Twelve of the top 20 cities for tech jobs had above average wage growth. Salary growth was strongest in Austin, Tex., where wages climbed 12.7% last year. (See our slideshow for specific details about each of the top 20 cities for tech jobs, including how much IT pros are getting paid and the number of open positions.)
Another metro area that saw particularly strong salary growth is Portland, Ore., where salaries grew 12.3% year over year. In addition, the number of open positions posted on Dice skyrocketed 70% in 2011. "You just wouldn't expect that," Silver says of Portland, "but what a great place for a tech pro to be."
The rebounding auto industry led to job gains in Detroit: "We've been watching Detroit for a long time. It's still under the national average in terms of compensation level, but the job count is up 23%," Silver says. "A lot of the other smaller firms that supply the auto industry are starting to pick up business, and they need tech professionals."
One area where the job count is down significantly is the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region, which was one of the fastest growing job markets in 2011 but has suffered due to uncertain government spending. While it remains the second-largest market, with more than 7,400 jobs listed on Dice, the number of open jobs is down 17% compared to a year ago.
"Salaries [in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region] were $94,300, which is far above the national average and also up 5.8% vs. a year ago," Silver points out. "The demand for tech professionals is still pretty high, it's just not what it was a year ago."
On the skills front, Dice identified eight skills that commanded six-figure salaries and had above average year-over-year growth in 2011. They are: SAP's ABAP programming language ($109,157 average salary, up 3% compared to 2010); SOA skills ($108,210, up 6%); ETL, or extract, transform and load skills ($106,521, up 6%); Weblogic ($103,702, up 5%); Java Database Connectivity ($102,630, up 5%); Unified Modeling Language ($102,579, up 6%); JBoss ($102,184, up 5%); and WebSphere ($100,348, up 7%).
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