News & Notes for IT Professionals

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According to Foote Partners’ most recent Quarterly Hot Technical Skills and Certifications Pay Index, which surveyed 50,000 IT professionals in more than 1,800 companies in North America, in the year ending Oct. 1, 2005, premium pay related to certified skills has grown 7.9 percent to an average 8.2 percent of base salary, while premium pay related to non-certified IT skills has grown 9.9 percent to an average 7 percent of base salary.


Premium pay for application-development-related skills saw particularly high growth—up 17.6 percent for non-certified skills and 13.2 percent for certified skills. David Foote, president and chief research officer of Foote Partners, said that this is the biggest change from a year ago, when CIOs were more focused on regulatory compliance. This year is seeing higher demand for applications development skills as those CIOs turn their attention to innovation and new products and services.


Other non-certified skills that saw high growth in the past year include operating systems, enterprise applications development, networking and internetworking, database, and Web and e-commerce development. Other certified skills that saw high growth include webmaster/Internet, project management, database, networking, system administration and engineering/network OS, and security.


“Hot” certified skills—those that have seen greater than 14 percent growth in six months or greater than 17 percent growth in 12 months—include credentials from Sun, Prosoft Training, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). Certifications from ISACA, the Project Management Institute, (ISC)2, Cisco, SANS, HP, IBM, Oracle, Teradata and Citrix were among the highest-paying in the survey.
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The Value of Converged Solutions
New research conducted by IDC for CompTIA shows that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the United States plan to increase their use of converged voice and data communications solutions in the next 18 months. CompTIA is currently working to develop a certification that establishes foundational knowledge of IT professionals who install and support converged data, voice and video communications solutions.

The survey of approximately 300 U.S. businesses with between 20 and 500 employees found that 40 percent are evaluating or plan to evaluate new communications solutions that deliver voice and data applications over a common network. Another 18 percent currently have or plan to deploy a converged solution.

According to John Venator, president and CEO of CompTIA, these results are even more impressive considering that almost two-thirds of the companies surveyed are generally satisfied with their existing systems. He said that SMBs must believe in the business value that can be gained from converged networks and applications, including cost reductions, streamlining management and improving productivity.

A quarter of SMB respondents said they have already deployed unified messaging solutions, which provide a common inbox for e-mail, voice mail and fax messages, and felt these solutions provide “good business value.” Another 41 percent said they recognize that unified messaging would provide good business value, though they have not deployed a unified messaging solution. For more information, see


Program Updates



  • The Certified Wireless Networking Professional (CWNP) program announced the availability of Wireless# (pronounced “wireless sharp”), an entry-level wireless certification. The new exam covers skills needed by computer technicians, network support technicians and technical support specialists and covers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, WiMAX, ZigBee, Infrared, RFID and VoWLAN as they relate to computer data network connectivity.
  • Cisco updated its Cisco Storage Networking Design and Cisco Storage Networking Support Specialist certification curricula to reflect the new SAN Operating System version 2.0. Candidates for these certifications must demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to deploy a highly scalable, reliable, distributed multi-service solution based on a converged architecture in a single office, a remote site or an entire enterprise.
  • CompTIA’s RFID+ certification was made available as a beta exam on Oct. 31. The RFID+ is a vendor-neutral credential designed to validate knowledge and skill in working with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, and is targeted at candidates with a foundational knowledge of RFID technology. The exam covers topics related to installing, configuring and maintaining RFID hardware and device software, including interrogation zone basics, testing and troubleshooting, standards and regulations, tag knowledge, design selection, installation, site analysis, RF physics and RFID peripherals.
  • The SANS Institute is working on a wireless security certification within its GIAC program. GIAC Assessing Wireless Networks (GAWN) will be one of SANS’ highest-tier credentials, and will cover such areas as protocols, cryptography and rogue access points.
  • Symantec launched the Symantec Certified Technical Specialist, Small Business Security program, which includes online and print training materials, as well as certification testing to enable resellers and small business IT managers to understand and manage information security in a changing threat environment. The certification is specifically designed for professionals responsible for planning, installing, configuring and managing Symantec anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and firewall solutions in small business environments.
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