In-Demand IT Careers

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If you’re just starting out in information technology, use these documents to explore different careers, find ways to get started and how much you can expect to get paid.

Compiled by CompTIA’s ITSS Community, these career descriptions focus on positions companies have the hardest time filling, and what kind of skills you’ll need to succeed. The descriptions also include educational paths and certifications to get you started. To compare jobs at a glance, see the related IT Earning Index.

Project Manager

  • IT Career Video

    Hear what Amber has to say about her career as a senior project manager.

  • Job Description

    Project managers determine the size and scope of a project and create a plan for execution. They must be at once detail oriented and able to see the big picture, while offering direction and guidance to the people working on the project. Project managers are creative, resourceful and great at time management. Download the full job description.

  • Salary

    Excellent project managers earn their keep. Salaries range from $60,000 to $130,000, depending on the level of expertise and geographic location. Use the IT Earning Index to compare multiple jobs and pay. [LINK “IT Earning Index” to new page, suggested URL

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    On the job, successful project managers:

    • Define the project’s missions, goals and tasks, while identifying key performance indicators for the project, for example, meeting sales goals and level of website traffic.
    • Plan the project from kick-off meeting to ribbon cutting.
    • Identify who can take on key roles and build teams of people from various departments — marketing, sales and IT, for example.
    • Create and manage a performance budget.
    • Use excellent communication skills.

Tech Support Specialist

  • IT Career Video

    Meet Adrienne, who loves her job as a tech support specialist, also known as a help desk technician.

  • Job Description

    Choose your path in mobile, cloud and traditional technologies as a tech support specialist. For an entry-level IT profession, you’ll be given a lot of responsibilities, from installing software desk-to-desk in multinational enterprises to troubleshooting networks of devices for small startups and family businesses. Download the full job description.

  • Salary

    Tech support specialists can start working with just a little training, and make good money right out of the gate. Salaries range from $45,000 to $92,000, depending on the level of expertise and geographic location. Use the IT Earning Index to compare multiple jobs and pay.

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    On the job, successful tech support specialists:

    • Repair hardware and software based on company and client needs.
    • Provide hardware installations for clients in a variety of environments.
    • Manage data from mobile devices.
    • Troubleshoot networking issues for client devices, including mobile, desktop and notebook systems.
    • Ensure proper access to the network through virtual private networking.
    • Migrate data from one device to another.

Network Engineer

  • IT Career Video

    Find out what Tim enjoys about his career as a network engineer specialist.

  • Job Description

    As a network engineer, you’ll set up wireless networks, manage routers and sniff out the problems within the network. Networking is closely tied to security, and network engineers are often responsible for securing routers, programming firewalls and detecting intrusions. Download the full job description.

  • Salary

    Salaries for network engineers range from $45,000 to $150,000, depending on the level of expertise and geographic location. Use the IT Earning Index to compare multiple jobs and pay.

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    On the job, successful network engineers:

    • Configure, install and maintain complex network devices, including cloud-based resources.
    • Understand networking equipment, including switches, routers and voice networking systems.
    • Understand security-related concepts, including access control and perimeter security.
    • Stay up to date on IPv4, IPv6, routing and wireless networking.
    • Master the ticketing system used to document tasks, problems, customers, procedures and resolutions.