'Big picture' skills bring in the bucks
- Tech salaries may have remained stagnant across the U.S. — averaging out to almost $98,000 — but one-third of tech workers received a $10,000 bonus, on average, last year, according to a Dice survey of more than 10,700 technology professionals.
- PaaS, MapReduce, Elasticsearch, Amazon Redshift, Cloudera and Amazon DynamoDB were the highest paying tech skills, bringing in salaries of more than $124,000 in 2017. "Big picture" skills relating to process management, Big Data and cloud were in high demand, and these skills continued to sometimes be more more important in determining compensation than education, experience or job title, according to the report.
- Higher compensation is still the biggest reason for changing employers, according to 63% of respondents. Better working conditions and more responsibility followed at 45% and 30%, respectively. When increased compensation wasn't an option, employers offered flexible schedules and work hours as well as more challenging or interesting work to remain competitive and retain talent.
It's not a coincidence that the six highest paying skills are in Big Data or cloud specialties.
Both fields are facing significant maturation. Companies have (for the most part) moved to the cloud and built out a data program, but now simply having these fields is no longer enough. These departments are expected to drive ever more valuable insight and increase profits, and having basic proficiency in these skills isn't enough.
Machine learning engineers and data scientists are the two biggest emerging jobs in the U.S., with Big Data developers, full stack engineers and directors of data science not far behind, according to LinkedIn. And this trend is not likely to go away by next year.
Other areas with key high paying skills were project management, automation tools, storage, databases and programming languages, according to the report.
Forking over the high salaries may be difficult for employers, but investing in a quality workforce at the market price is necessary. After all, tech workers equate financial security with success, and flexibility and other office perks can only entice a worker with other options so far.
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