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Top 5 niche tech careers that pay well

The words ‘a career in technology’ immediately brings to mind game developers, programmers, hackers, and software engineers. However, rarely ever does one think about cloud architects, DevOps engineers, or data scientists, even though these are promising tech careers.

When everyone is trying to get career footholds in tech, it can be easy to lose sight of the sheer vastness of the field. However, the well-known, mainstream jobs are not the boundaries to which one’s potential needs to be limited.

Let’s talk about some lesser-known but vital jobs one could make a killing doing.


UX Designer

UX stands for User Experience. It’s all about the website’s ‘feel — what emotions and ideas come to the user when they are on your page.

The primary goal of a UX designer is to create a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. They have almost complete creative control over the site and may be in charge of everything from the brand guidelines to the button’s colour.

  • Skills: HTML/CSS, Site Mapping and User Flows, Wireframing, Analytics. Ability to create mockups and graphics.
  • Workplace: E-commerce websites have great demand for UX designers because online shopping experience can help push sales. Moreover, start-ups are heavily reliant on UX designers as the landing page’s layout can make or break a launch.
  • Salary: $54,000 to $133,000

Also read: How secure are your photos on social media? And how to protect them


Network Administrator

Network administrators ensure that information and communication flow smoothly. In addition, they maintain the integrity of the network.

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Network administrators usually work with a team of other IT specialists to optimise the system. They must maintain hardware and software, ensure security, maintain high performance, and reduce costs, among other tasks.

  • Skills: Cisco’s CCNA, CompTIA’s Network+, Windows Server, Windows Client. Ability to configure and maintain hardware, manage security tools, and troubleshoot performance issues.
  • Workplace: Usually, there is a high demand for network administrators in fields that deal with massive networks daily. The finance industry, the government, and publishers are common employers.
  • Salary: $57,142 to $69,000

Solutions Architect

The tech landscape changes rapidly, and no company can afford to invest in new technology without weighing the pros and cons first. Solutions architects not only consider the risk factor but also devise standard protocols for the latest tech.

Solutions architects will be expected to gather functional requirements, develop the specifications, and determine the scope of any tech-based solution. Besides, they will also get the opportunity to lead development teams and interact directly with clients and vendors.

If solutions architecture isn’t a comfortable fit, you can look into other branches of IT architecture such as cloud, technical, and software architecture.

  • Skills: Unified Modeling Language and architecture frameworks like ToGAG, DoDAF, FEAF.
  • Workplace: Almost any large enough company to have systems in place needs architects to maintain and optimise them. Google, Dell, Facebook and other giants need solutions architects as much as start-ups do.
  • Salary: $115,231 to $131,000

Also read: What is Artificial Intelligence? Can machines think?


Big Data Engineer

This career is rather self-explanatory — Big data engineers help concentrate the valuable information from the massive influx of data. They develop, construct, test and maintain large-scale data processing systems. Big data engineers not only choose optimal solutions but also integrate them with the existing architecture.

Though it is a highly challenging field, the demand for big data engineers has risen continuously since 2012. 45% of surveyed organisations believe that big data analysis will enable more precise business insights; 38% are looking to use analytics to boost their opportunities. 77% of respondents consider big data analysis a top priority. The field is taking off in a big way.

  • Skills: Hadoop v2, MapReduce, HDFS, NoSQL databases, and querying tools like Pig, Hive, Impala. Experience with big data toolkits like Mahout, SparkML and H2O. Extensive knowledge of different programming languages.
  • Workplace: Any organisation that receives incomprehensibly large amounts of data in a day needs big data engineers to sort through the noise. There is an excellent chance for employment under industry giants like Amazon, American Express, Netflix, Starbucks, and IBM.
  • Salary: $110,000 to $194,000

Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts work to improve the productivity of the system. They work between the program users and the platform itself to detect and solve issues. With an intricate understanding of business and technology, analysts attempt to maximise the return on investment of an organisation’s IT spend.

  • Skills: SQL, Oracle, Sequel, UML, C++, Java, SAP business software applications.
  • Workplace: There is a vast range of employers for systems analysts, right from MNCs like IBM to micro organisations that employ less than five people. Some clients are automotive firms, utility companies, global investment banks, and the public sector.
  • Salary: $68,260 to $112,540

Also read: Top 5 tech fails of 2018

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