Do you feel like you have plateaued in your career? Are you looking for the hottest, latest skills to give your career the boost it needs?
Now’s your chance!
We regularly work with industry think-tanks and thought leaders to bridge the skills gap in various domains. In the last few years, we’ve noticed a distinct move away from traditional, siloed workflows. Business and technical functions do not work in isolation anymore — they intersect at many points and adopt holistic approaches to achieve organizational goals and address challenges. Individual efforts of the past, such as business strategy, brand identity, customer experience, and enterprise architecture are now aligned in the same direction to drive sustainable growth at organizations.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the highest-paying jobs in 2016 and the quickest route to each. Most of these jobs are in the IT sector and include both mid- and senior-level positions.
1. Big Data and Hadoop Developer
- Median salary in the US: $98,000
- Quickest way to become one? With a Big Data and Hadoop Developer certification.
- Number of openings: 5520
- Skillset required: Analytical skills, problem-solving skills, Linux scripting skills, and workflow knowledge.
You may already know that leading companies like Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, and eBay are searching for experienced Big Data and Hadoop Developers who can develop and implement applications, run pilot projects, and strengthen the company’s bottom line. But did you know that the demand for Hadoop developers has exceeded the global supply? If you’re really passionate about Big Data, then becoming a Hadoop Developer will be the perfect job for you.
Who should consider becoming a Big Data Hadoop Developer?
- Software Developers and Architects
- Analytics professionals
- Data Management professionals
- Business Intelligence professionals
- Project Managers
2. Big Data and Hadoop Architect
- Median salary in the US: $ 119,500
- Quickest way to become one? With a Big Data and Hadoop Architect certification.
- Openings: 2242
- Skillset required: Big Data and Hadoop Developer, Apache Spark and Scala, Mongo DB, Developer and Administrator skills, Apache Cassandra, Apache Storm, Apache Kafka, Java Map Reduce, Hive and Pig.
This is the next step for enthusiastic Big Data Hadoop Developers. As a Big Data and Hadoop Architect, you’ll implement, maintain, and support Hadoop clusters as well as integrate them with other open-source technologies in the Hadoop ecosystem.
Not only will it be challenging and exciting for you to perform data integration, but your organization will value you for maximizing the return on Big Data and supporting top business imperatives.
Who should consider becoming a Big Data Hadoop Architect?
- Software Developers, Testers, Architects
- Analytics and Data Management professionals
- Data warehouse professionals
- Anybody with expertise in Hadoop, NoSQL, Hive, HBase, Spark, and Pig
3. Agile Scrum Master
- Median salary in the US: $126,000
- Quickest way to become one? With an Agile Scrum Master certification.
- Openings: 25,042
- Skillset required: An attitude of empowerment and transparency, understanding of iterative development and software development processes, backlog tracking, burn down metrics, velocity and task definition, etc.
An Agile Scrum Master is someone who is an expert in Scrum practices and Agile development methodology and facilitating the execution of complex, innovative projects. Strong Scrum skills can pave the way for roles in IT Service Management, software development, business management, and project management.
Your Agile mindset and Scrum focus will help you stay relevant at organizations, often across a range of industries, that have adopted these practices.
Who should consider becoming an Agile Scrum Master?
- Team leads
- Project managers
- Scrum team members, including Developers, Scrum Masters, and Product Owners
4. Junior Android Developer
- Median salary in the US: $77,500
- Quickest way to become one? With an Android Developer certification.
- Skillset required: Java, Android SDK, APIs, databases, material design, and XML.
This is a great career option for recent graduates and amateur web developers. To become an Android developer, you need to know Java and understand the Android development environment.
Although Junior Android Developer is an entry-level position in Android App Development, you’ll be in charge of developing custom applications for phones and tablets.
With businesses migrating to mobile, you are going to have a splendid career ahead. You can even earn a tidy sum of money by becoming a freelancer.
5. Search Engine Optimization Analyst
- Median salary in the US: $94,000
- Quickest way to become one? With an SEO Specialist certification.
