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Human Resources

Four hot IT growth areas to guarantee a big salary bump

Kristina Kolbas, senior vice president of client platforms at Quicken Loans, says she and her colleagues “are always looking for great developers”.

She’s in good company. In Computerworld’s 2017 IT Salary Survey, application development was the number one most sought-after skill: 38% of the 531 managerial respondents who said they expect to hire this year reported that they were looking for developers.

Not all application developers are in equally high demand, though. Hiring managers, recruiters and IT industry analysts say organisations are hiring more mobile app developers and web developers than those focused in other areas. Kolbas, for instance, says Quicken Loans is particularly interested in mobile developers, and she points out that they can command higher salaries than other developers because many companies are putting a high priority on mobile initiatives.

According to IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology’s 2017 Technology and IT Salary Guide, developer/programmer analysts can command $83,000 to $143,000, while mobile app developers get $118,750 to $182,000, and senior web developers earn $116,000 to $161,500.

Jairus Martin, a senior programmer analyst at contact lens maker Bausch + Lomb, says he has seen a strong demand for people with expertise in web development languages such as PHP, HTML and jQuery and database languages such as SQL. Companies also have growing needs for developers who can do specialised work, he says.

This is only one of the hot employment areas in IT at the moment though. Computerworld’s IT Salary Guide highlights three other core areas which are ripe for growth and could prove the best way to get that salary rise you’re after. The full report also includes an overview of IT salaries across the board (along with which positions show the greatest percentage change) and which “red-hot specialities” have the best compensation this year.

It isn’t all about hard cash though. An annual bonus may be the most preferred employee benefit, “telecommuting options and/or flexible hours” run a close second and while base pay does still matter most to people with mortgages, pay stability doesn’t run far behind.

In the end a happy working life is very hard to quantify because, as Grey Meyers, CIO of Motorola Solutions succinctly points out: “If you have a crummy culture and you put in a pool table, you still have a crummy culture.”

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