Technology professionals have been pulled through the wringer of a struggling economy, but after two consecutive years of stagnant wages, compensation is - if ever so slowly -on the rise, according to the 2012-2011 Salary Survey from technology career site Dice. "Finally! Compensation has mustered some momentum, as more and more top tech markets are notching increases in pay," Tom Silver, SVP of Dice North America, said in a Jan. 24 statement about the survey. Dice also looked at whether bonuses were being handed out, and with how generous a hand, as well as how the top 20 cities for tech jobs are faring. Conventional wisdom holds that the tech world follows Silicon Valley. While by broad strokes the survey found that to be true, the more nuanced story is one of stiff competition with the highest salaries going to professionals with the "right skill sets and the right experience level," according to the survey. The most generously compensated skills were those that enabled enterprises to harness their data in actionable ways. When they can do that, added Dice Managing Director Alice Hill, "is when the tech department is no longer seen as a cost center but a strategic partner in meeting companies' goals."
Silicon Valley isn't the only place to be. Twelve of the top 20 tech markets saw above-average salary growth, led by Austin, Texas, where wages rose 13 percent to an average $89,419. Number-two city Portland, Oregon, saw an average increase of 12 percent to $82,055, while salaries in number-three Houston increased by 7 percent, to $89,307.
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