Lawyers and detectives may be the roles most commonly depicted on TV, but the jobs that get high ratings in real life are often lesser known. According to salary research from Robert Half Technology, demand for positions such as mobile application developers, data warehouse analysts and user experience designers is expected to grow in the coming year as companies look to invest in their information technology infrastructure and digital presence. "A common feature of high-demand jobs is a large degree of specialization," said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Professionals with the best prospects have finely tuned abilities that enable their companies to take advantage of new technology and the increasing amount of information available to them." Following is an overview of seven high-potential jobs for 2012:
Mobile applications developer: As companies strive to reach consumers on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, they need professionals who can develop for the small screen. Starting salaries for mobile applications developers are projected to increase 9.1 percent to a range of $85,000 to $122,500 in the coming year.
Data warehouse analyst: Maintaining data has become an increasingly complex task, which is why companies need professionals who can collect, analyze and mine stored data, as well as offer effective storage strategies. Anticipated base compensation for these professionals is expected to climb 6.7 percent to between $88,000 and $119,000 in 2012.
User experience designer: Since so much customer interaction happens online, companies are looking for workers who can create positive digital experiences. The starting pay for these individuals is expected to rise 6.2 percent to a range of $71,750 to $104,000.
Data security analyst: Security threats are constantly changing, and firms need professionals who can analyze risk and propose solutions. Base compensation for these workers is expected to rise 6 percent to between $89,000 and $121,500.
SEO/SEM specialist: Being found online by search engines and consumers is essential to any firm looking to make its digital mark. That's why companies seek SEO/SEM specialists who can develop strategies to optimize Web projects for search and increase online visibility. Those with three or more years of experience are projected to see starting salary gains of 6 percent, to a range of $63,750 to $87,500.
Network engineer: Companies' networks are more intricate than ever, increasing the need for those who can ensure the efficient and secure transfer of data and information. Starting salaries for network engineers are expected to rise 5.8 percent to a range of $75,000 to $107,750.
Web developer: Web developers are increasingly needed by companies looking to enhance their online presence. Base compensation for these professionals is projected to increase 5.4 percent to between $61,250 and $99,250.
More information about the positions listed above can be found in the Robert Half Technology 2012 Salary Guide, which includes a wide range of IT positions, as well as The Creative Group 2012 Salary Guide, which focuses on interactive, design and marketing jobs.