With unemployment rates on the decline, workers are at an advantage. As employers work hard to attract top talent, job seekers often find that they’re able to choose between multiple employment offers, which allows them to negotiate higher salaries and better benefits. This is especially true for those wanting to work in tech, who usually find their skills are in high demand in an increasingly tech-driven world.
Known as a tight labor market, the current environment is ideal for recent college graduates, as well as those who have been thinking about making a career move. Even satisfied employees may be able to leverage the market into a pay raise or promotion, especially if they’re experienced in one of the most in-demand specializations.
For IT pros, here are the easiest jobs to find in the current job market.
Ranked as the second-best technology job (only beat by Systems Analyst), software development is a well-paying, rewarding field with a very promising job outlook and a relatively low barrier to entry. As Ben Finkel notes in a recent Trainer Talk, while many companies might require a degree, programmers can often enter into this job with a portfolio of work. Regardless of your academic accolades, you will almost certainly need demonstrable experience in the development languages.
You won’t go straight from school into an architect position. Well, maybe, but probably not. IT architects help with the big-picture side of a business’s technology infrastructure, designing and planning networks for maximum efficiency and security.
There are two types of architects — certified and functional. There’s the Open Group IT Architect certification path. There’s also advanced networking certificates and even AWS architect certifications that can get to you into one of the many architect jobs out there. Despite the jobs being abundant, the right certification will give you an edge over the competition.
Data serves as the backbone for everything businesses do. This has driven a demand for skilled analysts who can work with popular solutions like R and Hadoop to extract information and help businesses make sense of it.
Moving forward, data will only become a more integral part of business operations as companies benefit from monitoring everything from their HR activities to their product sales. Although there are now dedicated data science degree options, data analysts often work as statisticians or software developers before moving into the field. With demand so high, you don’t even need years of experience to get started in this occupation.
Computer User Support Specialist
Yes. You read that right. While all the rest of these jobs are easiest to find because they’re hard to staff, tech support is growing — and will continue to grow. Growth in this field is expected to increase 12 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is a faster rate than the average for all general occupations.
Think about it. With more computers, devices, and applications come more issues. Although this career isn’t as high paying as many other IT jobs, it can serve as a great entry-level position for a recent graduate with an entry-level IT certification. It is also one of very few technology jobs that professionals can get without a college degree and one of these IT certifications.
Cyber Security Analyst
Cybersecurity analysts appeared in the 7 Hardest Jobs to Fill post, too. That’s no accident.
Cybersecurity as a field is expected to grow 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is significantly faster than the average. But it’s typically an early to mid-career switch. It used to be that you needed a bachelor’s degree to land work in this field, but the high demand has lowered the educational bar while raising the experiential bar. At the very least, if you have your CompTIA Security+ and perhaps one of these more advanced security certifications, you’ll be in good shape.
Searching for a job is always a challenge, but it can be a much less painful experience in a job seeker’s market. Whether you’re already working in IT or thinking of entering the field, choose a specialty that is the right fit for your own skillset and education and you’ll likely find a position quickly.