Seven of the Coolest–and Best-Paying–Jobs in Emerging Tech

eWEEK DATA POINTS: Emerging tech creates new and fascinating jobs seemingly every week. What’s more, many of these career choices pay quite well. Find out which ones are considered the very best of the best, as ranked in a recent report from FitSmallBusiness.com.

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In the Digital Age, we often contemplate which professions today won’t exist five or 10 years from now. But, fortunately, innovation is creating new ones to replace them, with many of these positions commanding salaries well into six-figure territory. Some, in fact, average in excess of $200,000 in annual compensation.

Even better, a great deal of jobs in emerging tech qualify as “very cool”; they’re all about pursuing intriguing discoveries while using the latest versions of IT tools. To find out which seven stand out as the very best, consider this list of the “Hottest Emerging Tech Jobs in 2019” from FitSmallBusiness.com. They include R&D test engineers for self-driving cars, machine learning experts and blockchain developers. Inevitably, they enable modern professionals to immerse themselves into the advancements that are changing our world every day.

FitSmallBusiness.com ranked the jobs based upon industry market value, projected market growth, the availability of positions and average annual salary, with organizations such as MarketsandMarkets and Orbis Research providing the market data. In this eWEEK Data Points article, we reveal seven of the top positions from the list.

Data Point No. 1: Embedded systems R&D test engineer/$238,000 average salary

These are the pros who make self-driving cars, well, go places. There are 46 companies working on these products now, including tech giants like Google, Intel and Amazon. The future is so bright in this niche, that the University of Toronto now offers four courses that focus on the technology.

Data Point No. 2: Deep learning architect/$213,700 average salary

No less than three artificial intelligence (AI) jobs made FitSmallBusiness.com’s top 15. This position pays the most, given the talent required to code machines so that they can process information on their own. The field is expected to grow at a rate of nearly 42 percent through 2023.

Data Point No. 3: Machine learning engineer/$213,000 average salary

Machine learning is about more than robots. It’s about speech recognition software, anti-spam social media tools and many other practical uses in our everyday lives. For the immediate future, machine-learning engineers will usher in new advancements to support communications, transportation and internet of things (IoT) development. As a result, the market value for machine learning will grow to $40 billion by 2020, up from just under $1.3 billion in 2016.

Data Point No. 4: 5G solutions engineer/$197,000 average salary

When it comes to technology, we will always have a need for speed--and 5G performs up to 20 times faster than 4G. By 2021, there will be up to 100 million users benefiting from the boost, with 5G engineers designing super-swift networks for our smartphones and IoT devices, among other purposes.

Data Point No. 5: Blockchain developer/$162,500 average salary

Thanks to the cryptocurrency craze, demand for blockchain developers has quadrupled since 2017. Beyond digital dollars, however, blockchain is now branching out as a tech tool for industries as diverse as agriculture, education/academia, healthcare, energy and even fashion.

Data Point No. 6: Big data architect/ $151,000 average salary

We live in an era of relentless digital content that’s growing so fast--projected to increase 50-fold this decade--that we struggle to store it all. That’s where big data architects step in, by building computer data bases that are much more intricate and capable than traditional storage methods. Thanks to them, supercomputers such as Watson command endless volumes of information to conceivably answer any question we ask.

Data Point No. 7: Cloud architect/$139,000 average salary

To think that over a decade ago the cloud was more of a curiosity than a common tech/business tool. (Google CEO Eric Schmidt frequently gets credit for introducing the term at an industry conference in 2006.) Cloud architects have taken a lead role in making the cloud mainstream, creating seamless connectivity to data stored “out there” that we access with our devices.