The growing emphasis on noncertified skills means IT professionals need experience and business skills to get the higher pay; certifications are no longer enough.
can still lead to higher pay, but for IT professionals, business skills
are becoming just as valuable, according to the third-quarter IT Skills and Certification Pay
Index report from Foote Partners.
In the report, released Nov. 29, Foote Partners found that only 5 percent of the
certified skills in its index saw a pay increase in he last calendar quarter, compared with
13 percent of noncertified skills.
study showed that premium pay for professionals with IT certifications and those with
specific business skills were flattening, similar to the trend observed in the second-quarter skills and certification report
Foote Partners monitor approximately 2,200 employers and more than 120,000 jobs
to compile the report each quarter.
Overall, premium pay
for noncertified skills declined slightly in the third quarter, continuing the
slide first observed last quarter after more than a year of steady gains,
according to Foote Partners. Pay for IT certifications continued declining,
hitting a 12-year low this quarter. However, a handful of specific skills and
specialized certifications continued to see premium pay gains.
average market value for 274 noncertified skills dipped slightly from July to
October for the second consecutive quarter," the report found, also noting
that "pay premiums for 240 IT certifications continued their downward
trend for a fifth straight quarter."
application development/programming and the systems administration and
engineering certifications categories grew in overall market value, thanks to pay premium increases
for IT professionals with specialist certifications from Oracle,
Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Red Hat and Microsoft, the report found.
most significant in positions requiring entry-level and training certification.
Premium pay, such as a bonus, declined 6.4 percent since the second quarter for
those positions. Premiums for professionals with Web development certifications
were down 5.3 percent, while premium pay for professionals with operating systems
skills, a noncertified category in the Foote Partners index, increased by 9.4
value for certifications that fall under the category of "beginner and
training" have declined 25 percent over the last two years, according to
the report. Professionals with certifications in networking and communication
have seen a 7.9 percent drop, and pay premiums for database certifications
have dropped 11.5 percent over the same period. Other certifications that have
dropped in value include architecture, project management and process.
There was a
time when having a string of accreditations would have been enough to
commandeer higher salaries. But the current business and economic climate is
putting an emphasis on other skills, according to David Foote, co-founder of
are hiring for vacant positions or looking internally for candidates. Instead
of looking for specialists, companies are more likely to hire "hybrid IT
business professional," candidates with a strong background in IT and
other business disciplines, such as sales and marketing, according to Foote
Partners. Organizations have been heavily spending "in the services
industry and in selective internal hires," according to Foote.
on business skills may have to do with the fact that a growing number of IT
professionals are not working as part of the traditional IT department, the
report found. Less than 20 percent of all IT professionals work "within
the walls of what could be considered the traditional IT department," the
have not been valuing certified skills as much as they have those that are
without certification, where the experience and on-the-job performance of a
person accounts for more 'juice' in hiring and skills acquisition decisions
than having an acronym on one's business card," Foote said.