Your IT Skills and the Best-Paying Jobs in America

Willie Nelson in Electric Horseman

The philosopher and poet Willie Nelson once advised the mothers of the world to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that their offspring do not ultimately determine "cowboy" to be the most desirable of all occupations. In Nelson's view, mothers should instead counsel their children to strive to become "doctors and lawyers and such."


Nelson did not expressly confirm his rationale for giving preference to the professions of law and medicine, but it's probably fair to assume that he was at least somewhat concerned about the future earning power of the nation's youth. As employment facilitator Glassdoor reported this week, doctors and lawyers are, on average, the highest-paid professionals in the United States.


At the time that he offered his perspective, Nelson made no mention of IT or IT-related employment. It's worth noting, however, that while doctors and lawyers are at the top of Glassdoor's list of the 25 highest-paying U.S. jobs, there are (arguably) 10 IT job titles on the list. So while your certified IT skills may not be the equal or a law or medicine degree, they still matter.


The top IT job on the list is Software Development Manager, which Glassdoor says is the fourth-highest paying U.S. job, with a media base salary of $132,000. Software Artchitect is next at No.7 (median base salary $128,250), followed by IT Manager at No. 9 and Solutions Architect at No. 10, both with a median base salary of $120,000.


The other IT jobs to make the grade: Systems Architect (No. 14, median base salary $116,920), Data Scientist (No. 16, median base salary $115,000), Risk Manager (No. 17, median base salary  $115,000), Data Architect (No. 20, median base salary $113,000), Analytics Manager (No. 24, median base salary $106,000), Information Systems Manager (No. 25, median base salary $106,000).


There are numerous certifications that can help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed to excel at any of those 10 jobs. And while you might not get lawyer- or doctor-level compensation, you definitely won't have to worry about what your mother might say ... or Willie Nelson, either.

Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

GoCertify's mission is to help both students and working professionals get IT certifications. GoCertify was founded in 1998 by Anne Martinez.