- Skillset required: Analytical skills, HTML, server-side configuration, on-page SEO, and link-building.
This is one of the hottest entry-level jobs in the online marketing industry. An SEO Analyst implements SEO and social media strategies, maintains website health, optimizes a website by keeping it search-engine friendly, and promotes the company’s reputation in the online world. Knowledge of SEO tools and digital marketing techniques is a must for this role.
You might be aware of the fact that businesses are striving to gain traction on the web, but did you know the extent of the SEO efforts they put in to remain relevant both online and offline?
As an SEO Analyst, you’ll occupy the space between Marketing and IT, and your strategies become the deciding factor when it comes to online reputation management. That’s a powerful role to be in!
6. Salesforce Developer
- Median salary in the US: $100,000
- Quickest way to become one? With Salesforce App Builder (DEV 401) certification, Salesforce Platform Developer 1 (DEV 450).
- Skillset required: No coding skills required for entry-level jobs, good programming knowledge needed for senior-level jobs.
To become a Salesforce Developer, it is necessary that you have a good understanding of Salesforce features and know when to code.
As a Salesforce Developer, you’ll design, develop, test, and implement custom applications using declarative functionalities on the Force.com platform. You will use Apex and Visual force to extend the standard functionality of Salesforce and manage development resources. What’s more, with this job you’ll become an integral part of the strategic architecting measures of an organization.
7. Cyber Security Specialist
- Median salary in the US: $125,000
- Quickest way to become one? With CompTIA Security+, Ethical Hacking, Advanced Penetration testing, and CISSP certifications.
- Skillset required: Networking knowledge, experience using real-time code analysis tools, experience in identifying root causes of vulnerabilities and recommending countermeasures to mitigate risks, SQL injection without tools, simulating cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, X-Path Injection, etc.
As a Cyber Security Specialist, you will need to constantly learn about new technologies and update your knowledge about the latest cyber-security risks. You’ll proactively respond to incidents, perform security procedures to detect violations, mitigate potential risks, recommend enhancements, and maintain system and information security. In short, this role gives you the guardianship of information systems in business organizations and government agencies.
Who should consider becoming a Cyber Security Specialist?
- Security Managers
- IT Managers
- Security Systems Engineers
- Security Administrators/Engineers
- Network Administrators/Engineers
- System Administrators/Engineers
8. AWS Solutions Architect
- Median salary in the US: $125,871
- Quickest way to become one? With an AWS Solutions Architect – Associate certification.
- Skillset required: Experience in the AWS cloud computing platform and traditional IT infrastructure, ability to identify and define requirements for an AWS-based application, in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language, knowledge of network design, data storage, security, scalability and elasticity, cloud migration, hybrid architecture, etc.
As a Solutions Architect, you’ll be the key techie who gets to choose the design and the architecture of cloud/virtualization solutions for your company on the AWS platform. As the best cloud computing platform with respect to performance, speed, pricing, and security, AWS is the most popular choice with most enterprises.
To become a Solutions Architect, you need to have proven experience in enterprise and/or service-oriented architecture, comprehensive knowledge of various cloud computing technologies and providers, and the ability to define cloud solutions based on business needs and requirements.
Who should consider becoming an AWS Solutions Architect?
Experienced professionals who can:
- deploy hybrid systems with on-premises and AWS components,
- build secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform, and
- design cost efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.
To conclude, continuous professional education is the key to career success and hefty pay packages. Organizations can’t afford to ignore professional certifications, especially when they serve as validation of the professional knowledge and skillset of a potential employee. Continuous education and certifications can give that much-needed boost to your productivity, efficiency, and employability. Make learning a habit and invest in skills-training with certifications to land your dream job quickly.
Which Dream Role Have You Set Your Sights On?
Which of these awesome certifications is the perfect fit for your profile? Do you feel there are alternative learning paths to get to any of these positions? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via hd.unsplash.com