Microsoft’s .NET development ecosystem spans a wide array of capabilities and tools. With a large feature set and frequent updates in the ecosystem, it is difficult for .NET developers to know which .NET development skills and training to pursue in order to increase their marketability — and earning potential.

Here are five skills that could help position you as a candidate for a higher .NET developer salary:


ASP.NET MVC is rapidly taking over the .NET web development market. Given that web development is the way forward in programming, this is one skill you definitely need to boost your .NET developer salary. .NET developers can use this open source web application framework to create beautifully styled web applications with ease, and take advantage of the latest client-side web development technologies. ASP.NET MVC also lends itself well to unit testing.

2. Client-side web development technologies

A developer with .NET development skills who can create gorgeous, interactive web applications is likely to earn a higher .NET developer salary, especially if he or she has a strong portfolio of work. For example, according to Robert Half Technology’s Salary Guide, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) skills can add an average of 6 percent to a developer’s starting salary. Some of the other client-side web development technologies that are most in demand right now are:

  • HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap

3. Databases

Microsoft .NET plays nicely with every major database out there, but it still takes some knowledge from the developer to work with it. SQL skills are critical, but experience with systems such as Entity Framework also can go a long way toward increasing your value as a .NET developer in today’s job market. Specific experience with a database such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle can also help you achieve a better .NET developer salary. Some applications now use various NoSQL databases such as MongoDB or CouchDB, and having these skill sets in your repertoire could give you an advantage in .NET developer salary negotiations.

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4. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification can be quite useful for your career and could help position you for an increase in your .NET developer salary. The designation is valued because it is developed and maintained by Microsoft with a requirement to recertify every two years. Employers know that a developer with an MCSD certification is going to be up to date and meet minimum levels of competency in .NET development skills. Earning an MCSD isn’t easy, but there are a wide variety of training resources and books to help you do your best on the exams.

5. Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)

The Microsoft MVP program is prestigious. Earning MVP status can position you as a major player in the job market and help you make the case for a higher .NET developer salary. When employers see that you are a Microsoft MVP, they understand that you have been thoroughly vetted by Microsoft and have a proven track record of leadership and technical excellence in Microsoft technologies.

There are no set requirements to earn the MVP award, except that you must demonstrate an extremely high dedication to the .NET ecosystem and to helping and mentoring others. The MVP award is given only to those with a visible commitment to the .NET community; individuals need to be re-nominated and selected every year.

Skilled .NET developers are some of the most sought-after technology professionals in today’s market. Taking steps to further expand your knowledge and abilities and earn valuable certifications can help set you on the path toward a higher .NET developer salary.

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