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The 10 most in-demand tech jobs for 2023 — and how to hire for them

From cloud engineers to developers to security pros, the battle for the best IT talent wages. Here’s what to look for (and what to offer) when hiring for the 10 most in-demand IT jobs for 2023.

By Sarah K. White, CIO 

JAN 9, 2023 2:00 AM

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The ongoing tight IT job market has companies doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that means getting a head start in filling this year’s most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2023 IT salary report. The survey also reveals the average salaries for each role based on experience.

Recruiting in the tech industry remains strong, according to the report. Of those surveyed, 56% said they planned to hire for new roles in the coming year and 39% said they planned to hire for vacated roles. But 86% of technology managers also said that it’s challenging to find skilled professionals in software and applications development, technology process automation, and cloud architecture and operations. Companies will have to be more competitive than ever to land the right talent in these high-demand areas.

While many factors will impact the starting salary for any given role, including competition, location, corporate culture, and budgets, there are certain things you can look for to make sure you land the talent you want. Here are 10 jobs expected to be in high demand for 2023, the skills and experience you should look for when hiring, and the average salary you’ll want to pay to stay competitive in the marketplace.

The 10 most in-demand tech jobs for 2023

Job25th percentile50th percentile75th percentile
Cloud engineer$102,500$122,750$143,750
Database developer$105,000$127,250$144,250
DevOps engineer$108,250$133,750$157,500
Front-end developer$81,250$98,500$117,250
Help desk and desktop support professional$38,250 (tier 1); $44,750 (tier 2); $54,250 (tier 3)$46,250 (tier 1); $54,500 (tier 2); $65,750 (tier 3)$51,500 (tier 1); $61,000 (tier 2); $77,750 (tier 3)
Network administrator$82,500$101,000$118,500
Network security engineer$112,500$135,750$158,750
Software developer$103,250$126,500$148,000
Software engineer$106,500$127,000$149,750
Systems security manager$134,250$164,250$194,250
  • 25th percentile: new to the type of role, still acquiring relevant skills
  • 50th percentile: average experience, has most of the necessary skills
  • 75th percentile: above average experience, has all needed skills

Cloud engineer

Cloud engineers are responsible for overseeing an organization’s cloud-based systems, developing and implementing cloud applications, and migrating existing applications to the cloud. These candidates should have experience debugging cloud stacks, securing apps in the cloud, and creating cloud-based solutions. Cloud engineers should have experience troubleshooting, analytical skills, and knowledge of SysOps, Azure, AWS, GCP, and CI/CD systems. The role also requires soft skills such as strong communication, collaboration, and client management skills. The role typically requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field and at least three years of experience in cloud computing. Keep an eye out for candidates with certifications such as AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, Google Cloud Professional, and Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience identifying and implementing optimal cloud solutions
  • Knowledge of cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and GCP
  • Programming skills in languages such as Python, Java, and R
  • Understanding of DevOps, APIs, and web services

Database developer

Database developers are responsible for developing and maintaining new servers, identifying business needs to better understand technology requirements, and troubleshooting servers. These candidates will be skilled at troubleshooting databases, understanding best practices, and identifying front-end user requirements. Database developers should have experience with NoSQL databases, Oracle Database, big data infrastructure, and big data engines such as Hadoop. The role typically requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field and three or more years of experience as a database developer or related field.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Ability to design database systems based on user requirements
  • Ability to write SQL code
  • Experience managing, developing, and maintaining new servers
  • Knowledge of NoSQL databases, Oracle Database, big data infrastructure, Hadoop or other big data engines, the .NET framework, HTML, and JavaScript and PHP

DevOps engineer

DevOps engineers develop and improve IT systems and work as a go-between for development teams to ensure a flow between coding and engineering. This role is vital for improving and maintaining IT and cloud infrastructure, ultimately boosting productivity in the business. DevOps engineers must be able to deploy automated applications, maintain applications, and identify the potential risks and benefits of new software and systems. The role typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field as well as experience with automation, deploying infrastructure, and developing services on cloud platforms such as AWS. Certifications to look for include the Docker Certified Associate (DCA), Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA), AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, and Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Knowledge of coding languages, including C++, Java, Perl, Python, and Ruby
  • Understanding of agile software development methodologies
  • Ability to implement and work with IT automation tools such as Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and SaltStack
  • Analytical, problem solving, and collaboration skills

