Learn These Tech Skills & Get a Raise, PayScale Report Says

Want to make a few extra (thousand) bucks? For software developers, it’s possible if you add a few trending programming languages to your resume, according to Seattle-based PayScale, a crowdsourcing and data analytics company that seeks out and provides salary information.

Developers and programmers who learn the Go or Scala computer programming languages will make 22.4 percent and 21.8 percent more money, respectively, than developers, engineers, and system administrators who haven’t, according to data collected and analyzed by PayScale. Based on a median salary of $72,600, that would mean an extra $16,300 for learning Go or $15,800 more for Scala, according to the report released this morning.

Those languages are considered emerging skills that have been in high demand during the last five years, the company says in its report. For people working in computing and engineering fields, learning a variety of other specialized skills helps earn pay raises, including natural language processing (17.1 percent), machine learning (12.5 percent), and algorithm development (17.8 percent).

The study analyzed data from a plethora of industries, including healthcare, law, and education, among others. In addition to providing suggested skills to gain in order to boost your salary or earn a promotion, PayScale also analyzed skills recent grads may be lacking. Writing proficiency and public speaking were the two largest weaknesses among recent grads, according to the company.

The study also offers some advice on skills that a person might want to leave off his or her resume because PayScale considers them “foundational skills,” or ones that can easily be outshined by another more impressive ability. A software developer might want to leave off the ability to work with Delphi, while a web developer may skip listing his or her experience with WordPress or Dreamweaver.

PayScale was founded in 2000 and administers 150,000 real-time salary surveys a month, which it adds to its database of 54 million salary profiles, the company says. It uses internally developed algorithms and methods of comparing its data to other public and private information to standardize and validate its information. New York investment firm Warburg Pincus agreed to pay up to $100 million for a majority stake in the company in 2014.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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