Certificates: What Pays and What Doesnt

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Certificates: What Pays and What Doesnt

Average premium pay for 237 certified skills continued its poor performance, declining nearly 2 percent in market value. See which skills are still gaining and which ones aren't in as high demand ...

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IT Security

IT security certifications in general have declined in value, but three, Cisco ASA Specialist, Cisco Certified Security Professional and Certified Information Security Manager gained in value and are still in demand.

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Most of the Cisco networking certifications have declined in value, especially the ones focused on a specific technology, such as WLAN support. Even though Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert and Cisco Certified Design Expert declined in value, they are still two of the highest paying certifications. Juniper and Avaya certs gained in value.

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It still pays to be certified on databases, especially in Oracle, as database certifications grew 2.6 percent in overall market value between April and June this year. IBM DB2 Universal Database Certified Solutions Experts are also earning some of the highest pay premiums among database professionals.

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Systems Administration/Engineering

Systems administrators are increasingly expected to prove their chops on the job and not rely on certifications. Red Hat and other Linux-based certifications all declined in value.

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Applications Development

Talented Java developers should consider getting certified in one of the advanced Java skills, as employers are rewarding those skills (but not for Oracle-Certified Professional Java Programmer). Other specific certificates, such as IBM's WebSphere and SAS, have gone down.

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Web Development

Web development is one area the certifications have not kept pace, as all the certificates ranked on the index have dropped in value.

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Non-Certified Skills: What Skills Are Still in Demand

Average premium pay for 265 non-certified skills flattened in the second quarter, quite a change from the consistent growth seen over the past few years. See which skills are still gaining and in high demand ...

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Applications Development Tools & Platforms

Employers are focused on the latest building tools, and reward IT professionals who can demonstrate their competency in these skills, as opposed to getting certified

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The Web is moving toward HTML 5, and reflecting the emphasis on Java certifications; professionals should increase their JBoss knowledge. No certifications are required.

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Enterprise Applications: SAP/ERP

The challenge is in knowing which SAP skills are valuable and which aren't. J.D. Edwards, NetWeaver and Oracle E-Business suite skills are highly valuable.

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Systems/Networking Skills

The market's shift toward virtualization and cloud services means it's important to have the right knowledge. Instead of just virtualization skills, employers are looking for specific competency in VMware and Citrix tools.

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Operating Systems

Move over desktops; mobile is here to stay. Employers are willing to pay the premium for IT workers with mobile operating system skills, including the platforms from Apple, Microsoft, Google and others, but perhaps not WebOS.

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If you are going to work in Oracle, be certified. Oracle database administrators without the corresponding Oracle certifications are seeing a decline in their average pay. Sybase skills are in high demand, though.

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