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The Highest Paying IT Jobs For 2021: Robert Half

Donna Goodison

While higher unemployment and workforce up-skilling are expanding the IT candidate pool, employers are finding many applicants do not possess the right technical skills and experience or the desired soft skills, according to the staffing company.

High Demand, High Salaries

Big data engineer and information systems security manager are forecast to be the non-executive IT jobs with the highest median starting salaries in the United States next year, according to new report from staffing company Robert Half International.

The “Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2021” outlines IT industry trends and starting salaries that the company’s recruiters expect to see next year.

The global coronavirus pandemic has placed greater emphasis on the need for skilled technology professionals to support organizations’ critical operations and strategic initiatives, but jobseekers are facing increasing competition from a growing candidate pool for tech jobs, according to Robert Half, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif.

While employers struggled with a pre-pandemic shortage of tech talent, higher unemployment and upskilling in the workforce due to accelerated digital transformation are expanding the IT candidate pool, the report said.

“It is further enlarged by businesses’ growing acceptance of remote work arrangements,” the report stated. “This allows employers to recruit technology professionals from a broader geographic area, potentially from anywhere around the world.”

Still, Robert Half said many applicants do not possess the right technical skills and experience or the desired soft skills, the latter of which include attention to detail, business acumen, and change management, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and leadership abilities.

Among the industries hiring are healthcare, technology and financial services companies, along with local, state and federal government services.

Critical technology roles highlighted by Robert Half are artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) specialists, business intelligence analysts, cloud architects, cybersecurity and data privacy experts, data analytics and reporting professionals, data scientists, developers (database, full-stack, web, software and mobile), engineers (cloud, data, DevOps, network security and software), help desk and user support professionals, and IT administrators (database, network and systems).

In-demand IT skills and expertise include Agile and Scrum, Angular, ASP.NET, C#, cloud computing (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, containerization (Docker, Kubernetes and Helm), Golang, ITIL, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Linux, PHP, Python, ReactJS and React Native, Ruby on Rails, SQL, virtualization and virtual, augmented, mixed and cross reality.

Here’s a look at the highest paying IT jobs -- non-executive leadership positions with the highest median national starting salaries -- according to the “Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2021.” The salaries do not include benefits, bonuses, benefits and other types of compensation, and the listed jobs are for candidates who have average experience and a majority of the necessary skills sought by employers.

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