5 Most Popular IT Jobs in 2023

5 min

After 40 years of recruiting for technology roles, we have seen incredible advancements and ...

After 40 years of recruiting for technology roles, we have seen incredible advancements and changes within the industry. From the rise of the internet to the growing use of AI in shaping our future, it has always been an innovative and future-thinking sector to work in. 

Reflecting on our experiences got us thinking about the industry's present and future and, notably, the types of roles in growing demand. So, here are our top five most popular jobs this year and roles that will define the future of business and technology. 

1. Software Developer

Software developers apply mathematical and scientific principles to design, develop, audit, and maintain software applications. As a result, they play a vital role in creating digital solutions that we use in our everyday lives, from web-based systems and mobile apps to desktop software. 

Due to the rate at which technology advances and the continual adjustment of organisations' strategies to these advancements, you'll work in a constantly evolving and innovative environment. As a result, you'll work closely with systems analysts/architects in creating, testing, and maintaining systems to ensure they meet a company's standards and requirements.

Typical roles and responsibilities of a software developer include the following: 

  • The research, design, implementation, and maintenance of software programs. 
  • The testing and reviewing of new programs. 
  • Writing and implementation of effective code.
  • Proving training for users.
  • Maintenance and upgrading of existing systems.
  • Work with other developers and cross-departmentally with UX designers and business and systems analysts. 

Qualifications and Skills Required

Software developers are usually required to hold a bachelor's degree in related fields such as computer science, software development, engineering, and mathematics. Occasionally it is possible to enter the role without a related university degree. However, this is on a case-by-case basis, and you need to demonstrate that you have the required skills or the capacity to learn them. 

As well as educational background, software developers are also required to have specific skills, these include:

  • Mathematical ability
  • Exceptional time management and organisation skills 
  • Working as a team 
  • Highly analytical mind
  • Able to understand programming languages 
  • Drive for self-development to keep up with changing strategies and technological advancements. 
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy 
  • Understanding of industry and technological trends
  • Commercial and business awareness
  • High problem-solving abilities

Career Paths for Software Developers

With technology continuing to advance rapidly, career opportunities are growing. For ambitious and skilled developers who have the drive to develop their interpersonal and soft skills, there is a clear progression path into management roles. 

An example of a career path for a software developer is as follows:

  • Junior developer
  • Software developer
  • Senior software developer 
  • Software Development manager 
  • Director or Chief technology officer

Whatever your career path, a career as a software developer is enriching, innovative, and ever-evolving. You will be at the forefront of driving technological advancements and improving the process and productivity of businesses and people worldwide.

2. Data Analyst

Data analysts are experts in collecting vast volumes of complex data using specialist tools and turning it into a narrative. This data-driven narrative can make forecasts, spot trends, and help businesses and public and political organisations make better-informed decisions.  

The opportunities for data analysts are vast and highly varied, as they are in high demand across a cross-section of industries. The job can take them from major investment banks on Wall Street to big tech companies in Silicon Valley, such as Google and Meta. They can also work in governments, education, healthcare, retail, marketing and many other sectors. 

The roles and responsibilities of a data analyst include the following:

  • Analysing data to identify trends.
  • Use of specialist tools to extract the required data. 
  • Developing and implementing processes and systems to make working with data more efficient. 
  • Continuous research of new and innovative ways to make use of data. 
  • Production of reports that communicate data trends to non-specialists. 
  • Presentation of findings and information gathered from data to clients and stakeholders. 

Qualifications and Skills Required

Many employers require data analysts to hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant subject, including the following:

  • Mathematics
  • Economics
  • Information management
  • Computer science 
  • Statistics

However, as with software developers, there are cases where employers consider other non-relevant degrees. In this scenario, you must possess the relevant skills listed below. If you have a relevant or non-relevant degree, it is worth considering in both scenarios a postgraduate qualification. This should be in a related field, such as data science, science and analytics, big data, and business analytics.    

Data analysts are required to hold several specific skills, including the following:

  • Exceptional analytical and numerical skills. 
  • Logical thinker 
  • Understanding of data cleaning, data enrichment, and data modelling techniques. 
  • Knowledge of data analysis tools
  • Able to carry out data quality control and validation. 
  • Experience in data analysis techniques and statistical methodologies.
  • Ability to present data findings to stakeholders in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Problem-solving skills. 
  • Attention to detail. 

