Mississippi may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of technology hubs. However, the Magnolia State offers exciting and lucrative opportunities for tech professionals. This article will explore the top 7 highest paying tech jobs currently available in Mississippi.
As you consider your career options, keep in mind that Mississippi‘s relatively low cost of living creates stretch for tech salaries. Housing costs 33% less than the national average here. Overall, Mississippi‘s cost of living is approximately 15% lower than the U.S. average. This means a $100,000 salary goes over 15% further in buying power than it would in pricier states.
So exactly which tech jobs provide the best salaries in Mississippi? Let‘s count down the top 7:
1. Front End Developer
Up to $77,500 per year
As a front end developer, you‘ll collaborate closely with back end developers and UX/UI designers to build fast, responsive web applications. You‘ll also continuously monitor site performance and troubleshoot issues to optimize the user experience.
Here are some typical day-to-day responsibilities:
- Developing new user-facing features and capabilities
- Optimizing page loading speeds
- Ensuring cross-browser compatibility and responsiveness
- Participating in testing and QA processes
- Communicating with stakeholders to understand user requirements
- Staying up-to-date with front end frameworks and tools
Front end roles are available at companies like CoreLogic, ValueLabs, and OfficeMax, which has a large corporate office presence in Mississippi.
Salaries for front end developers in Mississippi range from $59,000 for entry-level up to $77,500 for senior-level roles requiring 5+ years of experience.
2. Data Scientist
$108,000 to $150,000 per year
Every company these days aims to unlock insights from data to guide strategic decisions. That‘s where data scientists come in.
These specialized analytics professionals apply statistical and computational skills to find trends and patterns in large, complex data sets. Their findings help drive improvements in areas ranging from financial forecasting to public health campaigns.
Here‘s a peek at what you can expect in the job:
- Collecting, cleaning and organizing structured and unstructured data from sources like databases, social media, sensors, etc.
- Running advanced analytics on data using statistical programs like SAS, Python, R
- Developing and tuning complex machine learning algorithms and predictive data models
- Visualizing results through reports, dashboards and other mediums
- Presenting findings and strategic recommendations to key stakeholders across the organization
- Keeping up with latest big data tools and data science best practices
Major employers include the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Apple, and Medium.
Salaries range from $108,000 for entry-level data scientists up to $150,000+ for data science managers and directors. The most competitive applicants have a master‘s or Ph.D. in data science, statistics, computer science or a related quantitative field.
3. Web Developer
$65,000 to $85,000 per year
Web developers build the underlying structure and functions of websites and web applications using programming languages and frameworks. They work closely with designers and engineers to create functional, high-performance products that delight users.
In this hands-on role, you will:
- Troubleshoot bugs and issues
- Implement site architecture, integrations and backend data services
- Deploy new features and upgrades
- Collaborate across teams to understand technical requirements
- Optimize performance for speed and scalability
- Carry out testing and QA
To thrive as a web developer in Mississippi, you‘ll need stellar programming chops, problem-solving skills, and the ability to quickly learn new technologies. Understanding of frameworks like Django and Node.js is a major plus.
Major companies hiring web developers include Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and Aeroflow Healthcare. Entry-level salaries start around $65,000 with potential to earn up to $85,000 as you gain experience.
4. IT Project Manager
$80,000 to $108,000 per year
For technically-skilled professionals who enjoy leading teams, IT project management is a rewarding career path. These managers oversee major tech implementations from planning through execution.
In this role, you will:
- Collaborate with stakeholders to define project scope, deliverables, timelines, costs and resources needed
- Build project work plans and schedules using Agile or other methodologies
- Assemble project teams including systems analysts, developers, QA engineers, etc.
- Direct team activities and track progress toward milestones
- Proactively identify and mitigate project risks and blockers
- Manage communications across teams and leadership
- Develop reports to document project performance
- Ensure deliverables meet quality standards and fulfill business requirements
Strong IT project managers have excellent planning, communication, collaboration and leadership abilities. Technical skills are valued too – previous experience in areas like systems administration, programming and security go a long way.
