20 highest paying, fastest growing tech skills in the US

Dice's latest salary report ranks the top salaries by skill, and Apache Kafka rings in number one at $134,557.

Why more than half of women leave the tech industry

It's a good time to be looking for a new job, with technologist unemployment at an all-time low. Technologists with the most in-demand skills are able to pull top salaries from employers, making the age-old rule of supply and demand as true in employment as in any other realm. 

In the new Dice 2020 Tech Salary Report, 38% of technologists said they are likely to change employers in 2020. This is down from 45% in 2019. There are some external factors, such as 2020 being an election year, that could contribute to more tech employees wanting to stay with their current employer, but job satisfaction remains relatively high, with nearly half of employees saying that they are satisfied or very satisfied with their current or most recent job, according to the report. 

SEE: Tips for building and advancing your leadership career (free PDF) (TechRepublic)  

For those who are looking to make a switch, it might pay to take a look at some of the highest average tech salaries by skill and consider mastering a new technology such as deep learning, which is a key method for machine learning. The market for that skill is still intense. 

If there's any doubt, just look at the compensation for those who have mastered Swift, which is used to build apps for Apple's software ecosystem. The average salary is $116,949, and the salary has grown 15.1% in 2019 compared to 2018, despite the large number of technologists who have learned the skill. Some of the roles that use Swift include mobile application developer, web developer, software developer, QA engineer and computer programmer. Swift didn't make the top 20 list, but it's a hot tech skill and one to consider, according to the report.

Top on the list is Apache Kafka , with an average salary of $134,557 and a 5.5% year-over-year growth rate. It's an open-source stream-processing framework for managing real-time data feeds. There was a 38% increase in job postings requesting the skill in 2019, with more than 30% of software engineer job postings and 11% of software engineer job posting requesting it, according to the report. Jobs that demand Apache Kafka include data engineer, database architect, software developer, data scientist and validation engineer.

Another solid tech skill that made the list at No. 2 is HANA , which is an in-memory relational database-management system built by SAP. It had an average salary of $134,462, with a 9.4% growth year-over-year. It's offered as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) through Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud vendors. Some of the jobs associated with HANA include business intelligence analyst, technology consultant, security management specialist and database administrator, according to the report. 

Coming in third on the report is Cloudera, with an average salary of $133,695 and a 8.9% growth year-over-year. It includes various data management and analytics tools either on-premises or via the cloud and, due to partnerships with Oracle, Intel and other companies, these tools have a strong foothold in the enterprise. Positions associated with Cloudera include statistician, software developer, business intelligence architect, cyber security engineer and market research analyst.

The top 20 tech skill salaries are:

  1. Apache Kafka, $134,557 
  2. HANA, $134,462  
  3. Cloudera, $133,695  
  4. MapReduce, $132,708 
  5. Cassandra, $132,497 
  6. Chef, $132,136  
  7. Mokito, $131,772 
  8. Service Oriented Architecture, (SOA) $131,556  
  9. Amazon Redshift, $130,723  
  10. PAAS, $130,669  
  11. Deep Learning, $129,978  
  12. Elasticsearch, $129,938  
  13. Zookeeper, $129,833  
  14. Amazon Route, 53 $129,295 
  15. Dynamo DB, $129,255  
  16. Jetty, $128,751  
  17. NoSQL, $127,741  
  18. Redis, $127,441  
  19. Spring Framework, $127,286  
  20. Containers, $127,110  

Report methodology

The Dice Salary Survey was administered online by Dice.com, with 12,837 employed US-based technology professionals responding between October 14, 2019 and December 17, 2019.

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