Cool 'Tech' Jobs: 5 New, Fast-Growing Careers That Pay Well

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If you're like many Americans lately, you've probably struggled to find a job. But there are some cool, interesting and high-paying jobs in technology that offer lots of opportunities. In fact, many employers complain that they're having difficulty filling these jobs.

Why? In large part it's because some of these positions are in new, high-tech fields, jobs that came into existence only recently with the creation of electronic tablets, smartphones and social-media sites such as Facebook.

But many of these jobs don't require workers to have years of experience.

A few don't even require technical training.

Evan Cunningham, 24, who holds degrees in political theory and media studies, was able to land a job as social media manager for Pabst Brewing Co. "It made it easier because I'm young, and people assume you know what you're doing," he told the Los Angeles Times.

So what are the cool tech jobs that pay well and offer lots of opportunities -- and don't require tons of experience? With the help of CareerBuilder, AOL Jobs uncovered the five top choices.

And while a few of these jobs require a specific degree, others don't. Check out the gallery below to see if any could be a match for you.

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Cool 'Tech' Jobs: 5 New, Fast-Growing Careers That Pay Well

Median annual salary: $68,500*

What you'd do all day: Social media managers use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to publicize a company's products or services. A typical day might be spent responding to customer inquiries and complaints via social media tools, writing blog posts and analyzing the effectiveness of social media campaigns.

Why the job is in demand: As more companies rely on social media to attract customers, the demand for social media managers has jumped. In the year ending in April, the number of job listings for social media managers on CareerBuilder grew 56 percent.

Ideal background: Strong organizational skills and understanding of social media, as well as top-notch verbal and written communication skills. A bachelor's degree in a related field may be required.

Looking for a job as a social media manager? Click here to get started.

*Source: CareerBuilder

Median annual salary: $78,500

What you'd do all day: Think of data scientists as journalists who work with numbers instead of words. Just as journalists take scientific reports and turn them into readable stories for the masses, so, too, do data scientists take numbers and make them meaningful to everyday people. Data scientists also dig deep for the numbers no one else is looking for to find information that might otherwise go unnoticed. Data scientists can work for a wide range of organizations, from NASA to payroll processor Automatic Data Processing to Internet companies such as Amazon.com. 

Why it's in demand: Advances in technology have resulted in an explosion of information, and many companies need workers to sift through all that data. A recent McKinsey & Co. report forecasts a shortage in the U.S. alone of up to 190,000 workers with the analytical skills required to be a data scientist. Job listings for data scientists rose 82 percent in the 12 months ending in April.

Ideal background: Strong math and analytical skills. College degree desirable.

Looking for a job as a data scientist? Click here to get started.

Median annual salary: $88,000

What you'd do all day: Design and build apps, or computer applications, that help smartphone and tablet users read, shop, find information, play games and more.  

Why the job is in demand: Recent surveys show that nearly half of Americans own a smartphone, while a quarter plan to buy an iPad electronic tablet. That's a boon for companies that develop apps for those devices, but it's also created a shortage of mobile application developers. ITCareerFinder.com recently selected the role of mobile application developer as its No. 1 Best Computer Job for the Future, through 2020. The site noted that "there are simply more job openings than skilled and educated mobile developers to fill them" -- especially for Apple and Android operating systems. Related job listings surged 60 percent in the year ending in April. 

Ideal background: Bachelor's degree in computer science and related field. Proficiency with computer code, software and operating systems.

Looking for a job as a mobile application developer? Click here to get started.

Median annual salary: $100,000

What you'd do all day: "Cloud" computing is a way for companies and consumers to save data and information remotely via the Internet, rather than, say, on a computer hard drive or flash drive. And it's a business that's growing by leaps and bounds as companies look for ways to slash costs.

Why it's in demand: The increased demand for cloud computing means employers need more workers who can design cloud systems. That often includes working with a company's information-technology team to ensure that the technology is developed in a way best suited for the clients' needs. The number of related job listings on CareerBuilder rose 92 percent in the year ending in April.

Ideal background: College degree in computer information technology or related field. Customer service skills are a plus, too.

Looking for a job as a cloud architect? Click here to get started.

Median annual salary: $65,000

What you'd be doing all day: Search-engine experts help ensure that businesses' web pages rank high in Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. So any time that a user searches for a specific product, service or the company, that company will pop up in the results, preferably on the first page. To that end, search engine specialists create and manage web pages, and design strategies and advertising campaigns to support them. They also analyze data to ensure that goals are being met.

Why it's in demand: The ability to create attractive web pages that show up in the top returns in search engines is one way that many companies seek to promote and sell their products and services. Employing a specialist who understands search techniques and website design helps consumers to more easily find the businesses and products they're interested in. The number of jobs ads in this field have risen 15 percent in the year ending in April.

Ideal background: College degree in computer science or related field. Strong writing and verbal skills, experience with the Internet,  and ability to meet tight deadlines are key.

Looking for a job as a search engine specialist? Click here to get started.

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