Top employers include Epitec, OpTech and Northrop Grumman. Average salaries range from $80,000 for new managers up to $108,000+ for seasoned professionals.
5. Linux Systems Administrator
$75,000 to $103,000 per year
Linux systems administrators install, maintain and optimize the Linux servers, workstations, applications and systems that power many enterprises today.
In this critical role, your responsibilities will include:
- Deploying new Linux operating systems and applications
- Managing system configurations, services, user permissions, security measures
- Automating routine administration tasks through scripting
- Monitoring performance metrics and troubleshooting issues
- Applying operating system updates and security patches
- Backing up and restoring data
- Building and maintaining documentation
- Providing technical support for Linux users
To excel as a Linux admin, you‘ll need extensive experience with Linux command line and system admin tools. Programming knowledge (Bash, Python) and skills in server hardware and virtualization are also important.
Major employers of Linux talent include the University of Southern Mississippi, Radiance Technologies and SAIC. Salaries range from $75,000 for junior roles up to $103,000+ for Linux engineers and architects.
6. SEO Manager
$68,000 to $95,000 per year
SEO (search engine optimization) managers create and oversee strategies to boost traffic from search engines like Google. These data-driven campaigns help make websites more discoverable across the web.
In this role, you will:
- Conduct keyword research to uncover high-opportunity search terms
- Optimize content to target priority keywords and phrases
- Implement site architecture improvements to enhance SEO
- Develop link-building campaigns to earn reputable backlinks
- Monitor search algorithm updates and fine-tune strategies accordingly
- Oversee initiatives to improve page speed and mobile optimization
- Set SEO performance goals and report on ROI
- Educate content teams on SEO best practices
- Collaborate with marketing teams and executives on SEO
SEO managers should have 5+ years experience in areas like content strategy, keyword research, link building and web analytics. Strong project management and data analysis abilities are essential too.
Major companies hiring SEO managers include Wrench Inc. and Vontier Corporation. Salaries range from $68,000 for early career roles up to $95,000+ for SEO directors.
7. Information Security Engineer
$95,000 to $130,000 per year
Information security engineers, also known as cybersecurity engineers, are responsible for implementing and monitoring the security controls that help organizations defend against data breaches, hacking, malware and digital fraud.
In this critical role, you will:
- Conduct risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities in networks, applications, systems
- Develop and implement security plans, policies, controls and practices
- Install and configure cybersecurity tools like firewalls, antivirus, encryption
- Monitor networks and systems 24/7 to detect security threats and events
- Respond to security incidents by containing impacts and investigating root causes
- Execute penetration testing and simulations to evaluate effectiveness of security measures
- Maintain expertise in cybersecurity threats, hacker techniques, and technologies
- Train employees on security protocols like safe internet usage
To qualify for these roles, you‘ll need knowledge of areas like networking and operating systems combined with specialized security skills and tools proficiency. Strong analytical abilities are key too.
Top employers include Epic and Populus Group. Salaries range from $95,000 for entry-level security engineering roles up to $130,000+ for senior-level cybersecurity architects and managers.
Which of These Growing Tech Roles is Right For You?
As this overview illustrates, Mississippi offers excellent opportunities in fast-growing technology careers with salaries that go far thanks to the state‘s low cost of living.
Whether you‘re interested in front end development, data science, systems administration or security engineering, Mississippi has openings at innovative companies that value tech talent. These roles allow you to launch or advance your technology career while enjoying an affordable lifestyle.
So if you‘re exploring job options, don‘t overlook Mississippi. The state‘s expanding tech sector presents openings across development, IT operations, data analytics, project management and cybersecurity.
Evaluate which of these appealing tech roles best matches your skills, interests and professional goals. With salaries averaging $70,000 to $120,000+ along with Mississippi‘s low living costs, you can build a rewarding and lucrative technology career in the Magnolia State.