Professionals in the venture capital, semiconductors and management consulting industries command the highest salaries today, according to premier job search and career portal HeadHonchos.com.
Professionals in these industries earn compensation that is 30-60 per cent higher, on average, than those who work in other industries.
Risk-taking capacity remains a key factor in determining rewards, but compensation in industries like semiconductors is driven mainly by the demand for super-specialised talent, the report which analysed data for around half a million middle management professionals with 6-35 years of experience, said.
"The trends are a reflection of the growth of knowledge industries like IT, semiconductors, finance and business services in the economy," HeadHonchos.com CEO Uday Sodhi said.
Sodhi further added "there is a soaring premium for exceptional talent and companies are prepared to pay.
Professionals meeting the troika of RSQ (Risk, Scarcity and Qualification) are being rewarded the most."
Senior professionals working in the sectors like infrastructure, oil & gas/petrochemicals, power/energy and investment banking also emerged in the top ranks in terms of compensation packages, followed by those who are working in industries like internet/e-commerce, IT/technology-mobile/VAS applications and telecom/mobile operator.
Even within industries, there is a clear hierarchy in terms of compensation. For example, under the umbrella of the IT industry, there are clear differentials between those in specialised, talent-scarce areas like semiconductor and in less specialised areas like quality assurance.
Similiar trends are seen in the BFSI industry with private equity and investment banking professionals receiving higher payouts than those employed in retail banking.
"The focus on specialisation is here to stay and corporates are committed to finding the right talent and rewarding it appropriately. For organisations, it is more of a quality game than a numbers game right now," Sodhi said.
Meanwhile, service industries such as healthcare, advertising/PR/market research, tourism and hospitality as well as traditional manufacturing and engineering industries, while offering a steady outlook, rank lower in terms of the compensation hierarchy, the survey said.
According to the report, Mumbai rewards infrastructure and management consulting, while Delhi rewards professionals in the semiconductor and power industries and in Bengaluru those in the semiconductor and the internet/ e-commerce industries are most valued.