Sunday, August 05, 2007

Boston Market -- August

"Among the most sought-after talent right now are project managers, Web developers, and business analysts," according to a representative of Hudson, a professional staffing firm, in an interview with InformationWeek.

The Hudson Employment Index, which had been on the decline for three months, bounced back in July. The Index is a monthly measure of U.S. worker confidence in the employment market. Hudson has an office in Waltham.

This month's Boston Market analysis confirms the continuing tend in favor Web development skills over Web design skills, both in number of job opportunities and compensation.

$20,000 Pay Differential

According to job title and type of employer can mean a difference in annual pay of up to $20,000. Here is the breakdown of average salaries factoring in Web discipline (design vs. development) and type of organization (nonprofit vs. for profit):

Web Designer:

  • $48,350 (nonprofit)
  • $56,300 (for profit)

Web Developer:

  • $60,650 (nonprofit)
  • $69,000 (for profit)

These salaries are national averages. Boston area salaries are generally higher. "Average Salaries in Boston" have been updated and appear in the right-hand column.

Top 10 Web Technologies

The skills required to attain a higher compensation rate have also been updated for August and appear in the right-hand column under "Top 10 Web Technologies in Boston." This evaluation represents keyword searches of job postings at for common technologies used in Web design and development.

The one minor surprise in this month's list is the demotion of CSS from the Top 10 list. It was replaced by Photoshop. Job Trends

It is no surprise that programming and database skills (Web development) occupy many of the Top 10 spots as database-driven Web 2.0 activity continues to expand. offers a valuable trending service that confirms this Beantown Web analysis. For example, let's look at demand for traditional Web design skills using Adobe's Creative Suite as a proxy for demand.

This analysis confirms the demand for professionals with Photoshop skills over other Creative Suite program training.

Now, let's look at the three "front-end" or "client-side" Web design skills:

JavaScript, a programming skill, continues to outpace CSS by nearly two to one in marketplace demand.

When we look at "back-end" or "server-side" Web development skills, confirms the relative demand for C# Web developers:

C# and VB.NET are the primary programming language options used in ASP.NET applications. Web developers new to ASP.NET should choose C# over VB.NET because of the far greater market demand and the upward trend. Demand for PHP developers is stagnant and continues to lag in the marketplace behind Microsoft's server-side offerings.

Finally, the core database language, SQL, leads all Web 2.0-related skills.

The ability to construct and execute SQL statements to update a database (Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, etc.) in a Web environment remains the skill that every Web developer should highlight on their resume. Job demand for open source database options such as MySQL remains sluggish, at best.


Go to the Indeed Job Trends search engine and type in three technical skills you are most proficient in. Add in a fourth "wish list" skill that you feel you need to develop. will provide you with a profile of the relative job market demand for your current skill set.

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