Safest Tech Jobs for the Next 8 Years

If there’s any certainty in the tech world, it’s uncertainty. Technologies that dominate today could end up obsolete in a few short years; little-used programming languages and apps may rise to become ubiquitous within a particular industry, or fade away entirely. As a technology professional, trying to predict the long-term outcome often seems like a fool’s game.

With that caveat in mind, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers some estimates for how certain tech-related professions will fare over the next eight years (i.e., through 2024), based on number of jobs created or lost:

  • Web Developers: 27 percent increase
  • Computer Systems Analysts: 21 percent increase
  • Information Security Analysts: 18 percent increase
  • Software Developers: 17 percent
  • Computer Support Specialists: 12 percent increase
  • Database Administrators: 11 percent increase
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists: 11 percent increase
  • Computer Network Architects: 9 percent increase
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators: 8 percent increase
  • Computer Programmers: 8 percent decline

“Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations,” read the note accompanying the BLS estimates. “These occupations are expected to add about 488,500 new jobs, from about 3.9 million jobs to about 4.4 million jobs from 2014 to 2024.”

The bureau attributes the growth to a combination of factors, including an increased reliance on the cloud and data analytics, as well as more household and industrial items ending up connected to the so-called “Internet of Things.” An increase in security-related jobs is likewise a no-brainer, considering the generalized need to patch system-wide vulnerabilities. (As mentioned in a previous Dice piece, the BLS believes that computer programming—the single subcategory with estimated declines—faces stiff headwinds from outsourcing.)

Even if you wholeheartedly subscribe to the BLS estimates, however, there’s still the big question of which skills will prove especially relevant over the next several years. You can get into Web development (for example) on the logical assumption that it will exist as a viable profession for a long time to come—but trying to accurately predict which languages and tools will prove most popular in 2018, 2020, or 2024 is largely impossible. Just as the release of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 birthed a rich (and largely unanticipated) market for mobile-app development, some future technology may fundamentally alter how tech pros work.

That means staying on top of your industry means keeping your skills up-to-date, and a lookout for new technologies that may impact your job in fundamental ways.

4 Responses to “Safest Tech Jobs for the Next 8 Years”

  1. Mary in Illinois

    The categories are misleading…what is the line between software development and computer programming? I don’t see a category for Data analytics…maybe Computer and Information Research Scientists? With node.js and other server javascript frameworks and Python now popular, and with Apple moving to Swift, why can’t more programmers be retrained and repurposed easily? Javascript, with so many available frameworks, Python and Swift are very easy compared to the leading languages of the past.

    Finally, Microsoft still owns a big niche and database software skills are similar across platforms.

    What has really happened is that offshore resources and inexpensive contractors on visas are the only ones supported to make use of transferable skills, simply switching to new languages and platforms as they appear. Hire three of them for the price of one American? Usually one out of the three is training the other two, sometimes almost dictating to them.

  2. Jeff silverman

    The fact that software developers went up by 17% while computer programmers go down by 8% suggests that a lot of labels used to describe jobs are changing, not that the fundamental work is changing.

    For example, I hear a lot of people talking about “DevOps”, but “DevOps” seems to mean different things to different people.