Study: Salaries poised to rise for workers with mobile, cloud, UI skills

Software developers may also see a pay increase as companies need database and BI skills to sort through data

IT workers who have experience with five popular technologies may see significant salary increases this year, according to a study from IT staffing firm Bluewolf.

Companies may boost wages from 2011 levels for workers with backgrounds in mobile application and software development, cloud computing, data analysis and user interface design, according to the study.

The IT staffing firm predicted that 2012 will bring an even more competitive IT job market for staff with the right combination of tech skills and applicable experience. People who have experience with in-demand technologies are already at premium and this labor supply will decrease even more rapidly as employers look to fill gaps created by retiring staff, the study said.

The company made its wage predictions using data from the work placements it made in 2011 and the first few months of this year. The survey covered a variety of IT positions, including executives, software developers and system administrators, and provided job salary data in six U.S. markets.

For workers who can develop an iPhone app, have a command of Salesforce.com, code a website in HTML5 or construct a database with MySQL, the coming months may prove lucrative, according to Bluewolf's findings. The firm saw a heavy demand for these skills in 2011 and anticipates that companies will continue to seek staff with experience in those areas.

Nationally, developers with experience on mobile OSes from Google and Apple should expect average salaries of US$98,000, according to the study. This salary may not carry over to employees with experience developing for Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform and for smartphones running Microsoft's mobile OS. Demand for development skills on those platforms decreased, the study found.

Business will continue to seek employees with database development and BI (business intelligence) experience to help them structure and analyze the influx of data they are taking in. Bluewolf customers were especially keen to hire candidates with knowledge of MySQL, HBase, Informatica and Cognos, with the firm noting an increased demand for workers with experience on those systems. Data analysts and BI workers should have salary increases of 5 percent to 6 percent compared to last year. This uptick will bring their wages to a level that is higher than their paychecks before the recession, according to the study.

The top salary range for BI developers, along with the wages paid to CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) developers, will increase nationally to the $88,000 to $110,000 bracket. In 2011 those salaries ranged from $84,000 to $105,000.

Highlighting the importance of website usability, Bluewolf foresees a greater business need for staff with user-experience backgrounds. User-interface and user-experience designers with more than five years of experience should expect a yearly salary between $82,000 and $102,000, on average, according to the study data. Last year's average salary range for the same skill set was $77,000 to $96,000, according to Bluewolf's figures. On the website development side, the demand for HTML5 skills is strong, judging from the average wage jump between 2011 and 2012. Last year's salaries for HTML5 developers averaged between $77,000 and $110,000. In 2012, that range is projected to increase to $82,000 to $119,000. Meanwhile, the need for Flash, Flex and ActionScript talent is decreasing.

Experience with cloud computing technologies from Salesforce.com, Google, Marketo and Eloqua may prove valuable, with Bluewolf labeling them as in demand. Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud also made the list of trendy cloud technologies and received the title of an emerging technology.

Employers are seeking software developers with various years of experience, with national senior software developer salaries increasing 6 percent to an average of $99,000. Using the data provided by Bluewolf, more junior software developers with one to three years of experience will see an average salary between $76,000 and $118,000 in 2012.

IT executive salaries will increase for CIOs and CSOs, the study found. The average CIO starting salary in 2012 totals approximately $182,000 while the same figure for a CSO tallies $161,000, according to the survey data. This represents an average increase of $7,000 for both positions from last year's figures. With one exception, salaries in the security space will remain the same compared to last year. The national wages for security analyst positions will increase and range between $94,000 and $125,000.

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Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
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