8 Recession-Proof IT Careers

With the current state of the economy, IT workers face a dog-eat-dog environment filled with downsizing, outsourcing and more. To help you stay in front of the pack, CIO.com spoke with Modis CEO, Jack Cullen, to shed light on what IT roles remain in steady demand.

recession-proof IT careers

As America continues its slow economic recovery, more and more IT professionals are focusing on professional development in the hopes of earning some type of job stability. Due to the nature of IT, professionals face the challenge of being a "Jack of All Trades" while at the same time needing to be the top dog in specific areas. To help you stay ahead of the pack and ensure you're barking up the right IT tree, CIO.com spoke with Jack Cullen, CEO of Modis, to see what IT roles will remain essential for the coming years regardless of the economy.

Resource: Salary Data

Software Developer

1. Software Developer

Companies need Java, .NET, mobile application, SharePoint, and Web application developers. With all the back-end data using Java it's no wonder it's in demand and that web and mobile application development is rapidly on the rise. The salary for a software developer, depending on your skill level and experience, ranges from $58,000 - 95,000 a year.

IT Analyst

2. IT Analyst

With the emergence of Big Data, companies are inundated with all types of information. As businesses work to organize and maintain this data to better mine it, data analyst is a role that Cullen says will outpace demand in the coming year. Salaries for these IT professionals range from $56,051 to $84,577.

Project Managers

3. Project Managers

Companies will always have a need for IT professionals who can deliver projects on time and under budget, ensuring that project managers will always be in demand. Adding more project management experience to your skillset or highlighting it in your resume, along with your other relevant skills, is a way to show employers you're a person who can deliver. Salaries for IT project managers range from $74,132 - 100,775.

How to Develop Next-Gen Project Managers

Help Desk/Technical Support

4. Help Desk/Technical Support

The need for technical support professionals in the workspace grows along with the evolution of IT. Technology is everywhere and most of us need help implementing and maintaining it. That's why Cullen says Help Desk/Technical Support is always an area that is high demand and is sure to be needed for years to come.

Software Quality Assurance

5. Software Quality Assurance

How many times have you used a website or an app and said to yourself, "I can't find what I'm looking for" or "this isn't working right"? Chances are that site needs attention from the QA folks. There are countless apps, products and websites launched each year and they all need Quality Assurance people to evaluate them from the end-user's perspective. Anytime you have a customer-facing site, app or product, QA is essential, making this a skill that never goes out of style. Salaries for this role can range from $47,050 - $113,982.

Systems Administrators

6. Systems Administrators

SysAdmins are the glue that holds your systems and networks together. From intranets, to portals, to data--companies reliance on the systems that are core to their business make this a role that has been historically in demand. Companies large and small need skilled people to fill this fundamental, and often times under-appreciated, role. Salaries range from $72,610 - $89,242.

Network Administrators/Telecomm Administrator Telecomm
Terri Haas

7. Network Administrators/Telecomm Administrator Telecomm

With the rise in BYOD, smartphones, tablets and laptops are relied upon more heavily to conduct business online. As more and more companies shift to the cloud, IaaS, Saas and other Internet -dependent services, the demand for network administrators continues to trend upward. Companies are looking for that special person who can take advantage of emerging technologies that will help companies communicate their message both internally and externally. Cullen says there is more demand for this role on the administration side. Salaries range from $54,344 - $93,707.

Database Administrators

8. Database Administrators

With the rise of cloud computing, more businesses are relying on database administrators to secure applications, data and assets that are accessed over the Internet, eliminating the need for costly infrastructures and servers. DBA's who can both effectively and safely store, maintain and troubleshoot issues with company data will have a strong place in IT organizations for years to come. DBA's average between $87,809 - $112,270 annually.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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