Microsoft skills: What's hot and what's not?

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SQL Server, Azure, SharePoint, and .Net are among the Microsoft skills most in demand

It's a good time to be in IT. Job seekers have the advantage as employers struggle to hire tech talent in key areas such as cloud computing, mobility, security and data analytics. Companies are raising salaries and piling on the perks -- but not for every IT role.

For Microsoft-centric IT pros who are looking to expand their skills and boost their careers, we asked staffing experts and compensation specialists to identify which Microsoft skills are most valuable.

In general, the hottest Microsoft skills align with big-picture IT talent demands. Companies can’t seem to hire enough data architects, business intelligence specialists and other data pros -- which puts SQL Server experts in an enviable position, for instance. Web, software and mobile app developers are also in high demand, which benefits IT pros with .Net and SharePoint skills. Here are some specifics:

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