January 30, 2024
min read

The Most Popular IT Jobs on the Market

Luis Minvielle

IT jobs are still in demand. With a projected 15% job growth over the next decade, IT jobs will increase faster than most occupations. We’ll dive into the most in-demand IT jobs for you to browse through and find the right career path that matches your skills and professional goals.

1. Web developers

Web developers are the programmers who create and maintain websites. Divided into frontend (design), backend (technical), and full stack (both), they use the three core languages of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, plus whatever else the backend is built on, to make websites functional.

The Difference Between Frontend and Backend Development →

Backend developer

🧑‍💻Job description: Backend developers handle the behind-the-scenes of websites, handling data processing, security, and server-side functions. They focus on ensuring websites perform seamlessly and respond promptly to user requests. Responsibilities include building websites, writing quality code, conducting QA testing for optimal platform performance, and troubleshooting issues. Their expertise makes clicking buttons and navigating online possible, safeguarding data and enhancing the user’s experience.

💸 Average salary: USD 80k–135k, average USD 92k per year.

📚 Requirements: While 69% of surveyed web developers hold a bachelor’s degree in a related area, such as computer science, you don’t need one to land an entry-level IT job. The essential backend programming languages, Python, Java, and PHP, are a must for any aspiring backend dev. A mix of these, plus databases, frameworks, and knowledge about servers and microservices — more than a buzzword! — will look neat in a backend applicant.

You should also be familiar with network protocols, web security, and how to stack and recover data from databases, including storage and recovery. knowing a bit of the frontend languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is a bonus which can get you ahead of other applicants.

Since many websites are frontends that consume (or use) APIs, an API developer will have a great chance of landing a post as a backend developer.

💡 If you are interested in becoming a backend developer, be sure to check out the roadmap. You don't need to learn all this immediately, but it gives a good overview of the critical areas.

Browse Through IT Salaries in Germany →

Frontend developers

🧑‍💻Job description: A frontend developer works on the visible part of a website or web app using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, working on user interfaces (UI) so people browsing through a site can interact with it. These professionals design the graphical layout, making sure it's easy to navigate and easy to use. Their job is to make and take care of websites, and make them work well with different browsers and devices. The role demands a keen eye for design and a commitment to delivering user-friendly digital experiences and making sure the site actually loads.

💸 Average salary: USD 69k–USD 114k, average USD 83k per year.

📚 Requirements: Employers will ask for either a degree in CS or equivalent experience. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery are the backbone languages a frontend dev needs to establish the design and functionality of the page. knowledge of Git, graphic design applications, and an understanding of SEO could also help. 

💡 Are you, by chance, living in South Africa, Austria, the UK, or Germany? You can check out your area's specific salary expectations for frontend developers.

Full stack developer

🧑‍💻Job description: Full stack developers are the best of both worlds: they can develop both the front and back end of a website. Their responsibilities include designing and developing websites and applications for diverse platforms. Their tasks include developing and maintaining web services and interfaces, contributing to frontend and backend processes, building new product features or APIs, conducting tests, troubleshooting software, and figuring out bugs. 

💸 Average salary: USD 76k–USD 125, average USD 91k per year

📚 Requirements: According to surveys, around seven out of ten full stack developers have a bachelor's, typically in CS, computer engineering, or a related field. However, it's not strictly required and can be replaced by courses, a portfolio, and equivalent experience. Some older developers still frown upon the term “full stack” because they see it as a marketing fad from online course peddlers, but more and more companies still seek full stack developers, so it seems the term is here to stay.

💡 Browse through these articles for salary expectations if you are an aspiring full stack dev in the UK or Germany.

2. Software developer or engineer

🧑‍💻Job description: While both software developers and engineers share similar functions and skills, developers typically work on a smaller scale while engineers focus on the bigger picture. Software developers typically concentrate on creating application software or particular systems, and engineers may oversee entire software architectures or design large-scale solutions, incorporating tasks like data analytics and scaling. Software development is essential to any modern industry, so you can start your IT career in almost any field you are interested in.

