Employment Outlook For UK IT Professionals
Right now is a perfect time for any skilled tech professional who wants to find a job. Technology plays a vital role in people’s lives nowadays, and it is present in almost all aspects of life. Therefore, the number of available IT jobs will only grow in the coming years. So as far as the employment outlook goes, IT is a sector that is highly likely to provide job security for many years to come.
But as technology progresses, it creates new job titles while others might become obsolete. Automation, for example, helps us make progress but reduces the number of person-hours it takes to complete specific tasks. Although, while an individual’s job title might evolve, it’s likely that their skills will too. Therefore, a talented tech professional will never be out of a job.
With this ever-growing expansion, one of the biggest problems faced by employers in the tech industry is a lack of skilful professionals. If you have a passion for technology and like the idea of a sizeable paycheck, the jobs we discuss in this article may interest you. But what does it take to secure a top paying tech job, and what might your employment outlook be if you were to pursue such a path?
Obviously, we don’t have a crystal ball. However, based on current trends and employment statistics, it is possible to give a conservative estimate of how the industry expects demand for IT professionals to grow. We look at the earning potential of five of the most popular IT job titles right now and consider their employment outlook between now and 2030.
Most Desirable Jobs in IT
The most popular IT jobs are not necessarily the highest-paid. Of course, some have an attractive salary, but others are really interesting jobs or a great way to get your foot in the door.
IT job titles and positions can vary significantly from one employer to another. For example, one company might employ a programmer while another might look for a developer — yet the work put in by both individuals is the same, despite the difference in the title.
Here is a list of the top information technology occupations right now:
1. Computer & Information Research Scientists
Arguably among the most exciting and highest paying jobs in IT, Computer & Information Research Scientists are responsible for inventing and designing new approaches to computer technology.
Educational requirements are pretty high for this position. Employers will most likely expect a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Information Technology even at entry-level.
Most computer and information research scientists work in an office, clocking in the standard 40 hours per week.
There are many options available for computer scientists. They might work for computer systems design companies, development and scientific research companies, or government organisations.
Salary Expectations of a Computer & Information Research Scientist
The salary range for Computer & Information Research Scientists spans from about £35,000 at entry-level to over £100,000 with experience.
Career Outlook for Computer & Information Research Scientists
The career outlook for Computer & Information Research Scientists is very positive, with demand set to increase by 22% by 2030.
2. Computer Network Architects
Also known as IT Architects or Solutions Architects; Computer Network Architects are responsible for designing and creating data communication networks. They must have a broad knowledge of both hardware and software and must constantly keep up to date with the latest IT solutions.
For your job application to be successful, you need to hold a Bachelor’s degree and have ten years of experience in communications networking or IT systems.
Working hours for Computer Network Architects are standard Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, and due to the nature of the work, this is usually on-site. Some Computer Network Architects may work extra hours, for example, when a new hardware installation needs to take place outside office hours. However, this is not the norm.
With companies expanding their mobile networks and wireless communications, the demand for computer network architects will remain steady. As for their assignments, Computer Network Architects typically work closely with the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to determine where the company needs a new network.
Salary Expectations of a Computer Network Architect
The salary range for Computer & Information Research Scientists spans from about £45,000 at entry-level to over £105,000 with experience.
Career Outlook of a Computer Network Architect
Companies’ growing needs to expand their IT networks make architects highly sought-after. However, as this is such a niche skillset, the demand is only set to increase by 5% by 2030, which is less than average for most jobs.
3. Computer Programmers
Also known as Software Engineers and Application Developers, Computer Programmers are one of the most in-demand workers in tech. However, programmers can work remotely and from anywhere in the world, many companies choose to outsource and hire in countries where wages are significantly lower.
That said, many British companies still prefer to hire people who can communicate fluently in English and can work on-site at least some of the time.
It is possible to make it as a self-taught Computer Programmer as long as you have enough self-discipline and determination.
There are four basic categories of computer programmers with various roles and tasks related to each. These IT specialist jobs are the following: computer hardware programmers, web developers, software developers, and database developers.
Salary Expectations for a Computer Programmer
As is it possible to gain entry to Computer Programming at a reasonably low level, the salary range starts at the lower end of the pay scale, around £21,000. However, it is possible to achieve a sizeable paycheck by gaining a few years of experience with top salaries up to £70,000.
Career Outlook for a Computer Programmer
The IT industry anticipates demand for coding skills to decline by 7% by 2030. However, this is partly due to the increasing popularity of no-code software creation, which is an example of how IT jobs evolve rather than become obsolete.
4. Computer Support Specialists
A popular entry route into the world of IT is gaining an entry-level role as a Computer Support Specialist. Also known as IT Support Technician, Network Support Engineer and Tech Support to name but a few, this is an invaluable job role that assists computer companies and users. The support they provide can be concerning either computer software or hardware devices such as scanners, printers, laptops or communications networks.
Most computer support specialists are available 24 hours a day due to the importance of their support services, especially to companies. Due to the nature of their work, employers usually expect Computer Support Specialists to work on site.
Unlike the other jobs in this field, support specialists don’t typically need formal qualifications. Although to successfully become one, you will need a passion for technology and acquiring professional certificates can lead to higher salaries.
Salary Expectations for a Computer Support Specialist
It is possible to gain an entry-level Computer Support role without formal qualifications at a starting salary of around £19,000. However, this is a role that can open many doors to many other job roles in IT with the potential to earn up to £60,000.
Career Outlook for a Computer Support Specialist
Many companies depend on their Computer Support Specialists to enable their workforce to work remotely. Therefore, the industry expects demand for these skills to increase by 9% by 2030.
5. Computer Systems Analysts
Computer Systems Analysts have some of the most attractive entry-level jobs. A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is a popular route as it opens the door to many graduate schemes. That said, a degree is not necessary, and it is possible to become a Computer Systems Analyst with previous experience as a Computer Support Specialist.
Their responsibilities are to analyse a company’s computer systems and look for more efficient and effective alternative ways of doing things.
IT Analyst jobs tend to come with favourable working conditions. Their typical work week lasts five days with the standard 9 am to 5 pm working hours, and they often work remotely. After-hours and weekend work is rare, but it can still happen, particularly as projects near completion.
Computer system analysts can choose from a variety of employment options available. Small businesses, large companies, and healthcare services are some of the many organisations that have an increasing need for such workers.
Salary Expectations for a Computer Systems Analysts
The salary range for a Computer Systems Analyst can be anywhere from £22,000 at entry-level to £60,000 with experience.
Career Outlook for a Computer Systems Analysts
The demand for expertise and experience in this field is expected to grow by 7% between now and 2030, which is in line with the average for most jobs.
A Few Final Thoughts on the Employment Outlook of IT Professionals in the UK
The employment outlook statistics mentioned above are from the American Bureau of Labour Statistics. However, the same employment trends tend to follow suit globally, particularly with more companies offering remote working.
If you are keen to find out more about what UK employers offer workers with the above skills, please check out our latest IT jobs.