Sarah K. White
Senior Writer

The 10 most in-demand IT jobs in finance

Aug 31, 20229 mins
CareersFinancial Services IndustryHiring

From software engineers to data scientists, these 10 sought-after IT roles are revamping the US financial industry through digital services, sophisticated anti-fraud measures, and more.

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The US financial services industry has fully embraced a move to the cloud, driving a demand for tech skills such as AWS and automation, as well as Python for data analytics, Java for developing consumer-facing apps, and SQL for database work.

The push is part of an industrywide trend toward making banking more accessible by giving customers better access to savings accounts, investments, and loans through digital services, according to careers website New technologies, such as cryptocurrency and digital banking, have the potential to bridge opportunity gaps in financial services that have existed for decades. But financial services companies need skilled IT professionals to help manage the integration of new and emerging technology, while modernizing legacy finance tech.

As demand for tech skills grows in the finance industry, certain IT jobs are becoming more sought-after than others. If you’re an IT pro looking to break into the finance industry, or a finance IT leader wanting to know where hiring will be most competitive, here are the top 10 in-demand tech jobs in finance, according to data from Dice.

Software engineer

Software engineers are one of the most sought-after roles in the US finance industry, with Dice citing a 28% growth in job postings from January to May. The most in-demand skills include DevOps, Java, Python, SQL, NoSQL, React, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS tools, among others. In the finance industry, software engineers are often tasked with assisting in the technical front-end strategy, writing code, contributing to open-source projects, and helping the company deliver customer-facing services. Software engineers are at the forefront of digital transformation in the financial services industry by helping companies automate processes, release scalable applications, and keep on top of emerging technology trends.

The average salary for a financial software engineer is $116,670 per year, with a reported salary range of $85,000 to $177,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Full-stack software engineer

Full-stack software engineers are essentially high-level software engineers who are focused on designing, testing, and implementing software applications. Job duties include helping plan software projects, designing software system architecture, and designing and deploying web services, applications, and APIs. You’ll be required to write code, troubleshoot systems, fix bugs, and assist with the development of microservices. In-demand skills for the role include programming languages such as Scala, Python, open-source RDBMS, NoSQL, as well as skills involving machine learning, data engineering, distributed microservices, and full stack systems.

The average salary for a full stack software engineer is $115,818 per year, with a reported salary range of $85,000 to $171,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Back-end software engineer

Back-end software engineers are responsible for maintaining the structure of server-side information by optimizing servers, implementing security measures, and developing data storage solutions. You’ll also be responsible for writing server scripts and APIs that will be used by front-end engineers and UX designers, inspect server codes, configure front-side applications, maintain stable servers, and maintain a backup library. Commonly sought-after skills for back-end software engineers in the financial industry include Java, Python, SQL, Node, Go, Scala, open-source RDBMS, NoSQL databases, and AWS tools and services, among others. You’ll also be expected to stay on top of latest tech trends, work closely with product managers, and assist in building cloud-based solutions for financial clients.

The average salary for a back-end software engineer is $126,755 per year, with a reported salary range of $89,000 to $205,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Director of software engineering

A director of software engineering is responsible for maintaining day-to-day operations in the software engineering business unit and drive the business roadmap and strategy for the department. You’ll be responsible for managing teams of software engineers, overseeing development of customer-facing and internal business applications, and maintaining an eye on new or emerging technology that may impact the business. It’s a high-level role that requires more leadership and communication skills rather than hard skills, but depending on the size of the company, you may still need to code occasionally and get hands-on with tech projects.  

The average salary for a director of software engineering is $233,321 per year, with a reported salary range of $160,000 to $397,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

DevOps engineer

DevOps is the intersection of operations and IT development — a practice meant to facilitate faster time-to-market and better collaboration among teams involved in the development life cycle. Operations maintains a stronger focus on stability and reliability, whereas development teams are more invested in innovation, change, and moving forward. DevOps helps bring both ideologies together to find a balance between the two goals. In the financial industry, DevOps engineers are focused on bringing together new emerging technologies and legacy systems that have been in place for decades. As emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency and automated trading grow, DevOps engineers help manage the transition while finding the best way to implement new technology without disturbing the flow of the current systems and services.

The average salary for a DevOps engineer is $121,173 per year, with a reported salary range of $91,000 to $169,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Data engineer

As more financial companies embrace the cloud, there’s been an increase in demand for data engineers to help manage AWS and Azure services in the organization. Finance companies collect massive amounts of data, and data engineers are vital in ensuring that data is maintained and that there’s a high level of data quality, efficiency, and reliability around data collection. Skills for financial data engineers include coding skills, data analytics, data visualization, data optimization, data integration, data modeling, cloud computing services, knowledge of relational and nonrelational database systems, and an ability to work with high volumes of structured and unstructured data.

The average salary for a data engineer is $118,915 per year, with a reported salary range of $87,000 to $177,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Business analyst

In the financial industry, business analysts are responsible for using data to help inform business decisions and to translate business needs into functional requirements. You’ll need to have a strong understanding of how the business works, with a focus on technology and how it can help support the business through transformation. Business analysts will be expected to build relationships with finance stakeholders in the business to better understand their technology needs and business processes. Part of the role also includes continually improving the organization’s technology stack, while maintaining a priority for business continuity and risk management.

The average salary for a financial business analyst is $98,852 per year, with a reported salary range of $73,000 to $154,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Business systems analyst

Business systems analysts are responsible for overseeing internal systems, implementing new technology that will help drive and support business needs, and applying analytical data to help plan, design, and deploy new technology. There’s a strong focus on optimizing processes in the organization, maintaining enterprise applications, keeping technology within budget, and identifying key areas for improvement. In the financial industry, business systems analysts are typically tasked with applying these skills to financial technology used within the business. You may be expected to work with product managers, software development, and IT teams to participate in all phases of the development life cycle for financial services.

The average salary for a business systems analyst is $103,869 per year, with a reported salary range of $76,000 to $156,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Data scientist

Data has long been important to the financial industry — it’s a vital component that helps inform everything from the stock market to personal bank accounts. Financial companies gather large amounts of data, so data scientists are in high demand to help manage, store, organize, and analyze the data collected. Data scientists are used for everything from stock market predictions, to customer experience initiatives, to fraud protection, and companies typically hire data scientists to focus on just one or two specific areas of interest. Some of the main areas that the financial industry makes use of data scientists includes risk management, fraud detection, customer data, consumer analytics, and algorithmic trading. You’ll need knowledge of natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, managing complex data infrastructures, and analytics for the role. Other sought-after skills include Python, R, JavaScript, C++, Apache Spark, and Hadoop. 

The average salary for a financial data scientist is $114,979 per year, with a reported salary range of $85,000 to $168,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.

Lead software engineer

Lead software engineers are responsible for design planning, leading new development projects, designing and developing consumer-facing web apps, building APIs, developing cloud-based solutions, and leading software development teams. As lead software engineer, you will likely be tasked with major or high-profile projects in the organization and be expected to train, coach, and mentor teammates. A master’s degree isn’t necessarily required for this role, but it’s often preferred. In the financial industry, lead software engineering jobs are typically looking for skills with Python, SQL, NoSQL, JavaScript, AWS, Kubernetes, Git, and more.

The average salary for a lead software engineer is $150,430 per year, with a reported salary range of $116,000 to $202,000 per year, according to data from Glassdoor.