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25 Career Skills That Deliver the Biggest Salary Boost

One good way to increase your pay: Make sure you've got the skills that employers pay more for.

For MONEY and compensation data and software company PayScale.com's exclusive analysis of the 21 Most Valuable Career Skills, we wanted to help the most MONEY readers, so we looked specifically for skills correlated with higher pay across a broad range of occupations. But sometimes, for any single job, there's one team member who's making an extra chunk of change simply by having this year's hottest skill.

Currently, that skill is Scala — a popular programming language with a wide range of applications, from analyzing biological data to building Twitter. Employees who identified Scala as a core job skill earned 22.2% more than their peers, holding constant such factors as job title, experience, age, and location.

Indeed, of the 25 skills that showed the greatest such payoff, 23 of them are somehow technology related — whether a coding language, a software program, or a technological approach.

Want to earn more money than your peers without being a tech expert? The other two slots on the list were examples of financial expertise: mergers and acquisitions, at No. 7 with a 17.2% pay premium, and equity management, one run lower with a 16.7% higher salary.

What follows is the full list of skills, along with each one's correlated pay bump.

To see full coverage of MONEY's Best Career Skills 2016, click here.

RankSkillPay Boost
1Scala22.2%
2Cisco UCCE/IPCC21.1%
3Go20.0%
4Natural Language Processing17.9%
5Apache Spark17.7%
6Algorithm Development17.3%
7Mergers and Acquisitions17.2%
8Equity Management16.7%
9Kernel Development15.6%
10Hybrid Systems14.6%
11Splunk14.3%
12MapReduce14.2%
13Apache Hive13.1%
14Apple Xcode13.0%
15Ruby on Rails12.9%
16Apache Cassandra12.8%
17NoSQL12.6%
18Amazon Web Services12.6%
19Hadoop12.5%
20Ruby12.3%
21Puppet12.0%
22Machine Learning11.9%
23Objective-C11.7%
24iOS SDK11.4%
25Oracle Learning Management System11.4%
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