Technology professionals with in-demand skills and experience will find they have many options in the current job market. Many employers are ready to staff some of the highest-paying IT jobs out there, but they’re struggling to find top candidates available for hire. In a recent Robert Half survey, 90% of hiring managers in technology reported challenges locating skilled talent.

Research for the latest Salary Guide From Robert Half further underscores the staffing struggles many employers of tech talent face. As the guide notes, recruiting skilled technology professionals is a priority for companies across all industries — so competition for top candidates is intense. Retention is also an issue, as attrition rates among tech employees is high.

Many technology leaders (62%) are increasing salaries to attract in-demand professionals and keep their most valued team members from leaving, according to our research for the Salary Guide. So, what are examples of IT jobs that many employers are willing to offer generous salaries for in the year ahead? Here’s a look at 15, along with a snapshot view of typical responsibilities and job requirements for each.

1. Applications architect

This is a high-paying IT role because just about every major business wants to improve existing applications or create new ones. Application architects design the main parts of applications, including the user interface, middleware and infrastructure. These professionals are also responsible for ensuring that the final product meets user expectations and company standards.

In addition to strong technical abilities, applications architects need to work well on teams — and sometimes manage them. Excellent communication and planning skills are must-have abilities for this role because application architects need to clearly articulate systems application strategies, road maps and reference architectures to the technical team and executives.

Interested in this role? See our open applications architect jobs.

2. Big data engineer

Businesses need big data engineers to transform large amounts of raw data into actionable information for strategy-setting, decision making and innovation. These professionals typically create a company’s software and hardware architecture, and the systems that people need to work with data. They also act as liaisons between business users and data scientists.

Big data engineers usually have a degree in computer science and expertise in mathematics and databases. Employers often prefer candidates who bring four to six years of professional experience to the job. A big data engineer must have considerable expertise in statistics software engineering. Coding expertise and enterprise architecture and data science knowledge are typically required for this position.

Interested in this role? See our open big data engineer jobs.

3. DevOps engineer

DevOps engineers are the bridge between coding and engineering. These professionals work across departments to help increase a company’s productivity by developing and improving various IT systems. They are often expected to bring experience with various coding languages, software engineering and security systems, and strong analytical, problem-solving and collaboration skills to their role.

Employers hiring DevOps engineers usually look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. Many also want to see professionals with several years of experience in automating applications, deploying infrastructure, and developing and administrating services using cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Interested in this role? See our open DevOps engineer jobs.

4. Systems security manager

Now more than ever, employers need skilled IT security professionals to help keep their sensitive data and critical systems safe. Top candidates for the high-paying technology job of systems security manager usually have a technical background in systems and network security as well as standout interpersonal and leadership abilities. Analytical and problem-solving skills are also key abilities for doing this job well.

Systems security managers need to keep up with security trends and government regulations, including those related to data privacy. Employers often look for candidates who have in-demand certifications such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or CompTIA Security+ credential.

Interested in this role? See our open  systems security manager jobs.

5. Data scientist

Data scientists develop innovative solutions to business challenges by applying their mathematical and analytical skills to detect patterns in very large data sets. Their work improves the performance of information systems and databases and helps to drive technological advancements and efficiencies, such as better networking technology, faster computing speeds and improved data security.

Data scientists need business savvy and communication skills in addition to a strong background in statistics, mathematics and computer science. Most employers require five to 10 years’ experience in computer science or information systems for this role. They also typically prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or Ph.D. in a quantitative discipline.

Interested in this role? See our open data scientist jobs.

6. Data security analyst

Data security analysts must thoroughly understand computer and network security, including firewall administration, encryption technologies and network protocols. This demanding job requires excellent communication and problem-solving skills and knowledge of trends in security and government regulations. A professional certification, such as a CISSP designation, is beneficial for this role.

Employers generally seek candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, along with at least three years of practical data security experience. A professional certification such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) designation is also a valuable asset for professionals who want to pursue a data security analyst career.

Interested in this role? See our open data security analyst jobs.

7. Database developer

Database developers set up and maintain servers with the database architecture appropriate for the organization’s needs. Candidates for this role must be skilled at writing SQL code, designing new systems and understanding front-end user requirements. The job also requires solid knowledge of database troubleshooting and experience with industry standards for database operations.

Employers typically seek candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, along with three or more years working as a database developer or a related role. Experience with major enterprise database programs such as SQL Server Integration Services, NoSQL databases and Oracle Database is essential for success in this high-paying IT job.

Interested in this role? See our open database developer jobs.

8. ERP integration manager

ERP integration managers lead the implementation of an organization’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and projects designed to improve these systems. They are also in high demand, as companies need their expertise to help them not only troubleshoot day-to-day issues but also develop strategic plans. These professionals are often called on to manage a team of integration developers, organize and lead cross-functional initiatives, and coordinate with technology vendors.

