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Information technology salaries

November 29, 2021
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As you study to earn a master’s degree in computing and information technology (IT), you'll dig into network protocols and topology, as well as a variety of security technologies and policies. Fluency in all of these areas will position you for multiple careers supporting an organization’s digital infrastructure.

The career outlook in information technology is highly encouraging. According to recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, at a faster-than-average rate for all occupations.1 Many professionals with a master’s degree in computing and information technology earn more than $100,000 a year. Read on to explore some of the hottest careers—and most attractive information technology salaries—in the market today.

Computer and information systems manager: $175,585

A computer and information systems manager coordinates, plans and directs an organization’s IT system. While some positions in a company involve direct focus on specific elements of computer-related activities, the information systems manager oversees the full gamut of digital systems and resources. In multiple departments, which may include:

  • Networking
  • Cyber security
  • Customer support, particularly for companies with customer-facing web applications
  • IT sourcing and purchasing
  • Internal IT support

In many organizations, the information systems manager also coordinates the efforts of third-party services, such as external security providers, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud services. Core responsibilities may involve:

  • Working with network architects to optimize the company’s connectivity
  • Strategizing the best ways to protect the organizations, computers, software and users from cyber threats
  • Providing executives with digital solutions to business problems
  • Overseeing the organization’s resiliency and continuity plans so it can recover quickly after a breach
  • Ensuring that staff members are well educated regarding their responsibilities in keeping the company’s information systems secure
  • Teaming up with other departments, such as sales or customer support, to ensure they have the resources and solutions they need

Computer and information systems managers earn a median annual salary of $175,585.2

Cyber security architect: $135,836

Cyber security architects design cyber defense systems that span the entire ecosystem of an organization’s computer infrastructure, which can include:

  • On-site computers, servers and other devices
  • On-site data centers
  • Cloud and hybrid environments
  • Business applications
  • Computerized workflows, such as those involving several apps working in sync
  • Remote workers’ connections
  • Bring your own device (BYOD) policies

Designing the architecture of a company’s cyber security system involves mitigating risk, preventing attacks and designing resiliency systems to help the organization recover after an event. Cyber security architects’ responsibilities can vary greatly, depending on the layout of the company’s network, its size and the resources the architects are in charge of protecting. They earn a median annual salary of $135,836.3

Network architect: $116,780

Network architects find the best ways for employees, executives and contractors to connect with each other and with the company resources. In many organizations, these specialists also see to it that customers can connect to the company’s services. Regardless of who is connecting and how, network architects must ensure that they and their data are safe. This involves designing a network while keeping in mind:

  • Who has to connect and when
  • The kind of bandwidth users need
  • The bandwidth and storage requirements of web applications
  • The best ways for users to maintain connectivity, particularly when running business-critical applications
  • Which areas of the network may be of particular concern for cyber security personnel

Network architects’ responsibilities frequently extend far beyond a company’s physical borders. They ensure that remote workers, customers, clients and partners can exchange data and access business systems. When a business has multiple locations, they may be called upon to design wide area networks (WANs) or software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) to enable the secure, efficient exchange of information.

These specialists earn a median annual salary of $116,780.4

Information security analyst: $103,590

Information security analysts plan and execute security measures designed to protect an organization’s digital assets, including:

  • Computers
  • Networking equipment
  • Servers
  • Data
  • Cloud resources
  • Applications
  • Elements of digitally transformed systems and services

Information security analysts can work on site or remotely, primarily because they can connect through a virtual private network to address issues and provide service. Their responsibilities call on them to:

  • Plan and orchestrate ways of protecting internal users, their transmissions and the systems on which a business depends
  • Build security systems using the latest anti-malware software, firewalls and other tools
  • Ensure that employees and executives are up-to-speed regarding the latest threats and how they can prevent them
  • Strategize ways to enhance security without sacrificing workflow efficiency
  • Manage third-party security service providers

These specialists earn a median annual salary of $103,590 but may bring home more depending on the company they work for and any performance bonuses they receive.5

Penetration tester: $102,405

Penetration testers, also known as “pen testers,” determine the strength of an organization's cyber security systems by trying to hack them. This may involve looking for vulnerabilities in the overall system or in specific areas. When a company hires a pen tester to ascertain how strong its web application defenses are, for example, the pen tester may try to gain access to the web app or its back end by using a variety of tactics.

After the tester has finished trying to hack a system, he or she will produce a report outlining vulnerabilities as found, as well as suggestions for how to defend the network better. Penetration testers’ work can be a strong means to ensuring that a company’s investment in cyber security will deliver satisfactory return.

Some refer to pen testers as “ethical hackers” because they “attack” systems only after getting permission and with the intent to improve them. They earn a median annual salary of $102,405.6

Earn the IT salary you deserve.

Gain the qualifications to succeed and become career-ready in as little as two years. At Marquette University, you’ll study with expert faculty in the flexible online program that’s ranked No. 6 in Best Online Master's in Computer Information Technology Programs by US News & World Report.7 Reach out to one of our Admissions Advisors and start living the career that inspires you today.

Sources
  1. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
  2. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from glassdoor.com/Career/computer-and-information-systems-manager-career_KO0,40.htm
  3. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from salary.com/research/salary/listing/cyber-security-architect-salary
  4. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-network-architects.htm
  5. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
  6. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/penetration-tester-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm
  7. Retrieved on November 29, 2021, from usnews.com/education/online-education/marquette-university-OCIT0079/computer-information-technology