Salaries for computer scientists specializing in software design rose last year over 1990 levels, according to a recently released survey by the Massachusetts Computer Software Council. Pay increases were attributable to a growth in the number of start-up companies, which offered new job opportunities for software professionals, council officials say.

While the recession eliminated jobs at larger companies, particularly among defense contractors and computer manufacturers, computer scientists found work and, often, better pay at small software firms developing and marketing their first products, according to the council.

"This continues to be a very successful and growing industry," says Robert Keefe, a partner in the Boston office of Coopers & Lybrand, an accounting and consulting firm that helped compile the survey. Responses to the survey were received from 361 companies.

Respondents were based in cities across the United States. The survey divided those polled into four regions--East Coast, Midwest, Southwest, and...

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