💸 Average salary:

  • Engineer: USD 113k–USD175k, average USD 118k
  • Developer: USD 95k–USD 134k, average USD 105k

📚 Requirements: 72% of surveyed software developers have a bachelor's degree, 20% have a master's degree, and 5% have an associate degree; However, you can become a software engineer without a degree. The top skills required include coding languages like JavaScript, CC++, and Python; data science, algorithms, and machine learning; cloud computing, Git and GitHub; SQL and other database technologies; cybersecurity best practices; and project management and software development lifecycles. Yes, it’s a lot, and you can’t cover everything, so focus on working on specific examples, including open-source projects, if you want to prove to recruiters you’re an all-around software developer.

💡 Have a look at our research for specific salary expectations for software devs in the UK (and London), Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Germany or the best countries for software engineers.

3. Desktop developer

🧑‍💻Job description: While cloud-based applications dominate interactions for everyday users, corporate users and professionals continue to depend on desktop apps for their work, especially because giant companies might rely on presumably legacy desktop IT systems. This makes desktop development an excellent niche for software developers. Also, the IDEs developers often rely on to punch code in are desktop executables (that’s what we called apps back in the day).

💸 Average salary: USD 95k–USD 142k, average USD 108k per year

📚 Requirements: A specific degree path isn't mandated for desktop developers. While employers often prefer a bachelor's degree in CS or a master's degree in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or a related field, earning a master's is not essential for a desktop developer. The top languages desktop developers use are Objective-C, Swift, C#, JavaFX, C/C++, QT, and Python.

Browse through the Top Python Libraries →

4. Mobile app developer

🧑‍💻Job description: A mobile app developer specialises in building smartphone and mobile device applications. Their tasks range from adapting web or computer-based applications for mobile use to creating exclusive mobile software. They follow through the entire process, from developing, maintaining, and improving mobile applications. Responsibilities include devising project plans for coding, testing, and application release; writing application code; debugging to identify and rectify errors; releasing patches for error correction; and updating applications with new features to enhance user value. 

💸 Average salary: USD 102k–USD 148k, average USD 110k per year

📚 Requirements: As with many IT jobs, even though most employers commonly seek a degree, self-taught devs with promising portfolios and experience can qualify for many job openings. Mobile app developers need strong programming skills, including proficiency in languages like JavaScript, C++, and C#. But programming isn’t the be-all and end-all of mobile app development. You should also focus on other skills like UI design, cross-platform development, and cybersecurity. Mobile developers should know a bit about frameworks and particular jargon, such as the difference between “native” and “hybrid.”

5. DevOps engineer

🧑‍💻Job description: A DevOps, or “development and operations” engineer, optimises an organisation's software, handling software maintenance, and server administration. A DevOps team tries to narrow down the pieces that will improve a development process, increasing software release frequency, promoting collaboration between operations and development teams, and ensuring reliable releases. Their responsibilities include release engineering, infrastructure provisioning and management, system administration, and security.

💸 Average salary: USD 53k–USD 146k, average USD 79k per year

📚 Requirements: DevOps engineers function as IT generalists, so they need a broad understanding of development and operations, encompassing coding, infrastructure management, system administration, and DevOps toolchains. Their role involves collaboration across company departments to build a more cooperative work environment. Requirements for these roles often specify a bachelor's degree in CS or a related field, but employers do consider applicants with equivalent work experience. Statistics show that 75% of DevOps engineers hold a bachelor's degree, 20% have a master's degree, and 2% have an associate degree. Success in DevOps engineering demands much more than just technical expertise. While these engineers primarily focus on engineering tasks, including project management, production infrastructure, coding, and server administration, interpersonal skills are a make-or-break in a DevOps success story.

6. Cloud engineer

🧑‍💻Job description: A cloud engineer is responsible for managing cloud infrastructure. There is a wide variety of role possibilities in cloud engineering, such as cloud architecting (designing cloud solutions), development (coding for the cloud), or administration (managing cloud infrastructure). The specifics vary a lot. You could be tasked with migrating a solution to the cloud, keeping the platform up-to-date, cutting costs, or, if you’re hired by a cloud vendor, actually developing cloud tech. Part of the appeal of that last item is that cloud vendors have incredibly cool office buildings. 