Employers recruiting talent for the ERP integration manager job typically seek candidates with three or more years of ERP implementation experience, exemplary project management skills and a thorough understanding of ERP solutions. Professionals with SQL skills and software development experience are also often preferred.

Interested in this role? See our open ERP integration manager jobs.

9. Help desk support manager

Help desk support managers oversee the efficient operation of the technical support team that provides assistance to employees or clients facing issues with hardware, software or other computer-related services. This critical role involves managing a team of support technicians, implementing and improving support processes, and collaborating with other IT teams to provide effective support to end users.

Help desk support managers need a combination of technical and interpersonal skills to help ensure the smooth operation of the help desk and the delivery of high-quality support. Preferred skill sets for this role include proficiency in relevant IT systems, hardware and software, understanding of help desk software and ticketing systems, and strong communication skills. Employers also look for candidates who are adept at conflict resolution and have the ability to foster a positive work environment.

Interested in this role? See our open help desk support manager jobs.

10. IT director

IT directors oversee the infrastructure supporting a company’s IT operations. They are also responsible for developing and leading the IT strategies and solutions that align with the strategic plan of the organization, including leading, directing and managing a technology team. These professionals are also responsible for ensuring the IT platform is secure and in compliance with relevant regulatory practices.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required for the IT director job. Hiring managers usually look for candidates with five to 10 years of experience in IT management and a bachelor’s degree in programming, computer science or a related field. Top contenders for this high-paying role often have project management certifications and/or an MBA as well.

Interested in this role? See our open IT director jobs

11. Network/cloud architect

With excellent technical problem-solving skills, network/cloud architects plan, design and upgrade network and cloud projects. They’re a technology team’s go-to resource for solving problems with a network’s architecture and providing recommendations for system enhancements. Network/cloud architects should have several years of experience with network and cloud technologies and have strong communication skills.

Professionals in this role are generally expected to have an extensive background in routing, switching, wireless, security and system architecture (including scalability, reliability, performance, and IP networking, design, planning and protocols). A bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science is often preferred, as is five or more years of experience working with leading network operating systems.

See our open network/cloud architect jobs.

12. Network/cloud engineer

Technology professionals interested in this high-paying IT position need to be experts in networking and cloud hardware and software, as they will be responsible for the execution, design, upkeep and day-to-day support of network and cloud services. Network/cloud engineers are also detail-oriented problem solvers who use traditional and creative methods to ensure these vital services are working optimally.

Employers staffing the network/cloud engineer role generally look for candidates with a strong background in interfacing, security, and server and network infrastructure. Many also prefer to hire candidates with in-demand professional certifications, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE).

Interested in this role? See our open network engineer/cloud engineer jobs.

13. Network security engineer

Network security engineers implement, maintain and integrate corporate WAN, LAN and server architecture. They also implement and administer network security hardware and software and enforce the organization’s network security policy. As such, these professionals must have strong working knowledge of data and network security technologies and be able to translate security policies and procedures into IT architectures.

Technology professionals interested in becoming a network security engineer can compete for this high-paying IT position if they have at least five years of experience installing, monitoring and maintaining network security solutions. Many employers also look for candidates with a four-year college degree in a technology field and may require security-related certifications.

Interested in this role? See our open network security engineer jobs.

14. Senior web developer

Senior web developers provide the expertise and creative vision to design, build and optimize web-based applications and sites. They gather business requirements and develop specifications for web-based applications, making web properties look consistent and attractive. They also provide technical assistance to web admins and integrate front-end and back-end systems.

Employers usually prefer to hire professionals for the senior web developer role who have extensive experience in all phases of the web application development life cycle, as well as an excellent understanding of customer needs and business strategy. Candidates are often expected to demonstrate expertise in object-oriented programming and multiplatform, distributed application development. They also need to be adept at working in a team environment and mentoring less-seasoned colleagues.

Interested in this role? See our open senior web developer jobs.

15. Software engineer

Software engineers design and create engineering specifications for applications and software. Their specialized skills are consistently in high demand, which is also why software engineers command high salaries. These professionals are expected to possess solid knowledge of information systems and to produce well-organized, optimized and documented source code quickly.

Employers usually require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering or a related discipline for software engineer jobs. Many hiring managers will specifically seek out professionals who have experience working with programming languages like C#, C++ or Java, and with the .NET Framework. Strong communication skills are also highly valued for this position.

Interested in this role? See our open software engineer jobs.

Learn about other high-paying jobs in the technology profession

The 15 roles described above are just some examples of high-paying IT jobs many employers are hoping to staff now, or in the year ahead. View the 2024 Salary Guide From Robert Half to see the latest starting salary projections for many of these in-demand jobs — and others. You can localize your insights to adjust salaries for regional cost of living, talent availability and other factors.