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Virtualization skills pay the bills – or do they?

Tech professionals enjoyed their largest annual salary growth since 2008, according to a report released by Dice last week, but cloud and virtualization skills were not among the most fortunate.

After two straight years of wages remaining nearly flat, tech professionals on average garnered salary increases of more than two percent, boosting their average annual wage to $81,327 from $79,384 in 2010.

Virtualization as a skill also saw jumps in pay, up six percent to $86,669.

Within that, however, though VMware-related software skills saw a 4.4% increase compared with 2010 to 2011 salaries, up to $82,688, these salaries had taken a dip between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, from $82,273 down to $79,199. Similarly, Xen skills increased 4.7% compared with 2010-2011’s $81,713, but had fallen compared with 2009-2010, when this skill paid $85,924.

Hyper-V skills, which pulled down an average salary of $81,701, were not tracked the previous year.

Meanwhile, pure virtualization appeared nowhere on the list of the skills with commanded salaries in the six-figure range. The highest paid among cloud and virtualization qualifications was Windows Azure, which raked in $102,510 – this was the first year salaries were tracked for this skill, so there’s no comparison with prior years.

And Azure was beaten out by salaries for other six-figure skills like Advanced Business Application Programming, which jumped 3% to $109,157, or Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), which jumped 6% to $108, 210.

The Dice Salary Survey was administered online with 18,325 employed technology professionals responding between September 19 and November 21, 2011.

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