The “Talking Tech with Cisco” blog is a year old this week. Happy birthday to us! Thanks very much to all of you in the Cisco Learning Network community for your enthusiastic readership and blog commentary so far.

Since I can’t crack open a bottle of champagne with you all, I’ll celebrate in another way—by giving you something to be happy about, and that’s IT salary information that I received by email recently from Cisco learning partner Global Knowledge.

In his article “Best Paying Jobs in IT,” IT expert John Hales shares with us his Top 10 IT job categories with the highest salaries, based on Global Knowledge’s 2016 IT Skills and Salary Report. In compiling the underlying report, Global Knowledge surveyed 10,000 IT and business professionals in North America. (Realizing that we do have a worldwide audience here, I do keep an eye out for global salary information, such as with this “IT Salaries Around the World” post earlier in the year.)

IT Networking Takes Gold, Silver, and Bronze

Here are the Top 10 from John Hales’ article, along with the average salary for each job category. “Average salary” in this case refers to the mean, not the median or other statistical measures:

  1. Cloud computing – $115,826
  2. global-knowledge-salary-report.jpgIT architecture – $113,499
  3. IT security – $104,949
  4. Business technology – $101,663
  5. Enterprise infrastructure management – $101,390
  6. Java developers – $99,763
  7. Project/program management – $98,607
  8. Data warehousing/business intelligence – $93,522
  9. Business application development – $92,037
  10. Voice engineering – $91,489


The first three on this list should be particularly encouraging as they are all in the wheelhouse for those of you joining me here in the blogosphere. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Cloud Is Still Hot

Hales indicates that cloud computing’s position at the top of the list is somewhat tied to the fact that “many, many companies want to get into the cloud but really don’t understand what it is, how it works, and how it will help them.”

It’s an area where someone who can come into an organization and sort things out is going to be in high demand. Hales cautions that salaries might even out somewhat in the future as “supply and demand come into balance.”

Cloud is, in fact, helping to propel IT architecture to no. 2 on the list because, as Hales states, “there is a huge demand for those that can design IT architectures in the cloud as well as those that can span both on-site and cloud-based deployments and have them work together seamlessly.”

Hales encourages those interested in moving up within the IT architecture sphere to concentrate on the following skills and knowledge:

  • Understanding of how things work in the cloud
  • Ability to leverage cloud strengths to meet business goals
  • Scripting languages like Python and PowerShell
  • Automation techniques such as Chef, Puppet, and Ansible
  • Networking tools such as load balancers, routers, and firewalls


The inclusion of IT security in the top 3 salary winners should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been reading the many posts on this blog about the pervasiveness of cybercrime. Hales points out in his article that IT security surfaced as the no. 1 area of interest among the Global Knowledge survey respondents—with 43 percent citing it as a topic of import. He adds that the military can be a fine avenue for pursuing a career around cyberwarfare, although it can take a little while to climb through the ranks to the highest salaries.

Let’s Hear It for Voice

It’s also nice to see voice engineering crack the Top 10 list. Says Hales, “If you are interested in phone systems and this subspecialty of networking, you can get certified on the various systems fairly quickly. Obviously, knowing more about security and general networking will also be helpful in securing the best jobs.”

Check out John Hales’ exploration of the Top 10 further here. And the complete Global Knowledge 2016 IT Skills and Salary Report upon which it is based has plenty more meaty information about compensation but also about professional development (including certifications), the viewpoints of IT decision makers, and technology areas of interest for 2016.

If you’re fired up by cloud, go here! If you’re fired up by security, go here! And, on the occasion of this first birthday of the blog, I invite you to let me know in the Comments below what you want to see more coverage of moving forward.




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Gary Pfitzer is a content manager at Learning@Cisco, focused on bringing various aspects of today's IT journey to light through business papers, blogging, customer success stories, and other writing.