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Remote IT Work: What Remote Jobs are Available?

by Josh Burnett
Remote IT Work: What Remote Jobs are Available? picture: A
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Updated on March 4, 2024

Remote work for IT professionals is nothing new. In fact, IT positions have been moving towards remote and hybrid roles for some time, even before COVID-19.

The work-from-home culture made many IT managers and professionals realize there was little downside to remote work. The only limiting factor for most IT roles is the degree to which physical access to equipment is required.

Some roles are advertised as fully remote, meaning you could find yourself working for a company that doesn’t need you in the office, ever! However, if you need to install servers, switches, and other hardware physically, you may need to be onsite sometimes. However, most administrative tasks can be done anywhere with an internet connection.

If you are a software developer, cloud computing engineer, or any other IT pro who already has to connect to a cloud-based system to work, you are a good candidate for remote work right now. This opens up many options for going hybrid with a few days in the office every week or even full-time remote.

Let’s explore what kind of remote roles are available right now if you want to avoid formal office wear and long commutes! 

Differentiating Roles: Developers vs. IT

Software development is much easier to take remotely than a general IT position. Code repositories and task management systems like Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS have made code management and other tasks much easier and more reliable, allowing devs to work from anywhere. 

There are currently a lot of IT-related software developer roles available. Still, we wanted to include some of the emerging remote jobs that are becoming more popular and traditional IT jobs that are finding new life as remote positions. 

What Types of Remote IT Jobs Are Available?

Technology-based jobs have evolved in the past decade, requiring less physical interaction with hardware, thanks to technologies like virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN).

This means the nature of some roles and responsibilities is changing to become more configuration and software-orientated, allowing for more remote work. That isn’t to say that standard desktop and hardware support jobs are going away, though. People will always need to be physically present to maintain the hardware that powers the cloud and the devices that users interface with it. 

However, as companies continue to move toward virtual infrastructure and cloud space, the need for onsite hardware support for things like server and storage technology will continue to decrease. This is especially true for the average-sized business that doesn’t have a data center and might find cloud services more attractive than laying out funds for onsite hardware and software infrastructure. 

Many IT positions have advanced to the point where working remotely is relatively common, and we'll show what is out there in the job market today. 

Cloud Computing Architects/Engineers

Cloud architects and engineers design, build, and maintain the virtualized infrastructure, platforms, and software that enable access to online computing services. As most daily tasks involve accessing cloud providers' online portals and APIs, cloud engineers can usually work remotely while coordinating across global teams.

Popular certifications like AWS Solutions Architect Associate validate your skills with cloud security, storage, networking, automation, and analytics. The general role of a cloud architect is to design robust, adaptable systems.

Cloud engineers turn these designs into working systems with the services and technology available on a specified cloud platform. Both roles collaborate heavily with business and technical teams to keep system performance and functionality in line with the business.

Other cloud-based jobs that are finding their way to recruitment lists are cloud security specialists and DevOps engineers.

Remote Database Administrators

The role of database administrators (DBAs) is not new. However, many cloud database services offer advantages over traditional, locally installed data services. The role of a remote DBA is to install, configure, secure, troubleshoot, and optimize the backend data systems powering organizational analytics, applications, and online transactions. 

The great thing about this role is that normal administrative tasks, such as granting permissions, ensuring uptime, writing queries, and managing upgrades, typically require only a laptop with database access. DBAs skilled in SQL or NoSQL languages like MongoDB can easily work remotely.

Entry-level database administrator roles often require only a bachelor's degree, though many employers prefer candidates with certifications like Oracle Database SQL Expert. Seasoned remote DBAs capable of keeping complex, mission-critical systems running smoothly can progress to senior technical or managerial levels directing database strategy.

Some organizations still rely heavily on legacy database systems, which might require some time in the office occasionally, especially if there are manual backups and physical server maintenance operations where an onsite DBA is needed to verify data systems after work has been done.

Remote Data Analysts

Data analysts help organizations extract insights from the troves of information they collect and store by developing models, running experiments, identifying patterns, and creating visualizations. Data transformation, statistical programming, predictive modeling, and translating findings for business leaders enable you to deliver impact without physical proximity.

