Big data and cloud computing salaries in the U.S. are rising fast, and retaining technology professionals could be a growing challenge for employers in 2015, according to the latest Salary Survey results.

The top-paying technology skill sets in the U.S. include Platform as a Service (PaaS, $130,081 on average); Cassandra ($128,646); MapReduce ($127,315); Cloudera ($126,816) and HBase ($126,369), Dice's survey of nearly 24,000 professionals found. Many of those skills plus others on Dice's list focus primarily on big data and cloud-oriented careers.

"Cloud is not new to the tech world but as more companies -- large and small -- adopt the technology, tech professionals with this experience will enjoy opportunities," said Shravan Goli, president of, in a prepared statement. "Big data made a big showing last year and we’re seeing it this year too. Tech professionals who analyze and mine information in a way that makes an impact on overall business goals have proven to be incredibly valuable to companies. The proof is in the pay."

Heading for the Door?

While tech salaries overall are rising, employers could have trouble retaining staff. The challenge goes something like this: Tech salaries only rose about 2 percent in 2014, on average, and a falling percentage of technology employees (52 percent) say they are satisfied with their compensation levels -- which average about $89,450. That means making more money is a key priority for 48 percent of survey participants.

Further complicating matters, 67 percent of technology professionals think they can find a favorable position in the year ahead -- which could signal a "sticky situation for employers" that want to retain their best talent, Dice indicated.

Employers also appear to be shifting more compensation toward the bonus category rather than the salary area. Thirty-seven percent of technology pros received a bonus in 2014, up from 34 percent in 2013. For those receiving bonuses, the average figure was $9,538 -- up 2 percent from 2013.

Tech pros in Silicon Valley once again earned the highest average salaries ($112,610) in the U.S., followed by Seattle ($99,423) and Sacramento ($96,788), Portland, Oregon ($91,556) and San Diego ($94,121). For deeper details, check out Dice's salary report.

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