7 Most Common Tech Jobs in Iowa
Compared to Minnesota – where the Twin Cities alone have the vast majority of IT jobs – Iowa’s IT jobs are reasonably spread out across many different cities. You can get the fullest sense of this from the full interactive State of IT Jobs map.
Admittedly, there are fewer jobs overall when compared to other states — but on the other hand, Iowa has a lower population than many of its neighbors. So, there’s relatively less competition for good IT jobs in Iowa. If you’re looking for an IT-related job in Iowa, your best bet is to start in the big cities along I-80 and their suburbs.
Des Moines boasts the most IT jobs in the state, from network administration to systems engineering and everything in-between. Davenport, Iowa City and Council Bluffs (basically a suburb of Omaha) have a fair share of the state’s tech jobs. But not all the IT jobs in Iowa are found in the biggest cities. Sioux City, Fort Dodge, Dubuque, and even Mt Pleasant all have companies searching for trained IT professionals.
CBT Nuggets has done an enormous amount of research about current and available jobs throughout the state of Iowa, and we’ve compiled the results of our analysis.
If you’re interested in a job in the IT field and want to live in Iowa, look here to find the top seven IT jobs in Iowa.
7. Software Engineer
The seventh most common IT job in the state of Iowa is software engineer. Much more than a coder or developer, software engineers are needed throughout the state to help coordinate the digital growth of Iowa’s many large companies across different industries. Agribusiness, heavy industry, and chemicals make up much of Iowa’s economy — and they all need software engineers to help them grow.
If you’re looking for work as a software engineer, you’d be well served to have the Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) or Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) certifications. For software engineers in Iowa, there are many cities with companies looking to hire them. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Sioux City all have many job openings for trained IT professionals, and for those looking for a more out-of-the-way placement, Storm Lake, Fort Dodge and Mt Pleasant do as well.
6. Systems Administrator
A good systems administrator can rest assured they’ll find work most anywhere – and Iowa is no exception. There are many certifications that can make a systems administrator competitive, and if you’ve earned your Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), or CompTIA A+, there are very few places in the state that aren’t hiring sysadmins.
The major cities are obviously open to trained systems administrators, but there’s also a lot of work to be found in their suburbs. Urbandale, Ankeny, Hiawatha and Carter Lake all have need of system administrators as they grow with people moving out of their nearby cities. But even cities as small and remote as Amana – 25 miles away from the nearest metropolitan area – need good sysadmins.
5. Systems Engineer
Usually considered a few rungs further up the ladder than systems administrators, systems engineers are more trained and experienced systems professionals. Systems engineers in Iowa are in high demand, but by nature of them being a more specialized and higher-paid position, the jobs tend to be only in the big cities of Iowa. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Iowa City are where most systems engineering jobs can be found.
If you’re a systems engineer in Iowa, or are looking to become one, a wise choice would be to invest your time in working toward your Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) or CompTIA Network+. The CCIE in particular is now comprised of several separate certifications that contribute to the certification as a whole.
4. Network Engineer
Coming in at No. 4 of the most prevalent IT jobs in Iowa is network engineer. In terms of job numbers throughout the state, we see in network engineer jobs the same trend that we saw in systems engineer jobs: a sharp drop off outside of the major cities. Des Moines and its suburbs have the overwhelming majority of network engineer jobs in the state, and Iowa City and Windsor Heights take up almost all of the others.
In those cities, many network engineer job postings (both currently held and available) require considerable networking experience and training. Getting certified as a network expert is a good path to the highest paying network engineer jobs in Iowa. The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certifications are generally agreed as one of the best ways to demonstrate expertise in networking, particularly CCIE Routing & Switching and CCIE Security.
3. Data Analyst
For data analysts to be ranked in the Top 3 for IT jobs in the state of Iowa demonstrates the state’s breadth of industry. There’s no one industry or business that dominates the state, and keeping track of its exports of agricultural products, machinery parts, chemicals, and raw materials like lumber and metals requires many trained data analysts.
There’s no single IT certification that encompasses the skills and experience a data analyst looking to work in Iowa would need to have. But the knowledge it takes to pass the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) would go a long way to familiarizing an analyst with all the technical solutions and workarounds that exist for manipulating, storing, processing and analyzing big data.
For data analysts in Iowa, while there are many jobs available, there aren’t many cities in which those jobs are found. Des Moines and its suburbs like West Des Moines, Windsor Heights and Clive have the state’s highest percentage of data analyst positions — and Iowa City has most of the remainder.
2. Network Administrator
Another way Iowa differs from its neighbors in the IT job scene is that the two most common IT jobs in the state have a relatively lower training level than other jobs in the field. Coming in at No. 2 is network administrator, a job that generally requires only a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) or Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), depending on the network.
There are opportunities for network administrators looking for work in Iowa in all the major cities, but also in small cities and towns throughout the state. If you want to stay away from the metros of Iowa, there are network administrator jobs in most of the mid-sized cities throughout the state, like Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Mt Pleasant and Clinton.
1. Entry-Level Technology Associate
The single most common IT job found in Iowa is – maybe surprisingly – entry- and junior-level technology associates. Throughout the state, companies and industries are looking for new technology professionals – which is a great sign for those new to the field. Even if you don’t have any certifications, there are job postings for entry-level technology associates or trainees in cities all over Iowa.
Having certifications like CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ or CompTIA A+ would be helpful, but even with rudimentary experience, there is IT-related work to be found in cities like Marshaltown, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Bloomfield, and Burlington.
Explore the State of IT Jobs Map
To get a fuller sense of the most popular in Iowa or anywhere in the United States, explore the interactive State of IT Jobs, a city-by-city look at every single IT job posting.
Data source and methodology: The data in this post was aggregated from active job postings on major U.S. job sites and represents February 2019 to February 2020. Any job counts actually represent job postings queries by keyword rather than actual jobs.
Duplicates. While we filter for duplicates in weekly batches of jobs, it’s possible jobs that remain posted on the job boards may be counted each week. The map is updated weekly.