Career Paths for Data Analysts

The career opportunities for data analysts are vast due to their ability to work in such a cross-section of industries and teams. Therefore, the chosen career path depends on the individual analyst's appetite for learning and ambitions. To highlight this, Aswini Thota, who is a lead data scientist at Bose Corporation, stated:

"Unlike many IT roles, data analysts interact and coordinate with several enterprise teams, such as product management, data engineering, data science, IT, sales, marketing, finance, etc. These diverse interactions provide numerous career tracks for data analysts." 

3. Cyber Security Analyst 

The rise of technology has done many wonders for the world. It has helped us develop societies, improve our way of life, and explore outer space. However, the rise of technology also increases the chances of systems, networks, programs, data, and people being victims of cyber attacks. Cybercrime will incur a global cost of $10.5 trillion by 2025. To highlight the extent of this, it would make it the world's largest economy behind China and the US. 

To protect themselves against these attacks, many businesses hire cyber security analysts to prevent, detect, and manage threats. Job titles can differ from company to company, including cyber intelligence analyst, security consultant, and security operation centre analyst.  

A vast array of organisations across the private and public sectors hire analysts. You can work in security directly for the organisation or offer security consultancy or services to companies. Examples of organisations that you could work for include:

  • Government 
  • Media
  • Financial services 
  • Transport
  • Education
  • Energy
  • IT companies and network providers
  • Security consultancies 

Skills and Qualifications

Unlike many IT jobs, entering the profession without a degree is possible. This can be done by starting an entry-level IT job and working up to a cybersecurity position by learning the required skills and gaining relevant experience and industry certifications. 

Some employees do require a university degree in a related subject. The subjects required will vary from employer to employer. Here are a few common ones:

  • Mathematics
  • Computer science 
  • Software engineering 
  • Computer and information systems 
  • Cyber security 

As with many other IT roles, you can enter the profession with a non-related degree if you have industry knowledge, possess some of the skills, and have the drive to learn. However, as you advance your career, your degree will become less critical, and what you have achieved professionally will be crucial. 

The skills required for this role include the following:

  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills to identify and review threats, risks, and trends. 
  • Knowledge of security technologies, including application and network firewalls, antivirus, and host intrusion prevention. 
  • Understanding of risks associated with different technologies and how to manage them. 
  • Ability to collaborate with clients and team members. 
  • Exceptional writing skills, including being able to produce technical reports.
  • Attention to detail 
  • Ability to work under pressure. 
  • Time management and being able to meet deadlines. 
  • Strong communication skills, including presentation skills. 

Career Paths for Cyber Security Analysts

The career path in cybersecurity can be split into three steps - entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level. Usually, entry-level positions are analyst roles. 

From this, you can move up to mid-level and become a cyber security architect responsible for designing, creating, and maintaining security systems within an organisation's IT network. 

The next stage, senior-level, would be becoming a cyber security engineer responsible for creating and implementing highly secure network solutions that can protect against potential cyber-attack threats. 

As technology advances, so will the need for cyber security to protect businesses, organisations, and people. It is an industry that will continue to grow, and being a part of it will mean you have a career with many opportunities to carry out vital work. 

4. Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning engineers are expert technical programmers who research, design, and create artificial intelligence (AI) systems with massive data sets to generate algorithms capable of learning and making predictions. In addition, each time the software operates, it can 'learn' from its results and carry out future operations to a higher degree of accuracy. 

For these systems to be designed and function correctly, they need the machine learning engineer to continually assess, analyse, and organise data, carry out tests, and optimise the learning process to aid the development of high-performance machine learning models. 

The key responsibilities of a machine learning engineer include the following:

Design, develop, and create machine learning systems, schemes, and models. 
Carry out statistical analysis and use the results to improve the ML models. 
Identification of differences in data distribution that could affect the performance of models in real-life scenarios. 
The training and retraining of ML models and systems as required. 
Ability to understand when results and findings can influence and decide business decisions. 
The study, transformation, and conversion of data science prototypes. 
Enhancing current ML libraries and frameworks. 

