Whether 2013 really will bring much-needed economic relief remains to be seen, but there is no shortage of job forecasts saying this will be a rosy year for the IT sector. From mobile and web developers to network administrators, all the leading reports have identified a number of IT roles as the ones most in demand or up and coming in the workforce.
Where should you expect the best technology jobs to be in 2013? Software development, web development, and computer systems analyst jobs are your best bet; all three made the top 10 on lists published last month by Forbes and US News & World Report.
In fact, software developer topped the Forbes list, which was compiled by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International. Since 2010, 70,872 of these jobs have been created -- that's a 7 percent growth rate.
"It's no surprise that technology and engineering occupations comprise six of the top 10 positions on our list," CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in a press release.
Software developer ranked seventh in the US News "100 Best Jobs" report, which used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. High demand has pushed the median salary for these pros to $89,280, US News said.
Computer systems analyst ranked fourth on both lists. According to Forbes, 26,937 such jobs have been created since 2010 -- a 5 percent growth rate. According to US News, the median salary for systems analysts is now $78,770.
Web developer ranked eighth on the Forbes list and ninth on the US News list. These jobs have grown 5 percent since 2010 (according to Forbes) and now bring in a median salary of $77,990 (according to US News).
Other jobs that scored high on one or both lists:
- Computer programmer (11th on Forbes, 13th on US News)
- Database administrator (15th on Forbes, sixth on US News)
- IT manager (20th on US News)
Quality assurance analyst ranked fourth on the "Top 10 Best Jobs for 2013" report published this month by the online community CareerBliss. QA engineer ranked sixth. According to CareerBliss, QA people are in high demand but are drawing lower salaries than other IT folks. The average salary for a QA analyst is $62,634; the average for a QA engineer is $59,373.
What if you're the type of person driven by big bucks, instead of high demand? Last month, the recruiting firm Robert Half International released its list of hot technology and design jobs for 2013. Mobile applications developer topped the list, and that comes as no surprise to anyone following that market.
"As companies strive to reach consumers on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, they need professionals who can develop for the small screen," Robert Half said in a press release. "Average starting salaries for mobile applications developers are expected to rise 9 percent, with compensation ranging from $92,750 to $133,500."
Here are the other IT jobs on the Robert Half list, along with their expected starting salaries.
- Business intelligence analyst: $94,250-$132,500 (growth rate of 7.3 percent)
- Network architect: $102,250-$146,500 (growth rate of 7 percent)
- Interactive creative director: $95,500-$160,000 (growth rate of 4.9 percent)
- Interactive designer: $52,250-$77,500 (growth rate of 4.9 percent)
- User experience designer: $73,750-$110,500 (growth rate of 4.8 percent)
— David Weldon is an editor, writer, and research analyst with more than 30 years of experience in the communications and research fields.