In 2005, when the internet was still in its nascent stage, there were about 1 billion users around the world. In a single decade, that number doubled to reach 2 billion. Fast forward five short years to 2020 and there are 4.66 billion active internet users according to Statista.

As the fourth industrial revolution continues to flourish (and our internet usage stats suggest), technological innovation is not going to decline anytime soon. 

Even with the economy flagging in the wake of COVID-19, the tech industry is still expected to reach $5 trillion in 2021 and grow an additional 5% by 2024 according to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2021

That continued growth signifies that there will be even more available tech jobs on the market in 2021 and beyond. One of the best ways to snag one of those new openings is to upskill with an online course.

To help you select the best courses for making you job-ready, we’ve cross-referenced  Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data with our own enrollment numbers to create our list of the fastest-growing jobs in tech today and beyond.

All Eyes on Data: Data Jobs Will Be Big

When we examined the BLS’s top 20 fields with the highest-projected growth over the next decade and compared it to our enrollment data,  we found that several of the fastest-growing jobs in tech revolve around the Data industry. 

Three out of the eight jobs on our fastest-growing jobs list are data roles that can help companies analyze and streamline their data needs.  Take a look at the complete list:

Data Engineer

Data engineering is the foundation for the new world of Big Data. A data engineer is basically a combination of a software developer, DevOps engineer and data scientist all rolled into one. 

They’re responsible for building the infrastructure that keeps a company’s most valuable resource — data — organized and for unlocking the value of that data. On a typical workday, a data engineer will design data models, build data warehouses and data lakes, automate data pipelines and work with massive datasets.

Quick data engineer facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $102,000
  • Skills needed: Engineering, data science, databases/warehouses

Boasting an impressive 50% year-over-year growth rate, data engineering was named the fastest-growing job in tech in Dice’s 2020 Tech Job Report

Our enrollment numbers jibe with Dice and the BLS findings. Data Engineering earned the top spot as our most popular Nanodegree program in 2020 and had a 44% increase in enrollment from 2019.  

The program offers an ideal path for experienced programmers to learn data engineering principles and techniques. 

Take your engineering and analytics skills to the next level with our Data Engineer Nanodegree program. In this five-month program, you’ll cover everything data-related, including pipelines, models, warehouses, and more.

Data Analyst

Roles in data continue to reign supreme as jobs in data analysis also look promising. As a data analyst, you’ll combine skills in programming and statistical analysis to uncover insights, communicate critical findings and create data-driven solutions.

Quick data analyst facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $75,000
  • Skills needed: SQL, Python, statistics, data visualization, Microsoft  Excel

Employment of computer and information research scientists, including data analysts, is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029 according to the BLS. Our data also confirms interest in the job and continued growth. More specifically, a 55% increase in enrollment in our Data Analyst Nanodegree program over the last year. 

The Nanodegree program will help you take your programming and data skills to the next level in just four months with data wrangling, statistics and data visualization. Plus, learn to develop and share a compelling story with data.

The program requires some basic knowledge in Python and SQL, so it’s a great next step after the Programming for Data Science with Python Nanodegree program

Data Scientist

Roles in data science are also booming. Between the Internet of Things (IoT) and the 4.66 billion active internet users, more and more devices are online and collecting data. Companies then use this data to make informed decisions about their products and customers. As a data scientist, you will collect, clean and analyze data in order to make informed business decisions.

Quick data scientist facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $92,000
  • Skills needed: Programming, data analysis, data collection, data visualization, statistics, machine learning, experiment design 

While we’ve seen an impressive 60% increase in enrollment in our Data Scientist Nanodegree program since last year, the BLS expects roles in mathematics and statistics, like data science, to grow 33% year-over-year as the volume of digital and electronic data continues to rise.

If you’re just getting started, the Programming for Data Science with Python Nanodegree program is a great place to begin. There are no prerequisites for this entry-level course, which covers fundamentals in SQL and Python with a focus on data analysis. In just three months, you’ll have a grasp of basic coding skills in Python and how to collect and analyze data.

Programming & Development

Programming is a critical skill in today’s economy and the need for qualified developers persists across industries. Programmers, or “coders,” use programming languages like HTML, CSS and Python to write and test the code that makes computer applications and software programs tick, while developers are also responsible for their design and architecture. 

It’s also important to note that “software developer” is often used as an umbrella term to include a lot of different positions including web engineer, application engineer, mobile app engineer and game developer.