Skills and Qualifications 

Machine learning engineers are expected to have at least a master's degree and, in some cases, a PhD in a related field, such as computer science. Engineers are also expected to possess advanced knowledge of mathematics and data analysis.

They should also possess crucial skills, including the following:

  • Expertise in probability and statistics
  • Expertise in data evaluation and modelling
  • Expertise in the application of machine learning libraries and algorithms. 
  • Exceptional software engineering and development skills. 
  • Experienced in machine learning platforms such as Google Cloud, IBM Watson, and Microsoft Azure. 
  • Extensive knowledge of ML programming languages such as C++, JavaScript, Scala, and Python. 

Career Paths for Machine Learning Engineers 

Due to the extraordinary rise of AI technology, the demand for machine learning skills is growing. According to Linkedin, it is predicted to be one of the most sought-after tech positions moving forward. In addition, Forbes has indicated that the need for AI and machine learning skills will grow 71% by 2025. 

Machine learning engineers work across a cross-section of industries, such as:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Finance and insurance 
  • IT
  • Manufacturing 
  • Professional services

After you've gained extensive experience coding machine learning and/or statistical modelling-based solutions (the level of experience will vary for different organisations), you can become a senior machine learning engineer. 

5. Cloud Architect 

Cloud architects are responsible for creating, optimising, and maintaining cloud computing solutions for clients. Clients can include IT providers, cloud computing businesses, tech research companies, and IT departments. 

Examples of components of cloud-based solutions that cloud architects work with are:

  • Back-end platforms - This refers to a cloud system's software and hardware components, such as servers, network devices, data storage, virtual machines, and hypervisors.
  • Front-end platforms - Includes everything the client will interact with and allow them to access the cloud. 
  • Cloud-based data delivery models - Provide organisations with IT capabilities through one of these three major models - SAAS, IAAS, and PAAS. 

Key responsibilities of a cloud architect include:

  • Creation of cloud strategies and the management of adaptation processes. 
  • Development and organisation of cloud systems.
  • Assessing cloud applications, software, and hardware. 
  • Working closely with IT security to ensure an organisation's cloud privacy.
  • Identifying top cloud architecture solutions to meet the needs of the company.
  • Providing guidance in infrastructure movement techniques. This includes bulk application transfer into the cloud. 
  • Responding to technical issues in a timely, professional, and effective manner.

Qualifications and Skills

Most cloud architects hold a bachelor's degree in related subjects such as computer science, engineering, strategic leadership and management, and computer and information technology. However, whilst it is not a requirement, it can be advantageous when entering the profession to hold a master's degree.

It is also a requirement that you hold several skills, including:

  • Knowledge of how databases, networks, and other vital IT functions work. 
  • Expertise in programming languages like PHP, NOde.js, and Java.
  • Understanding of cloud security principles to protect cloud data from hackers and unauthorised users. 
  • A basic level of business skills to support organisations in developing cloud-based solutions for their business needs. 

You can gain many certifications from a vast number of vendors that will help build your skills and knowledge and ensure they are up to date. Furthermore, holding certificates from different vendors can be advantageous as it can open up the choice of organisation you can work for. These vendors include IBM, Microsoft, AWS, and Google. You can discover more about the most popular certifications available here

Career Path for Cloud Architect 

As digitalisation continues across all business sectors, cloud service needs increase. Therefore the demand for cloud architects to create and manage these infrastructures is also growing. Due to this, the career opportunities for cloud architects are vast. 

A typical career path is as follows:

  • Cloud architect 
  • Senior cloud architect 
  • Principal cloud architect 
  • Director/head of cloud architecture. 

Looking for the Latest IT Jobs? 

As a leading provider of specialist technology staffing solutions, we are ready to connect you with some of Europe's most prominent and respected tech businesses. 

We want to know you, your requirements, and your career ambitions. We can use this information to provide you with the latest IT jobs that best meet your needs. We will then support you every step of the way in the recruitment process. 

For more information about how we can support you, visit our dedicated candidates' page and speak to the team today.