Top 10 recession-proof IT jobs

Just as no person is indispensable, no role in IT is recession-proof. However, with a little forethought, some planning and the desire to learn, you can find an IT role that promises a bright future.

Recession-Proof IT Roles
Recession-Proof IT Roles

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we have been out of the recession since 2009. However, job growth in the IT market has been incremental at best. And although technology is an integral part of every organization, IT hasn't been immune to hiring freezes and layoffs over the past several years. More IT pros have been becoming contractors as a result, which begs this question: Is job stability a thing of the past?

No role is recession-proof but with a little forethought you can dramatically help your odds. Using data provided by TEKsystems, we've identified the IT roles that have consistently been in high demand over the last five years and are expected to be important IT roles in the foreseeable future.

Systems Engineer
Systems Engineer

Where software and hardware meet is where computer systems engineers do their job of solving the real-world problems that arise in almost any industry you can imagine. They design, implement and troubleshoot IT systems. Some focus more on hardware or software, but understanding both areas is what makes these individuals special. Their bottom-line goal is to build and implement efficient engineering project that can handle the organization's needs both in the present and the future. Demand for this role tops the list with an increase of 322 percent over the last five years, according to TEKsystems numbers.

Annual Salary: $88,000

* All salary data provided by Indeed.com.

IT Project Managers
IT Project Managers

It's no surprise that project management made the list at number 2. The speed of change in technology is maddening and these masters of time management and resource planning battle to keep pace. Project managers combine these time-management and resource-management skills with the tech skills needed to orchestrate your IT teams. Legacy systems need updating, existing systems need improvements and, most importantly, organizations need to move forward to meet business goals. The IT project manager is a role that will likely grow in importance as IT becomes more entrenched. Demand for this role has increased a whopping 291 percent over the last five years, according to data from TEKsystems.

Annual Salary: $89,000

Systems Administrators
Systems Administrators

Earning the number 3 spot on our list are systems administrators. Demand for sysadmins has grown at an impressive 254 percent over the last five years. These IT pros work to keep all the internal infrastructure, systems and servers that underlie your digital business working smoothly. Sysadmins have a wide-ranging list of duties, not the least of which is ensuring that your systems are regularly up and running. They also handle performance issues, outages and security issues. They typically are responsible for the maintenance, installation and tech support problems associated with PCs, servers and so on.

Annual Salary: $75,000

Network Engineer
Network Engineer

Network engineers focus their time on creating and maintaining internal infrastructures, networks and LAN/WAN. With everything going digital, more and more networks are required to keep the necessary flow of business data moving and these individuals work where the rubber meets the road. Demand for network engineers has increased 240 percent in the last five years.

It's also worth noting that network administrator just missed the cut. These IT pros cover a variety of IT jobs within any given organization. They work with daily network issues like permissions and passwords. Demand for this role has increased from 2008-2012, but 2013 saw a 5-percent decline. Demand for this role is expected to rebound, according to TEKsystems data.

Annual Salary: $90,000

Business Analyst
Business Analyst

A business analyst's primary role is to bridge the gap between technology and business goals. They deal in strategy, analysis and processes in an effort to use available technologies to further business objectives, improve workflows or improve customer experience. Demand for this IT role has increased an impressive 236 percent over the last five years, according to TEKsystems data.

Annual Salary: $91,000

Quality Assurance /Software Testing Engineer
Quality Assurance /Software Testing Engineer

Identifying potential problems and issues before they become customer issues is a primary mandate of quality-assurance professionals. They work in various stages of the development process, typically at end of different milestones to test and debug software, as well as troubleshoot and identify would-be stumbling blocks. Demand for these meticulous specialists has risen 228 percent over the last five years, according to TEKsystems data.

Annual Salary: $76,000

Architect
Architect

Within the world of technology, architects come in many flavors: IT architects, data architects, systems architects, software architects or cloud architects to name a few. In a world as deep and complex as today's digital marketplace someone has to understand how all the pieces fit together in a dynamic environment. Architects need to have the vision and the technical leadership skills to not only see how a solution will evolve, but how it might ripple through the entire system or industry. These positions have shown up on a few of the hot skills list recently, especially within the world of data and software. Demand is up 208 percent over the past five years and TEKsystems expects this trend to continue.

Annual Salary: $109,000
*IT architect

IT Systems Analyst
IT Systems Analyst

IT systems analysts are responsible for charting a course that takes into account the different systems and software choices your company has to make. These IT pros research, coordinate development resources and recommend different technical options to meet an organization's business objectives. They often work as a liaison between business stakeholders and IT pros. Technical writing, documentation, system testing, design and analysis all play a part in this role, which plays a part in the entire development life cycle. Demand for these professionals has increased by more than 200 percent in the last five years, according to TEKsystems data.

Annual Salary: $75,000

Developer
Developer

Great developers are always hard to find but these days -- with every company trying get into the mobile and big data games -- demand is soaring. As a whole, the demand for developers increased 179 percent over the last five years, according to TEKsystems. Java, HTML5, SQL, JavaScript, C+, Perl and Hadoop are all hot now. A good developer with the right skills has a lot of choices.

Annual Salary: $90,000

Help Desk/Desktop Support
Help Desk/Desktop Support

It takes a special breed of IT pro to excel in the helpdesk and support world. People in IT have all heard and lived through different kinds of tech support nightmare stories. These IT pros many times deal directly with the customer to help troubleshoot and problem-solve issues relating to products and services. Customer-service, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills as well as patience and the ability to explain complex concepts in an understandable way are all needed to be successful in this sector of IT. Demand for these tech-savvy professionals has increased 171 percent over the last five years and it is expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

Annual Salary: $40,000

Help Desk/Desktop Support
Help Desk/Desktop Support

It takes a special breed of IT pro to excel in the helpdesk and support world. People in IT have all heard and lived through different kinds of tech support nightmare stories. These IT pros many times deal directly with the customer to help troubleshoot and problem-solve issues relating to products and services. Customer-service, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills as well as patience and the ability to explain complex concepts in an understandable way are all needed to be successful in this sector of IT. Demand for these tech-savvy professionals has increased 171 percent over the last five years and it is expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

Annual Salary: $40,000