Tech Skills Pay Rising Due to Employment Trends

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After a recession and slow recovery period that hit information technology especially hard, IT professionals’ income over the past six months has increased due to widespread retention concerns, lackluster offshoring performances and a rise in competition among IT consulting talent, according to a new study published by Foote Partners. The research involved about 45,000 IT workers, as well as 1,860 North American and European employers.

 

Foote Partners’ Hot Technical Skills and Certifications Pay Index shows that although pay for 150 certified and non-certified skills dropped an average of 4.2 percent and 0.5 percent in 2004, respectively, networking skills pay has increased 6 percent in the past year, messaging and groupware skills are up 4.5 percent, and skills relating to applications development and programming languages have grown nearly 4 percent in value. The change represents a complete reversal from last year, when these same categories were registering declines of between 6 percent and 12 percent, said David Foote, president and chief research officer of Foote Partners.

 

In addition, IT services firms hires accelerated this year, driving up skills pay for consultants with niche skills in networking, information security, applications development, Web services, systems integration and others. Skills pay also is being affected by recent government regulation legislation, such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, which has spurred corporate hiring activity for IT consulting services.

 

If the U.S. economy—and, more specifically, the labor market—continues to improve, increases in IT hiring and compensation can be expected to continue. However, even amid this renewed growth, there will be weak spots, Foote Partners research predicts. Certified and non-certified skills rated as “cold or cooling” include Linux, Java, Web content development tools and beginner certifications like MCP, CCP and A+. IBM WebSphere, Cisco CCIE, Microsoft .NET and MCSE: Security are among the “hot” certified skills.

 

Want more information about IT workers’ income broken down by specialty, certifications held, experience and other categories? Then head to CertMag’s Web site and check out our 2004 Salary Survey at http://www.certmag.com/salaries. The study includes input provided by nearly 35,000 readers and IT experts from 160 countries.

 

For more information on Foote Partners’ research, see http://www.footepartners.com.

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