Ten years ago, allowing employees to work fully remotely seemed preposterous. After all, getting the job done efficiently and effectively requires face-to-face interaction. Likewise, building a strong company culture of collaboration and teamwork would be impossible if you only talked to one another over the phone.
And what about staying on task? Would employees truly work as hard without anyone watching over their shoulders and the distractions of their home life all around them? Most of all, can anyone really behave professionally while sitting at their computer in their pajamas?
The answers to these questions seemed obvious, and our professional experience confirmed our suspicions. Work needed to be done at work and in-person to be done right. However, the past few years have taken everything we thought we knew about the best ways to work and turned it on its head. Technology has enabled countless individuals to work effectively and efficiently from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Advancements in technology are primarily responsible for enabling this shift to remote work. IT professionals have largely benefited from the change, with many IT jobs becoming remote and staying remote permanently.
How do Employers and Employees Benefit?
While remote working arrangements may feel a bit weighted in favor of the employee, the benefits go both ways.
1. Improved Work-life Balance – Working from home frees up employees’ time commuting to and from the office each day, allowing them more time with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, or tending to their well-being. This improved work-life balance can lead to more employee engagement and higher retention rates. While managers may need to come into the office more often, individuals in these roles can still be successful with more days away from the office.
2. Lower Operating Costs – Acquiring and maintaining physical office space for your business is expensive. It can account for a large portion of your operating budget. Slimming down on office space and allowing employees to work remotely can contribute to larger profit margins for the business.
3. Larger Talent Pool – Because remote employees can perform their duties from almost any location, they do not have to live near the office. This allows you to include individuals nationwide in your IT recruiting efforts. Expanding your pool of candidates gives you access to top talent and skill sets that may not reside within your area.
Which IT Jobs Can Be Fully Remote?
Some IT positions require employees to be hands-on with the technology or work with highly sensitive data. However, there are many others in which employees can excel and thrive working remotely. Here are some of the top remote IT jobs in 2023.
1. Software Engineer
Responsible for designing, building, testing, and maintaining software applications across the organization, skilled software engineers are in high demand. Because of their vital role within a business, many employers are willing to offer more flexibility to these individuals. Offering an average salary of over $100,000, software engineer positions include opportunities to advance from programming to management, all while working remotely.
2. Data Scientist
Individuals in this growing field are well-compensated and highly specialized. Data scientists are responsible for analyzing large sets of data to create optimized workflows, machine learning models, and inform business decisions. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in math or computer science who have completed a data science boot camp may be qualified for entry-level positions with this title. The demand for talented data scientists is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade. Many jobs pay more than $108,000 per year to remote employees.
3. Web Developer
As more and more businesses turn to the web to conduct operations, the demand for experienced web-based programmers has grown. Although the median salary is lower than some other remote IT jobs, at around $78,000 annually, it is among the most in-demand positions in 2023. It is also the position most likely to offer an option to work remotely, making it an attractive career option.
4. DevOps Engineer
Successful DevOps engineers possess a broad range of knowledge about many IT processes, including system administration, architecture, operations, infrastructure, and software development. Their knowledge and experience in both operations and development enable them to coordinate between working groups to ensure the success of an organization’s software from start to finish. Working in DevOps can be a lucrative career, with most positions offering over $100,000 annually.
5. Data Analyst
For those with less experience, data analyst positions offer an accessible entry point into the field of data analysis. With a median salary of about $82,000, data analysts make less than data scientists. However, applicants need less formal training to qualify for a remote position. Data analysts transform raw data into useful models and charts to help businesses make informed decisions based on facts.
6. Cyber Security Analyst
With cyber-attacks on the rise, the need for skilled cybersecurity professionals is growing rapidly. These individuals help small businesses and large organizations proactively select and implement security measures to protect trade secrets and customer data from cyber threats. Responsibilities may include:
- Assessing current security measures.
- Developing protective measures.
- Implementing industry best practices.
- Monitoring systems for vulnerabilities.
Many cyber security analyst positions are not remote-friendly. However, many that are, compensate well, with the median salary landing over $102,000.
7. Solutions Architect
Responsible for finding and implementing technical solutions to business problems, solutions architects bridge the gap between the business and technology. They suggest solutions, develop implementation plans, and oversee the implementation. Pivotal to an organization’s operations, solutions architects are compensated well. Many make over $110,000 annually.
What if Fully Remote is not Feasible?
Hybrid work is an excellent option for senior-level executives and employees in leadership roles. Coming into the office a few days a week provides opportunities for leaders to collaborate, meet with employees as needed, and reach out to clients on a more personal level. However, it still provides many of the benefits of remote work.
The expansion of remote work has forever changed the landscape of IT hiring in Utah. Large corporations and small start-ups that call Silicon Slopes home have made Utah a hub of technology. Staffing these growing companies in the coming years will challenge employers’ ability to attract and retain top talent. Hiring remote employees could be the best solution to avoid a talent shortage.