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In today’s digital climate, where 90% of all jobs require digital skills, those with specialist software skills are highly sought after by employers across many sectors. A career in software today can be extremely varied as new technologies emerge but choosing what field of software to go into can be difficult.

One thing to consider is how much you can expect to earn, either in a permanent role or as a contractor. In our Voice of the Workforce research, based on a survey of over 1,600 tech professionals, ‘good pay and benefits’ came top of the list of reasons to join a new employer so if you want to know your earning potential in different software jobs, here are four with some of the highest pay rates on offer:


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A DevOps specialist focusses on programming, automation scripting and container management often with a focus on apps or web technologies. This role generally includes development, testing, securing and operating platforms. It also involves breaking down development and provisioning processes and looking for efficiencies to speed up Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment times enabling updates and features to be added more quickly.


Experience required:

• Experience of working within DevOps teams
• Experience of using tools to support rapid development
• CI & CD
• Experience in the end-to-end project lifecycle
• Experience with Docker, Kubernetes, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Vagrant, CloudFormation, git, Terraform, Python, Java, PowerShell.


Skills required:

With a degree-level education in a computing related discipline behind you, you will have strong problem solving skills and the ability to quickly research and learn new programming tools and techniques. As a DevOps Specialist, you will also be expected to have knowledge of Microsoft Azure, AWS or Google Cloud Platforms.


•    Expert knowledge of machine learning
•    Software development using Python, R, C++
•    Good understanding of statistics


Potential pay rates:

•     Permanent: £57,000 to £80,000
•    Contract: £400 to £620 per day


View our latest DevOps jobs.


As a machine learning specialist you will analyse and model structured data using advanced statistical methods and implement algorithms and software needed to perform analysis. You will perform machine learning and statistical analysis methods, such as classification, collaborative filtering, association rules, time-series analysis, regression, statistical inference, and validation methods. Designing and developing novel algorithms to mine through massive volumes of generic data will also be part of your role, as will performing explanatory data analysis, generating and testing working hypotheses, preparing and analysing historical data and identify patterns.


Experience required:

• Experience in Machine/Deep Learning and the implementation of algorithms for real-world problems.


Skills required:

Employers looking to recruit a Machine Learning Specialist often require someone with a masters or ideally a PhD in applied Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering or Statistics. They expect you to have an excellent understanding of computer science fundamentals, data structures, and algorithms and outstanding coding skills in Java, python, C++, C# or similar. Expertise in data mining, information retrieval, text mining, graph theory, and signal processing is highly desirable by employers.


Potential pay rates:

•     Permanent: £50,000 to £77,500
•    Contract: £400 to £600 per day



Data scientists deliver analytical solutions, from data exploration, cleansing or feature creation to building models and creating compelling visualisations.


Experience required:

• Past use of modern data analytics tools and tech such as Tableau, Spotfire, Shinny, Hadoop. Presenting results to business areas and iterate in short cycles.


Skills required:

Python (Key), TensorFlow, Scikit – Learn, Risk Analytics/Risk Modelling (Finance), Time-Series Analysis, Logistic Regression, Neural Networks, Data Cleansing. It is also expected that a data scientist will have completed either a Master’s degree or a PhD in a related discipline.


Potential pay rates:

•     Permanent: £55,000 to £80,000
•    Contract: £500 to £700 per day


View our latest Data Science jobs.



An Enterprise Architect works with stakeholders within their business to construct a holistic view of the organisation's strategy, processes, information, and information technology assets.
A Solutions Architect translates requirements created by functional analysts into the architecture for that solution and will typically select the most appropriate technology for the problem. They will translate the requirements by describing the architecture and design artefacts needed, which the development team can then use to implement the solution.
A Technical Architect is responsible for making high-level design choices and as a software expert, they set the technical standards, including software coding, tools, and platforms.


Experience required:

• 7 years + experience of managing technical systems. Deep understanding of how development and technology will affect the business.


Skills required:

With a degree in computer science or management information systems, you will have developed technical skills in planning, implementing, and managing IT infrastructure and information software. Understanding of a variety of languages is also beneficial. Through your work experience you will have gained a deep understanding of technologies and business practices and how they intertwine and you will also have knowledge of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).


Potential pay rates:

•     Permanent: £60,000 to £150,000+
•    Contract: £450 to £1000 per day


View our latest Architecture jobs.


To see our latest job opportunities in software please click here.

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