Hot Certifications Specific certifications generating the largest growth in bonus pay included the GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) Certified Windows Security Administrator designation from the SANS Institute. It generated 60 percent higher bonuses than a year ago, according to the survey. Other increasingly hot certifications included the GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (up 50 percent), the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (up 33 percent) and the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (up 22 percent).The survey also indicated that, in general, employers are increasingly willing to pick up the tab for IT professionals to be certified. Compared with two years ago, when 43 percent of employers were willing to pay the entire cost of IT worker certification, 50 percent are now willing to do so, Foote Partners found. While employers are still willing to subsidize and pay extra for certain certified skills, the survey showed, they are much less willing to pay bonuses for noncertified technical skills that IT professionals acquire. Average skills-based bonuses dropped in the first quarter for all of the job families tracked by Foote Partners. For all skill categories, bonus pay averaged 7.8 percent of base salary at the median in the first quarter, down from an average of 10.2 percent in the third quarter of 2000. Specific skills seeing the steepest drops in bonus compensation included cc:mail (down 56 percent compared with a year ago), asynchronous transfer mode (down 50 percent) and HTTP (down 44 percent). Skills retaining the highest bonus pay included rapid application development and extreme programming (18 percent of base median pay), project-related security skills (16 percent), Oracle database (13 percent) and Microsoft SQL Server (12 percent). Lisa Vaas contributed to this story. Related stories:
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Certifications generating declining bonuses, meanwhile, included the Microsoft Certified Professional, down 50 percent on average compared with a year ago; the A+ PC Technician certification from CompTIA (off 43 percent); and the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer + Internet (down 27 percent).