Mastering SQL alongside data science tools like Python, R, or SAS allows remote analysts to query, clean, analyze, and visualize data quickly. Optional certifications like Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate demonstrates technical credibility. With the rise of AI and big data, the demand for remote analysts to inform strategy and guide decisions will continue growing.

Other than the technical skills needed for this job, data analysts need soft skills and strong communication skills. The primary reason is that many projects involving data from multiple sources need collaboration and teamwork between people, departments, and even organizations. Being remote doesn’t mean any less interaction with people, so your messaging and communication skills will need to be on point for this kind of work.

Information Security Roles

With cyberattacks constantly threatening critical systems and data, information security talents who protect digital infrastructure are in high demand. Penetration testers, security engineers, incident responders, and compliance officers strengthen defenses against bad actors.

Certifications like CompTIA Security+, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) demonstrate deep technical security capabilities. Given extreme talent deficits in cybersecurity, those gaining niche expertise through remote roles can build rewarding, lifelong careers battling digital threats.

Other similar roles that take advantage of remote work are security and threat intelligence analysts.

Network Engineers

If a company has no network connectivity, it likely won’t have a business for very long. Network engineers are the backbone of an organization's IT infrastructure, and as many network configurations have moved into the cloud with virtual infrastructure, so have network engineers. Network engineers can be found designing, building, and optimizing these complex networks that power everything from email to Netflix to medical records.

You need to demonstrate deep networking expertise across on-premise and cloud technologies to land one of these roles. They configure complex routings across servers, switches, firewalls, and cables to meet increasing bandwidth needs and then quickly monitor performance to address bottlenecks. Troubleshooting network outages and securing systems against intrusions also fall under their responsibilities.

Regarding networking, there will always be a need for physical access to devices where on-site infrastructure is concerned. Things like hands-on installation and cabling tasks will have onsite access, but a lot of design, administration, and engineering work can now happen remotely. Cloud networking platforms and automation tools allow configuration changes to roll out across different regions instantly from anywhere. This allows network engineers to provide a lot of value remotely.

To get in on remote networking roles, look at Cisco certifications and learn how companies migrate operations to the cloud and maintain and integrate existing networks.

Systems Administrators

To keep general IT operations running smoothly requires a lot of planning and upkeep. Systems administrators install, customize, integrate, automate, secure, monitor, and maintain an organization's physical and virtualized server environments and cloud services. They must understand a mix of Windows, Linux, and macOS to maintain a reliable operation. 

Tasks like direct server rack maintenance mean some onsite time will be needed occasionally, but systems administration now leans heavily on virtual tech. In recent years, cloud migration has enabled remote infrastructure monitoring, troubleshooting, and automation. Sysadmins must be good at scripting languages and cloud platforms like AWS to take advantage of hybrid and full-time remote roles.

Skilled systems administrators will continue to be in high demand, focusing on automation, scripting, and cloud technologies. The need for a sysadmin in the office is nowhere near as prevalent as it used to be, making this a great remote role actively sought in hybrid and remote positions.

Positioning Yourself for (Remote) Success

The fact that you're reading this article is an excellent first step in positioning yourself to take advantage of remote work opportunities but don't stop there. If you want to work remotely, choosing the right job will be foundational to opening that door.

Begin with the career families outlined here and identify specialties that interest you. Pursue opportunities within your current job: if you want to end up in cybersecurity, ask to be your team's security representative. (An added bonus is asking your employer to pay for certification tests or training to prepare you for your next role.)

Find ways to specialize within your department. Remember that individual contributors are much more likely to be able to work remotely. Seek out certifications that make you stand out from your peers: research them now, identify the prerequisites you need, and begin working toward that goal.

If you want to work remotely, you can. As Seneca said, "Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity." The nature of our business is helping you position yourself to achieve the career goals you want to have.

Ready to grow your career and find a remote job? Learn what IT Certification Training CBT Nuggets has to offer!


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