Storage and networking skills prompted pay increases for tech pros across the country, with hospitality, Internet, manufacturing, consumer products, and banking seeing the most industry-specific increases, according to the annual salary survey by Dice. Overall technology salaries in the U.S. were essentially flat year-over-year (-1 percent) at $92,081 annually (down from $93,328* in 2015), with some areas across the country and specific skills areas seeing increases.
Highly-skilled technology professionals remain in the most demand, especially those candidates proficient in the technologies needed to support industry transformation and growth. For example, both the storage and networking sectors, the categories where Dice has found the most salary increases overall, are undergoing major disruption. The migration from hardware-based storage to cloud storage and the explosion of IoT technologies connecting billions of devices (Gartner) are creating a demand for skills to support these transitions and growth. When industries experience transformation at this level, it creates skills demand and increased salaries.
The top ten biggest salary increases over 2015 were associated with the following skills: 1) Compellent (11 percent); 2) Drupal (9 percent); 3) JCL (7 percent); 4) FCoE (7 percent); 5) Nimble (6 percent); 6) Hbase (6 percent); 7) MariaDB (5 percent); 8) Pure Storage (5 percent); 9) vCloud (5 percent); 10) T1 or T3 (5 percent).
Overall, the highest-paid skills in 2016 were: 1) HANA $128,958; 2) MapReduce $125,009; 3) Cloud Foundry $124,038; 4) Hbase $123,934; 5) Omnigraffle $123,782; 6) Cassandra $123,459; 7) Apache Kafka $122,728; 8) SOA – Service Oriented Architecture $122,094; 9) Ansible $121,382; and 10) Jetty $120,978. New in 2016 are Cloud Foundry, Apache Kafka and Ansible.
The biggest increases for programming languages include: Drupal (9 percent), JCL (7 percent), XSLT (4 percent) and Objective-C (3 percent).
“Skills that were used a year ago may not be as prominent today; skills that are relevant today will evolve tomorrow. This creates a marketplace where both tech professionals and employers must keep their fingers on the pulse of skills training and demand,” said Bob Melk, President, Dice. "The skills areas which garnered salary increases indicate where professionals and employers should focus their training and recruiting efforts.”
Tech pros remain confident in their career choices and are willing to relocate for even more opportunity. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed say they are satisfied with their compensation, up one point from 2015, and 27 percent are more willing to relocate to a new city for a job, up two points from 2015.
While 67 percent of tech pros remain confident they could find a favorable new position, in 2017, finding a relevant position for their skillsets is the biggest concern (15 percent), followed by keeping their skills up to date (14 percent) and position elimination (10 percent), all of which underscore the increasing need for professionals to continue skills development and training and to understand the value of each skills area.
Sixty-one percent of tech pros received a salary increase from a year ago and 9 percent reported a decrease. Increased compensation is the most common motivator employers provided to tech pros in 2016 (18%), followed by flexible work location and ability to telecommute (14%) and more interesting and challenging assignments (12%).
Dice Salary Survey Methodology
The 2016 Dice Salary Survey was administered online by Dice.com, with 12,907 employed technology professionals responding between October 26, 2016 and January 24, 2017. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey in one of two ways: 1) via an email invitation to Dice.com’s registered (“searchable”) database members; 2) through a notification on the Dice.com home page and/or via “pop-up” invitations. The latter method was used only to improve response rates for a small number of respondent types. A cookie methodology was used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups, and duplicate responses from a single email address were removed. The Dice Salary Survey was adjusted for inflation in 2013 for technology professionals earning salaries of $350,000 and above were not automatically eliminated from the survey if they met other criteria. *Due to a high number of outliers in the data, the 2015 salary number was revised to better reflect a change in outlier methodology and an adjusted number has been reported this year.
 451 Research: “Voice of the Enterprise: Storage,” 2016