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Hot Skills: Project Management

Pay for overall IT skills remains flat

By Margo McCall

Overall pay for most IT skills has declined or remained flat in the past year, but for those with management, methodology, and process skills, renumeration has jumped by more than 8 percent. Pay for 28 IT skills and certifications increased during the second quarter, but declined for 46, according to the latest quarterly index from Foote Partners. The company surveys pay premiums for 385 different skills and certifications.

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So far this year, pay has increased by 15.4 percent for business process and modeling management and 16.7 percent for project management skills. In the systems and networking category, it’s down by 6.5 percent this year, and about 5.5 percent in messaging and communications and in the database category.

“Employers use compensation tactically and strategically to attract and retain talent, which has been a major concern with all the fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the employment markets, said David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners.

In the noncertified systems and networking area, those with virtualization, network security management, storage area networking, and infrastructure architecture skills are earning top dollar, along with those with security, VoIP, and wireless networking skills.

“Security has become a key product and service differentiator among customers who are insisting on better protection for their data, whether in servers or transported across networks,” Foote said. "Companies are working actively to better secure virtualized environments now that the differences in threats to physical and virtual computing environments have become more apparent.”

Those with SAP financial accounting, HCM, ERP, and solution manager skills command the highest pay premiums. In the application development area, those with NetWeaver and extreme or agile programming skills are in demand. JAVA, Oracle Developer Suite, and Business Objects experience is also highly valued.

Microsoft .NET, Ajax, Microsoft Commerce Server, Apache HTTP Web Server, and Documentum are among the most sought-after e-commerce development skills. Unified communications skills are popular in the messaging and communications arena, and Oracle DB and Microsoft SQL Server top the list of the highest-paying database skills.

Microsoft Certified Solution Developer earned the highest pay premium for applications development and programming languages certifications, followed by the IBM Certified SOA Solution Design and the Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for Java Platform credentials. Other top certifications included:

• Oracle DBA Administrator Certified Master (Database)
• Citrix Certified Integration Architect (Systems administration and engineering)
• Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (Networking/internetworking)
• Certified Information Security Manager (Security certifications)
• Master IT Certified Architect (Architecture and project management)
• Microsoft Certified Trainer (General/beginner and training)

Pay decreased for all certification categories over the past year except general training (9.5 percent), architect and project management (4.1 percent), and IT security (2 percent). Some of the declines have been substantial. The value of Web development certifications has dropped by 28.2 percent over the past year, according to Foote, while declines have been above 10 percent in the systems administration and engineering, and application development and programming languages categories.

For its quarterly reports, Foote surveys 195 noncertified and 190 certified IT skills. (CW 4 August, 2009)

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