Despite the sour economy, bonuses tied to certain IT certifications and skills are still on the rise, according to a new report from Foote Partners LLC, an IT salary research company in New Canaan, Conn.
Bonuses linked to certifications in security, databases, application development and programming languages, and Webmaster and internetworking skills have increased in value 3 percent to 9 percent on average in the past three months, according to the report, "Hot Technical Skills and Certifications Pay Index." The report, which tracks 53 certifications, found that average bonus pay overall has risen 8 percent since the end of last year, to 8.6 percent of base salary, including a rise of nearly 3 percent in the third quarter.
The certification that pulls in the most bonus money continues to be the Project Management Professional designation from Project Management Institute Inc., in Newtown Square, Pa.
Theres also good news for those IT professionals who have e-business- specific skills. Following last years steep declines in premium pay for database, Web and e-commerce skills, the third quarter found a 5 percent bonus pay increase over the previous quarter for this group of skills. Bonus pay for skills in application development tools and languages grew the most in the past quarter, up 9 percent. This increase was dominated by rapid application development skills, the highest paying of all skills premiums covered by the survey, fetching a tidy 20 percent premium over base pay.
The report forecasts accelerated demand for security skills and correspondingly higher bonus pay for security certifications. The report also foresees growth in new security niches such as forensics and intrusion detection, which will in turn result in a more diverse set of skills for security professionals to pursue.