💸 Average salary: USD 92k–USD 141k, average USD 105k per year

📚 Requirements: Basic requirements for cloud engineers include: understanding data storage and security, networking basics, programming languages (such as Python, Java, Golang, or Ruby), and operating systems like Windows and Linux. A bachelor's degree in CS or a related field may be required for job openings, but, as always, alternative paths exist. Many cloud professionals begin in IT roles like systems engineer, network engineer, DevOps engineer, or database administrators. 

💡 To get started, learn one of the four biggest cloud infrastructure providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud) instead of knowing a little about each one. You will notice that slight changes can transfer much of what you have learned to others.

7. Data scientist and machine learning specialist

🧑‍💻Job description: While data science involves the study of data and extracting meaning from it, machine learning focuses on understanding and developing methods that can make predictions — and that’s why we consider computers can “learn.” Machine learning engineers research, construct, design, maintain, and improve AI. Data scientists usually collaborate with stakeholders to define a problem, build a dataset, evaluate different machine learning algorithms (made by machine learning specialists), generate results, and interpret and present those findings. They’re definitely related disciplines.

💸 Average salary:

  • Data scientist: USD 131k–USD 189k, average USD 129k per year
  • Machine: USD 125k–187 k, average USD 126k per year

📚 Requirements: To become a data scientist, candidates generally require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in CS, data science, or a related field. However, employers often prefer candidates with a master's. Entry-level jobs that work heavily with data will set you up on the right path. The essential qualifications for data scientists include:

  • A solid grasp of statistics and probability
  • Understanding of software engineering and systems design principles
  • Competency in programming languages such as Python, R, SQL, and SAS

Machine learning specialists require a strong computer programming, data science, and mathematics foundation. Most machine learning engineering roles require at least a bachelor's degree, making a course of study in CS or a related field an excellent starting point. A Ph.D. or master's degree in computer science, data science, or software engineering will surely give you some clout when applying.

Entry-level positions like computer engineer, data analyst, software developer, or software engineer can pave the way to a career in machine learning. Gaining specialised experience is a great way to learn the complexities of ML. AI engineers, an up-and-coming role, are closely related to machine learning engineers.

💡 If you live in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, or the UK, we’ve already covered the specific salary expectations for data analysts like you.

8. UX designer

🧑‍💻Job description: User experience designers, who do not code, aim to improve the connection between people and digital products, influencing each user's interaction with a product or service. Even though they’re not programmers and don’t deal with code, they play a critical role in product development, since they’ll consider aspects like purchasing, branding, usability, and functionality. While UX and UI design often collaborate, they differ in scope — UX focuses on the overall user experience, while UI concentrates on graphic design and interface aesthetics. 

💸 Average salary: USD 125k–USD 187k, average USD 94k per year

📚 Requirements: Employers usually seek candidates with a bachelor's degree in fields like graphic design. Many UX designers come from other design-related careers, such as architecture. Being self-taught in programming, design, and development is also a plausible route. UX is a very visual practice, so a killer portfolio will help convince most employers. Skills UX designers value above all include research, information architecture, wireframing, and prototyping.

Average salaries for the most popular roles

Most of the average salaries we’re bringing forward are from the United States (that’s why they’re annual figures, as well) and could be skewed or not even be averages. All in all, Glassdoor isn’t exactly reliable. But you can always check our salary reports — we’re constantly providing the best data so that the top talent in Europe can make informed decisions.

Find an IT job with WeAreDevelopers

At WeAreDevelopers, we have dedicated ourselves to growing Europe's most significant community of software developers and IT professionals and matching this talent with the best companies in Germany, the UK, and more. Check our job board to browse IT jobs from European companies that align with your skill set and terms. You'll have immediate access to thousands of hours of tech content, exclusive event invitations, and opportunities. Good luck!

The Most Popular IT Jobs on the Market

January 30, 2024
min read

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