The 13 most in-demand tech jobs for 2019 — and how to hire for them

From data scientists to developers to engineers, the battle for the best IT talent will wage on next year. Here’s what to look for (and what to offer) when hiring for the 13 most in-demand jobs for 2019.

As companies scramble to adapt to a tight IT job market, they’re doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that means getting a head start in filling next year’s most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2019 IT salary report. The survey also reveals the average salaries for each role based on experience.

While Robert Half Technology acknowledges a lot will impact a company’s starting salary, including competition, location, corporate culture and budgets, there are certain things you can look for to make sure you land the top talent. Here are 13 jobs expected to be in demand for 2019, the skills and experience you should look for and the average salary you’ll want to pay to stay competitive. [ Keep up with the 8 hot IT hiring trends (and 8 going cold), beware the 11 bad hiring habits that will burn you, and learn what it takes to retain top employees. | Get the latest CIO insights direct, with our CIO Daily newsletter. ]

The 13 most in-demand tech jobs for 2019

Job 25th percentile 50th percentile 75th percentile 95th percentile
Business intelligence analyst $85,750 $106,000 $132,000 $178,000
Cloud architect $75,000 $94,500 $118,000 $159,500
Cloud systems engineer $86,250 $103,000 $123,250 $145,750
Data scientist $102,750 $121,500 $147,500 $175,000
Database developer $98,250 $118,000 $141,000 $167,750
Developer (web, software, mobile) $83,500 (web); $98,250 (software); $65,600 (mobile) $100,250 (web); $117,500 (software); $79,000 (mobile) $119,750 (web); $140,750 (software); $93,500 (mobile) $142,000 (web); $166,500 (software); $105,000 (mobile)
DevOps engineer $90,250 $110,500 $134,750 $178,250
Full-stack developers $65,000 $79,250 $96,000 $130,500
Help desk and desktop support specialists $49,000 (tier 1); $38,250 (tier 2); $32,250 (tier 3) $58,500 (tier 1); $45,740 (tier 2); $54,750 (tier 3) $70,000 (tier 1); $54,750 (tier 2); $46,000 (tier 3) $83,750 (tier 1); $64,500 (tier 2); $55,000 (tier 3)
IoT specialists $59,500 $71,500 $85,250 $100,750
Network administrators $74,750 $89,000 $106,750 $126,750
Security professionals (information, data, network, systems) $116,000 (information); $105,000 (data); $93,000 (network); $93,750 (systems) $139,000 (information); $125,250 (data); $111,500 (network); $112,250 (systems) $167,250 (information); $149,500 (data); $134,000 (network); $134,750 (systems) $199,750 (information); $178,250 (data); $158,750 (network); $159,750 (systems)
Systems administrators $68,000 $81,750 $97,750 $115,750
  • 25th percentile: entry-level workers or those in industries with less competition
  • 50th percentile: “average experience,” a job with “average complexity,” or work in industry with moderate competition
  • 75th percentile: above average experience, strong skills, certifications, a more complex role or work in a “fairly competitive” industry
  • 95th percentile: significant experience, certifications, specializations, high level of expertise, work in a strategic and highly complex role or in a highly competitive industry for talent

Business intelligence analyst

BI analysts need experience in database technology, analytics and reporting tools. Businesses typically look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or engineering. You’ll want to hire someone with the skills to understand your organization’s unique data needs and then communicate those to stakeholders. It’s a role with growing importance as businesses pivot from harvesting to making sense of data.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience with database queries
  • Stored procedure writing
  • Online analytical processing (OLAP)
  • Data cube technology
  • Strong written and verbal skills

Cloud architect

Cloud architects oversee the company’s cloud computing strategy and are responsible for deploying, managing and supporting cloud applications. Cloud architects typically have a strong understanding of multiple operating systems in addition to networking, programming and security skills. Businesses should look for individuals with a strong knowledge of cloud services such as Amazon Web Services as well as experience with ITSM, I&O, governance, automation, and vendor management.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Knowledge of state-of-the-art cloud technologies and architectural principles
  • Experience with scaling cloud applications
  • Understanding of cost, performance and architecture of cloud systems
  • Collaboration and communication skills

Cloud systems engineer

Cloud systems engineers are responsible for developing, planning, designing, installing, managing, maintaining and supporting IT cloud systems. These professionals typically work with Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, Microsoft Azure, and other popular cloud services. Cloud systems engineers should have a strong understanding of programming languages, APIs, DevOps, automation and cloud databases.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience developing, installing, maintaining and supporting IT cloud systems
  • Ability to configure, debug and test cloud infrastructure platforms, software and hardware
  • Knowledge with multiple programming languages
  • A bachelor’s degree and five or more years of experience as a system engineer

Data scientist

While you need a BI analyst to help understand and communicate data patterns from a business perspective, a data scientist is the person who helps gather, process and analyze data. They should also be skilled in communicating those findings and offering recommendations to others in the business.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Programming languages (specifically Python or Java)
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • A masters or Ph.D.