Front-end developer

Front end developers are responsible for coding, designing, maintaining, and editing applications on web and mobile. This role requires the ability to build web and mobile applications with a focus on user experience, functionality, and usability. It requires a strong ability for complex project management and to juggle design requirements while ensuring the final product is scalable, maintainable, and efficient. Front-end developers write and analyze code, debug applications, and have a strong understanding of databases and networks. The role typically requires a bachelor’s degree in information technology or a related field and experience with multiple programming languages.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Skills and experience with tools such as CSS, Sass, JavaScript, and jQuery
  • Ability to create and manage web and mobile applications
  • Deep knowledge of coding and website functionality
  • Creative thinking and communication skills

Help desk, tiers 2 and 3

For customer-facing businesses, the help desk is an important part of running an efficient business. As the first line of defense for customer service and troubleshooting, help desk workers need to have the right technical and soft skills for the job. Robert Half Technology breaks out the role of help desk technician into three tiers, given that the job description and requirements can vary significantly based on the business.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Tier 1: Entry-level positions that require less than two years of experience, an associate degree, or coursework at a technical school
  • Tier 2: Experienced positions that require two to four years of experience, a two-year or bachelor’s degree, and relevant work experience
  • Tier 3: Skilled positions that require four or more years of experience in a help desk setting, bachelor’s degree in a related field, and professional certifications

Network and computer systems administrator

Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for handling the daily operations of computer networks in the enterprise. These IT pros typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and should be knowledgeable in LAN/WAN protocol, software, and hardware. This position involves a lot of time spent troubleshooting, and network and computer systems administrators typically need to be on call in case of an emergency or failure. What you look for in experience will depend on how extensive your network needs are, but there are certain skills and certifications that can help you find the most qualified workers.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Troubleshooting and communication skills
  • Analytic and diagnostic skills
  • A willingness to be on call after hours
  • Professional certifications

Network security engineer

Network security engineers are tasked with deploying and maintaining corporate WAN, LAN, and server architecture. These IT pros help steer the organization on the right path with network security by enforcing corporate network security policies, ensuring overall compliance, and managing external security audits and recommendations. The role requires implementing and administering network security hardware and software, identifying security policies and communicating them to the organization, and have an eye on emerging trends in network security technologies. The role typically requires a four-year college degree in a technology field — you’ll also want to keep an eye out for candidates with security-related certifications. Candidates should have at least five years of experience with installing, monitoring, and maintaining network security solutions.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Analytical skills to evaluate network security needs
  • Ability to design, integrate, and install hardware and software
  • Knowledge of how to maintain firewalls, risk detection systems, and other security systems
  • Experience testing, monitoring, and troubleshooting network security systems

Software developer

Software developers are responsible for designing, developing, installing, testing, and maintaining software systems. The job requires coding, designing, and building applications, websites, or mobile apps, working with multiple programming languages such as C#, C++, HTML, Java, Microsoft .NET, and SQL Server. Developers need to be able to understand client requirements and provide recommendations for improving web, software, and mobile applications to ensure they meet user needs.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Knowledge of multiple programming languages
  • Analytical and technical skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science
  • Two-year associate degree with certifications, bootcamps, and prior work experience

Software engineer

Software engineers are responsible for designing and creating software programs and applications to suit business needs. It’s a role that requires cross-collaboration and communication skills, as well as the ability to work in a team environment. Software engineers are tasked with producing quality source code that is well-documented and organized, and they work closely with quality assurance to ensure software is properly tested. The role typically requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering or a related discipline.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Programming languages, including C#, C++, and Java
  • Experience with the .NET Framework
  • Ability to collaborate across teams to test hardware and software integration
  • Create documentation for software specifications

Systems security manager

A systems security manager is responsible for managing and leading a team of security administrators, analysts, and other IT professionals with the goal of overseeing the company’s overall IT security. The role typically requires a bachelor’s degree in information systems and five or more years of experience with systems and network security; management experience may be required as well. When hiring for this role, look for candidates who hole Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and CompTIA Security+ certifications.
Skills and experience to look for:

  • Leadership and training skills
  • Experience with complex contracts and compliance
  • Experience identifying and predicting security threats
  • Ability to manage security audits and to respond to network or system intrusions
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