Pay Up for 46 IT Skills, Down for 60 in New Pay and Certification Report

Decline is half of one percent

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Pay premiums for IT certified and noncertified skills declined an average of 0.5% in the first three months of 2009 as the economic recession rolls on. Although 60 skills and certifications declined in value, 46 increased in value, according to the latest quarterly update of Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index of pay premiums for 371 skills and certifications.

“This is not at all unexpected, for a few good reasons,” insists David Foote, the firm’s co-founder, CEO, and chief research officer. “First, pay for skills is, by its nature and purpose, more dynamic than salaries. Employers use it tactically and strategically to attract and retain talent. Second, premium pay for skills is even more important during tough economic times when fear and uncertainty about job security clouds the judgment of IT professionals.

“That’s because even the best workers are nervous about whether or not they will have a job,” explains Foote. “They’re concerned about stability, and so they look for signs that their employers are recognizing and rewarding them for their skills and contributions. Employers can’t afford to appear blasé about their most important IT people. Sending out even a passive message that can be interpreted as ‘you’re not worth investing in’ can result in experienced workers wondering whether they should start considering a change of venue.

“Smart recruiters prey on both this fear and on employers slow to realize their mistake,” warns Foote. “Look, employers may not be able to control a lot of things in the workplace right now, but getting people paid correctly and recognized for a skill removes both negatives. It’s entirely within their control.”

Non-certified skills that are "hot" now include:

  • Java EE,SE,ME
  • Linux
  • Virtualization (all)
  • Microsoft .NET
  • Business process management/modeling/ improvement
  • Unified communications/messaging
  • SAP (selected)
  • ERP

In-demand certifications include:

  • HP/Accredited Systems Engineer
  • GIAC Certified Incident Handler; Forensics Analyst; Intrusion Analyst
  • EMC Proven Professional Technology Architect – Expert
  • Citrix Certified Integration Architect
  • HP/Master Accredited Systems Engineer
  • Cisco Certified Security Professional
  • Check Point Certified Master Architect
  • EMC Proven Professional Implementation Engineer – Expert
  • IBM Certified Infrastructure Systems Architect
  • IBM Certified Specialist - Storage Networking Solutions, Version 2
  • Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist
  • Cisco Certified Design Professional