From Microsoft to Google, careers in the technology industry are fast paced, continually evolving, and at the frontier of innovation.
As a result, technology is one of the most popular industries among MBA graduates: 17% of MBAs join the tech industry after graduation, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
Pursuing an MBA or a business master's degree offers a great way to access sector-specific knowledge and network with recruiters from leading tech companies at school-run careers events. But which tech jobs offer the highest salaries?
Here's eight of the best paid jobs in technology, including those senior-level management jobs often occupied by business school grads.
Best Paid Jobs In Technology
8. Blockchain developer
Average base salary: $105k*
Top recruiters: Microsoft, Sony
As a blockchain developer, you’ll design blockchain protocols and blockchain systems and continually identify arising issues. You could also be involved in areas like web app development and forming smart contracts.
You can expect an average base salary of $105k, joining popular MBA-employing companies like Microsoft and Sony, or even startups like German fintech venture N26 and sustainable cryptocurrency service AltaFin—both hirers of MBAs.
Business schools like Hong Kong's HKUST Business School acknowledge the need for future business leaders to combine technical skills with business knowledge, delivering MBA courses on blockchain technology.
Moreover, understanding blockchain ranked as the most in-demand skill in the job market in 2020.
7. Product manager
Average base salary: $110k+
Top recruiters: Cisco, Hewlett Packard
Product managers bridge the gap between clients and coders, leading a team to build market-tailored products and strategizing the next steps.
MBAs often occupy product management roles in tech firms as the role allows them to apply knowledge across business and strategy, in addition to coding skills. Many business schools like Harvard Business School teach coding courses for MBAs, helping these future business leaders communicate with tech engineers.
You can expect a decent average base pay of $110,424, and likely more at top firms like Cisco and Hewlett Packard.
6. Data scientist
Average base salary: $114k+ a year
Top recruiters: Facebook, National Basketball Association
As a data scientist, you’ll need to be well-versed in things like big data, data analytics, and machine learning, applying these new technologies when predicting future business problems and making data-driven decisions.
You'll work in one of the best paid jobs in technology, earning an average base salary of $114,534 per year in the US, with some roles even reaching $162k per year. Big tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon hire data scientists. If you’re looking for something different, the National Basketball Association (NBA) hires data scientists and employ business school graduates.
The best paid subsector of data science is media, offering roles in research and development and data product management, reaching an average salary of $120,000, according to Emolument.
5. Artificial intelligence (AI) engineer
Average base salary: $115k+ a year
Top recruiters: Facebook, Electronic Arts (EA)
As an AI engineer, you’ll leverage your expertise in AI, machine learning, and scripting languages when developing algorithms, with the aim of enhancing the user experience.
You could land a job in game development with companies like EA or work for an AI-driven startup like Eightfold AI, specializing in talent management.
More and more business schools are providing courses on machine learning. Schools like Stanford even offer a joint MBA and MS in Computer Science, equipping future business leaders with the technical know-how to lead digital transformation.
AI ranked as one of the most sought-after skills in 2020. As a result, AI engineering ranks amongst one of the highest paying tech jobs: the average base salary for an AI engineer in the US is $115k per year, but you could earn up to $171k at some firms.
4. Site reliability engineer (SRE)
Average base salary: $125k+ a year
Top recruiters: Adobe, LinkedIn
As a site reliability engineer, you'll be managing, and monitoring the production services of an organization, with the overall goal of enhancing the reliability and performance of a site.
It’s a role that demands in-depth knowledge of scripting languages like Python and cloud computing providers. As an SRE, you could rake in an average base salary of $125k per year, up to around $181k. You can also expect to land roles with companies like LinkedIn and Adobe or work in network security with startups like Unit21.
3. Cloud architect
Average base salary: $133k+ a year
Top recruiters: Accenture, Deloitte
As a cloud architect, you’ll be responsible for the cloud computing system of your organization, designing solutions to cope with arising technical issues.
You can learn about cloud platforms on the MBA at business schools like Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, who offer big data and cloud computing electives.
Opportunities include jobs with consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte, who are also among the top employers of MBAs, or chances to work with disruptive tech companies like MongoDB, taking on big names like IBM and Oracle in designing more efficient and affordable databases.
Cloud architects can earn an average base salary of $133k per year. Some roles reach up to $192k per year.
2. Enterprise architect
Average base salary: $145k+ a year
Top recruiters: PwC, IBM
This role requires a blend of strategic thinking and technical skills. As an enterprise architect, you’ll be responsible for things like improving business efficiency, reducing costs, and improving sustainability while managing your organization’s IT systems.
Enterprise architects can progress to roles such as chief architect and chief technology officer.
Expect a generous salary, too: in the US, the average base pay for enterprise architects is $145,522 per year, with some roles reaching highs of $203k, making it one of the highest paid tech jobs. Top firms like PwC and IBM hire enterprise architects.
1. Chief technology officer (CTO)
Average base salary: $167k+
Top recruiters: IBM, Apple
As the CTO, you’ll manage your company’s use of technology, setting policies and heading research and development.
It’s a lucrative role that MBA-holders can fill, using strategic knowledge combined with technology expertise to drive important decisions. As a result, you can head up technology within major tech firms like IBM and Apple.
Being in an executive position, you’ll bag a generous salary, reaching an average base pay of $167,399 per year. In some firms, you could land up to $293k per year.
*Salary data is sourced from Glassdoor and US average figures are provided. Hiring companies were sourced from Glassdoor and LinkedIn.