Foote Partners’ has released their latest research on IT skills and certification pay based on data from the 4th quarter of 2008. Since this period covers the current recession it provides some insight of the impact the recession has had in IT skills and certifications and the shifts in what companies are paying for them.
The Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certification Index shows there are certified and uncertified skills that are still paying well. However overall the research shows that pay for certified skills slipped 0.5 percent and for noncertified skills 4.2 percent. This should not come as a surprise given the current economic conditions. Still there are needs that must be filled and for skilled professionals in some areas there appears to be a small silver lining in the recession cloud.
“Our research has found unmistakable evidence of a turnaround in pay for several skills over the past six months–in particular those associated with networking, messaging, groupware and applications development,” company President David Foote said in a statement. “Overall, our findings indicate the reemergence of talent wars–but on a smaller scale than in the past and more industry-focused, particularly the IT professional services business.”
Looking at some of the IT certifications that have increased in value shows current trends in IT. For instance an increase in Voice over IP (VoIP) networking pay indicates a continuing trend in the movement to this technology. Many IT departments see this as an investment with cost cutting potential. An example is that Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist show a 25% increase.
Other certifications showing increases include Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, Cisco Certified Design Professional, and the largest increase was Brocade Certified SAN (Fabric) Designer. Other areas such as networking and messaging also showed increases.
Certifications that are not as highly paid but still showed and increase include CompTIA Security+, RedHat Certified Technician and Cisco Certified Design Associate.
There seems to be a trend in certain areas of network and security that show the highest increases. This indicates IT considers these continue to be critical areas that demand highly skilled and highly paid professionals.
IT Non-Certified Skills
Skills such as NetWeaver Portals, PHP and Apple OS/X showed increases. Database skills and Java skills also made the list. Showing that best practices are still alive and well, ITIL skills showed an increase in pay as well.
Skills Paying Less
Skills paying less or an indication of being in less demand include ATM, Novell Netware and a host of programming skills. According to the research SAP skills showed a decline. In fact some of the highest paying skills showed a decline. This may be an indication of how the recession and cutbacks are impacting these high paying job markets.
Certifications and skill enhancements should always be considered as a way to increase your pay or get a better paying job. In this uncertain economy you should do some research to find what skills are in demand.
This survey seems to indicate IT departments are continuing to make cutbacks, but are being cautious to retain personnel in vital areas. As with everything else in this recession you should look at the long term benefits of of building your skill sets and certifications. IT departments will keep running and where possible expanding to meet the ever growing needs of their business.
Look at your company or your field and think long term. By increasing your skills and certifications you will make yourself a more valuable asset to your company. Should you be unfortunate enough to find yourself back in the job market, adding skills particularly in new technologies will make you a more appealing candidate.