be left unfilled by 2020,” says Jeff Friess, practice leader of cybersecurity for Global Executive Solutions Group. “With the struggle to hire in-house cybersecurity talent, organizations open themselves up to hacking, data breaches, and ransomware attacks.”

Cloud integrator

“CIOs are eliminating on-prem software and servers,” Friess says. “Consequently, developers and implementation specialists who specialize in cloud solutions roles are in high demand for those who are familiar with Microsoft 365, Workday,, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Service Now, Oracle Cloud, and SAP.”

Contractors can make $150-250 an hour implementing cloud services, or as much as $175,00 a year, Friess says, which is too much skin in the game for many companies. That opens up opportunities for “system integrators” who both install the cloud service and train up the IT department on how to use it. 

Full-stack engineers

“Technologies like progressive web apps are bringing the web experience closer to native on mobile platforms,” says Gautam Agrawal, senior director of product management at Sencha. “And it won't be long before web is the preferred choice for mobile app development, especially in the enterprise, for all the obvious benefits of cross-platform development.”

Data scientist

“All developer roles are in high demand, but there is especially high demand for data scientists,” says Jill Witty, vice president of talent at Entelo. “Every company is looking to leverage data and analytics to improve their business and they need individuals who are experts at solving complex data questions.”

“Predictive analytics and machine learning are the future of tech, so I would focus on math, statistics, and behavioral psychology,” she says. “Regarding programming languages and back-end tech I would emphasize R, Python, Java, JavaScript, Julia, Scala, and Hadoop, among others.”

IoT engineer

“The current challenge in data science is for businesses to glean and analyze captured data as fast and accurately as possible, so it can be translated into immediately actionable insights,” says Adebayo Onigbanjo, director of marketing, IoT of Chicago-based Zebra Technologies. “However, the importance of leveraging data is not diminishing. Companies need more data to have better visibility into their assets, people, and transactions. Businesses will increasingly take advantage of sensors, beacons, and RFID tags in the enterprise environment, lending them a voice to communicate with [users] and producing data constantly and immediately. Decoding the data collected through IoT-enabled devices and wearables will help companies accelerate their decision-making processes, and make more informed business judgments.”

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