Quick programmer & developer facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $107,000
  • Skills needed: Coding, programming languages, version control

According to the BLS, the prospects for software developer roles are looking good with 22% job growth year-over- year, securing it a spot among the top 20 fields with the highest projected growth over the next decade.

Enrollment numbers from our School of Programming & Development align with the BLS data. Our Programming for Data Science with Python Nanodegree program saw a 44% increase in enrollment this year, while Intro to Programming increased 36% and C++ an amazing 77%.

Full Stack Web Developer

Roles in web development are growing much faster than average, probably because these days, everyone and everything must have a presence on the internet. While all web developers work in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build websites and web applications, full stack developers are pro in both front and back-end development. Essentially, they can do it all. 

Quick web developer facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $111,000
  • Skills needed: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, cloud, web architecture, database storage

Being that the BLS reports that jobs in web development have a projected growth rate of 8% year-over-year, web development will continue to be a solid career choice. And Udacity students agree! Enrollment in our Full Stack Web Developer Nanodegree program increased 158% (yes, you read that correctly!) from 2019 to 2020.  

If becoming a master of the internet sounds up your alley, full stack development might be for you. In the Nanodegree program, you’ll take a deep dive into the ins and outs of web programming, from relational databases to APIs, and identity management to server deployment. At the end of this program, you will be ready to tackle any part of the stack.

Product Manager

Roles in product management (PM) are critical to the lifecycle of software apps. PMs are able to organize and inspire full teams of people with different roles to work together to build a product based on customer feedback. PMs spend their time planning, organizing, analyzing and strategizing.

Quick product manager facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $146,000
  • Skills needed: Planning, organization, data analysis, coding (very basic level)

The BLS reports that roles in product management are on the up and up. More specifically, the projected growth for product management positions is 10% year-over-year. Released in March 2020, our Product Manager Nanodegree program has proven to catch learners’ attention. According to our 2020 enrollment data, it’s the third most popular program we currently offer.

If you’re interested in being a product manager, check out our Nanodegree program. You’ll cover product strategy, design, development and strategic launch plans. By the end of the program, you will be ready to build a new tech product from the ground up and take it from idea to the finish line.

Digital Marketer

Roles in digital marketing have been more important in 2020. With more people staying inside and being online, companies use novel digital marketing strategies to reach new customers across digital devices. A digital marketer creates campaigns for the web, email, social media and other digital channels to drive brand awareness and ultimately sales for their company. They use data about customers to make informed decisions.

Quick digital marketer facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $135,000
  • Skills needed: Strategic thinking, advertising, SEO, data analysis, social media

With 6% job growth year-over-year, BLS data confirms the growing importance of digital marketing. This is also reflected in our data, which shows an impressive 75% increase in enrollment in our Digital Marketing Nanodegree program from 2019.

Ready to master the fundamentals of digital advertising and be on your way to a career in digital marketing? You’ll learn about content strategy, Google Ads and Analytics, SEO and social media and more in our Nanodegree program. By the time you wrap up, you will be fully ready to take on a digital marketing job at a tech company.

Business Analyst

Roles in business analytics have become increasingly important as more companies have entered the tech market in the last decade. With more competition, businesses need to ensure they’re making the right moves to stay afloat. Business analysts analyze data and use their findings to make strategic business decisions that’ll help guide the company.

Quick business analyst facts:

  • Average salary (U.S.): $85,000
  • Skills needed: Data analysis, SQL, data visualization

BLS data shows that roles in business analytics are seeing steady growth at 11% year-over-year. Our data also reflects continued interest in the role with a 61% increase in enrollment in the Business Analytics Nanodegree program from 2019 to 2020.

If you excel at making data-driven business decisions, a career in business analytics could be the perfect fit. It only takes three months to complete and is ideal for those interested in how data affects business. With a less programming-heavy focus, the Nanodegree centers on data visualization and practical applications.

Jump on the Job Trends and Start Your New Career

At Udacity, our mission is to train the world’s workforce in the careers of the future. We work to empower our students with cutting-edge courses, coupled with the flexibility of at-home, online learning. 

If you’re searching for a new career, or if you just want to upskill your current resume to take the next step at your job, adding new skills in tech is a surefire way to get there. Check out our full catalog of courses today!

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Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer Shalamanov
Jennifer is a content writer at Udacity with over 10 years of content creation and marketing communications experience in the tech, e-commerce and online learning spaces. When she’s not working to inform, engage and inspire readers, she’s probably drinking too many lattes and scouring fashion blogs.