Best tech jobs of 2014

U.S. News & World Report's 100 Best Jobs of 2014 list is out, and there's big news: For the first time, an IT job has landed at #1.

Best job in the world

U.S. News & World Report's 100 Best Jobs of 2014 list is out and there's big news: For the first time, an IT job has landed at #1.

The magazine graded professions on a 1 to 10 scale across 7 factors: 10-year job growth; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; job prospects; employment rate; stress level; and work-life balance.

See which tech job ranked as best in the U.S., as well as the eight other IT careers that made the list.

Software developer
Software developer

Scored: 8.4 out of 10

Software development leapt from No. 7 in last year's to the top spot in 2014 (2013's #1 job – Dentist). The position has already seen massive job growth over the past several years and is expected to jump another 22.8% by 2022. While the job ranks No. 1 overall, its $90,060 average salary is not the highest when it comes to IT. That honor goes to IT Managers, who average $120,950. The job was given Average ratings in the categories of Upward Mobility and Stress Level, and Above Average for Flexibility.

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Computer systems analyst

Scored: 8.2 out of 10

Systems analyst lost out on the top spot by just two-tenths of a percent, moving up from the #4 overall slot in 2013. Pros earn a mean salary of $79,680, much less than IT managers and software developers, but more than many other tech pros such as DBAs, programmers, sys admins and web developers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts excellent job growth in years ahead – 24.5% by 2022. The job was given Average ratings in the categories of Upward Mobility and Stress Level, and Above Average for Flexibility.

Web developer
Web developer

Scored: 7.8 out of 10

It's the third-highest ranking IT job on the 2014 list and #9 out of the 100 overall. It's also a career that held its ground over the past year, as it also ranked ninth in the 2013 Best Jobs list. The BLS pegs job growth rate at 20% in coming years. Web developers' median salary is $62,500, making them one of the lowest-earning tech jobs on the list. The only tech pros who earn less are computer support specialists ($59,090), who placed 78th in the 100 Best Jobs list, #11 in the tech field. The job was rated as Above Average in Upward Mobility, Below Average for Stress Level, and High for Flexibility.

Information security analyst
Information security analyst

Scored: 7.6 out of 10

Security pros ranked as the fourth-best tech job of 2014 (#11 overall) but hold the highest upcoming job-growth prediction – 36.5% through 2022. Its current unemployment rate is a miniscule .9%. With a median salary of $86,170, analysts are the third-best tech earners, behind IT managers and software developers. The highest-paying areas for security pros include the unsurprising New York, San Francisco and Bethesda, Md., as well as up-and-comers Framingham, MA, and Sacramento. The job was rated as Above Average in Upward Mobility and Stress Level, and Average in Flexibility.

Database administrator
Database administrator

Scored: 7.6 out of 10

DBAs ranked #5 when it came to the tech space and #12 overall. Those figures sound good, but they're misleading as the job was ranked #6 overall in 2013. Job growth is a predicted 15.1%, more than halved from the eye-popping 30.6% of two years prior. Mean salaries for DBAs come in at $77,080, roughly the median for tech jobs cited in the Top 100 list. The job was given Average ratings in the categories of Upward Mobility and Flexibility and Above Average for Stress Level.

IT manager
IT manager

Scored: 7.1 out of 10

The 24th-overall best job, IT Managers claim the highest average salary: $120,950, but one of the "lower" job growth rates for IT careers on the list – 15.3% predicted through 2022. High-paying areas for IT managers include Jacksonville, N.C., and the Bay Area, especially San Francisco and San Jose. IT managers will pay for the high salary as the job ranks as High in Stress Level and Below Average for Flexibility, but Above Average for Upward Mobility.

Computer programmer
Computer programmer

Scored: 6.9 out of 10

Programmers ranked on the bottom end of the tech scale when it came to median salary ($74,280) and predicted job growth (8.3%), but that was still high enough to earn the 30th overall spot in the 100 Best Jobs list. Their unemployment also ranks higher than other IT professions, 4.5% for programmers as opposed to 3.x% for other tech positions. The highest-paying programming jobs can be found in Santa Fe, N.M., Bethesda, Md., and Anniston, Ala. The job was rated as Above Average in Upward Mobility and Stress Level, and Average in Flexibility.

Computer systems administrator
Computer systems administrator

Scored: 6.4 out of 10

Sys admins rank as the 8th hottest tech job and #52 overall. A median salary of $72,560 and a predicted growth rate of 11.7% lands them near the bottom of the tech careers on the 100 Best list. Job Stress Level and Flexibility are rated as Average with an Above Average grade for Upward Mobility.

Computer support specialist
Computer support specialist

Scored: 5.8 out of 10

Support specialist was the lowest-ranking tech job on the 100 Best list, but still #78 overall. A median salary of $59,090 was the lowest among IT careers listed and its unemployment rate of 6.6% the highest. However, a 17% job-growth rate outpaced several other tech gigs on the list, including the highest-paying field of IT Manager.