Tech firm survey finds dearth of qualified mobile developers

Almost 57 percent of technology firms and outside recruiters that contracted developers to spearhead mobile application projects this year plan to bring on even more hires in the next 12 months, according to a new survey conducted by online job board Dice Holdings. More than half of respondents say qualified software designers and engineers are "scarce," however, with demand driving competition among recruiters, boosting salaries and prompting employers to consider bringing aboard new talent via acquisition.

Experience writing for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform carried the most weight with recruiters--72 percent tell Dice they are hiring to build applications for the iPhone, and 38 percent say iPhone expertise is the most attractive skill among previous platform experiences. About 60 percent of tech firms are hiring for Android app projects, with 23 percent of respondents identifying background on the Google platform as the most attractive developer qualification--while 48 percent of employers are hiring for BlackBerry initiatives, just 16.1 percent say previous experience on the OS is the most desirable developer qualification.

Most mobile engineer and designer salaries range between $75,001 and $100,000, Dice notes--about 28 respondents say the average pay falls between $100,001 and $125,000, while 21 percent say salaries top out between $50,001 and $75,000. Demand for skilled talent translates to "higher than normal" salary levels for the average mobile hire, according to close to a third of employers.

For more on the Dice survey:
- read this BusinessWeek article

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Developers high on Android's future, but favor iOS for now