Database developer

Database developers are responsible for managing database architecture and developing new database servers. They’re tasked with developing database systems based off front-end-user requirements using SQL code. These IT professionals need strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills as well as a long list of technical skills required to develop and maintain the database systems they build.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience with a variety of database technologies and programming languages, such as Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services, NoSQL databases, big data infrastructure, Hadoop, JavaScript, HTML, PHP and Oracle
  • Strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field

Developer (web, software, mobile)

Web, software and mobile Developers are responsible for designing, installing, testing and maintaining the appropriate systems. The job requires coding, designing and building applications, websites or mobile apps, working with multiple programming languages such as C#, C++, HTML, Java, Microsoft .NET and SQL Server. Developers need to be able to understand client requirements and be able to provide recommendations for improving web, software and mobile applications to ensure they meet user needs.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Knowledge of multiple programming languages
  • Analytical and technical skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science
  • Two-year associate degree with certifications, bootcamps and prior work experience

DevOps engineer

DevOps practices encourage faster code deployment with fewer deployment failures, so more companies are hiring engineers with DevOps experience to oversee coding, scripting and processes development. DevOps engineers often manage IT infrastructure, provision resources, oversee software testing and monitor performance after release. These workers help simplify code updates, allowing companies to constantly tweak and improve processes in the organization for maximum efficiency.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Coding and scripting skills
  • Automation, data management and IT operations skills
  • Deep understanding of DevOps best practices
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills

Full-stack developer

Full-stack developers are developers who have knowledge in every stage of software development. They aren’t necessarily experts in every area, but they have working knowledge of the key principles of development, including: servers, networks, hosting, relational and nonrelational databases, QA, APIs, UX and UI design, security and working with customer or business requirements.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Multiple years of experience working in multiple areas of development
  • Strong programming skills and an understanding of multiple programming languages
  • Extensive experience working across the development process and an ability to work within client requirements
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science or higher

Help desk and desktop support professionals

For customer-facing businesses, the help desk is an important part of running an efficient business. As the first line of defense for customer service and troubleshooting, help desk workers need to have the right technical and soft skills for the job. Robert Half Technology breaks out the role of help desk technician into three tiers, given that the job description and requirements can vary significantly based on the business.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Tier 1: entry-level positions that require less than two years of experience, an associate degree or coursework at a technical school
  • Tier 2: positions requiring two to four years of experience, a two-year or bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience
  • Tier 3: four or more years of experience in a help desk setting, bachelor’s degree in a related field and professional certifications

IoT specialist

An internet of things (IoT) specialist is an IT professional who is an expert in at least one or more of the following IoT disciplines: devices, connectivity, edge and cloud analytics, enterprise integration, platforms, and development and DevOps. If your business relies heavily on one or two aspects of IoT, hiring a specialist will help the organization stay on top of trends, compliance and the scaling of IoT technology over time.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Expert in one or more niche areas of IoT
  • Experience working with IoT tools, applications, devices, software and hardware
  • Commitment to continuing IoT education
  • Strong leadership skills

Network administrator

Network administrators are responsible for handling LAN/WAN protocol, software and hardware. They spend a lot of time troubleshooting and typically need to be on call in case of an emergency or failure. What you look for in experience will depend on how extensive your network needs are, but there are certain skills and certifications that can help you find the most qualified workers.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Troubleshooting and communication skills
  • Analytic and diagnostic skills
  • A willingness to be on call after hours
  • A bachelor’s degree or five-plus years of related work experience
  • Professional certifications

Security professional (data, information, network, systems, cloud)

Data, information, systems, network and cloud security professionals are in demand as businesses increasingly rely on data for everyday business operations. These IT professionals ensure that enterprise IT initiatives remain safe from potential threats inside and outside the organization. They’re also tasked with keeping on top of industry compliance regulations, future security trends and ensuring the business’s hardware, software and networks remain secure.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Ability to communicate and implement security policies and procedures
  • Managing security audits, threats and vulnerabilities
  • Experience with security systems and documenting failures and other incidents
  • Knowledge of compliance laws and regulations for the industry

System administrator

Like most jobs in IT, a system administrator should demonstrate strong problem-solving, communication and analytical skills. But a system admin also needs a strong technical understanding of the company’s specific hardware and software. What you need in a system admin will vary depending on the services, hardware and software you rely on.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience with servers, backup and recovery and installing, patching and upgrading software
  • Experience troubleshooting and resolving hardware, software and networking problems
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, associate degree or technical training certificate
  • Certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) or Sun Certified System Administrator (SCSA)