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Novel Aspect software study
(Novel Aspect Illustration)

The top three software skills featured in job listings across the United States are all still part of Microsoft Office, but when it comes to making the big bucks, the top eight spots in average salary are all for jobs that require software skills tied to Amazon Web Services.

A new study by Novel Aspect collected data from Indeed job listings for the 50 most populous U.S. cities. The study analyzed more than 200 prominent business software platforms to determine which software skills employers seek the most, which cities have the most job listings with software requirements, which jobs pay the best and more.

Microsoft’s dominance at the top of the 20 most-desired software skills is fueled by the ongoing popularity of Excel, Outlook and Powerpoint in the Microsoft Office suite of products. The products are mentioned collectively in 35.4 percent of job listings, according to Novel Aspect, which says “spreadsheets, email, and presentations drive just about all business environments.”

Apple’s answer to Office, iLife, is mentioned in just 9.7 percent of Indeed listings.

Software skills
(Novel Aspect Graphic)

But the study shows Microsoft “fading into the background” when it comes to the highest-paying software skills based on average salary. The top eight, and 10 of the top 20 highest-paying software skills were for applications that are produced by AWS, with names like DynamoDB, Elastic MapReduce, CloudFormation, Lambda and so on.

The top average salary is $141,813, for software pros who know their way around DynamoDB. The study also found that 11.7 percent of employers are looking for skills in cloud services — compared to 18 percent for accounting/spreadsheets.

Software salaries
(Novel Aspect Graphic)

All of that AWS money, and Amazon’s many Seattle job listings, don’t manage to propel the company’s hometown to the top of the list of 20 cities seeking job applicants with software capabilities. Silicon Valley still leads the way, with six other cities listed before No. 8 Seattle.

Software cities
(Novel Aspect Graphic)

Check out more of the findings from Novel Aspect, including the top software by business function, the most sought-after professional software categories, the methodology for the study and more.


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