Pay premiums level off for top IT, database skills

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Extra pay awarded by employers to talented IT professionals for 968 certified and noncertified IT and business skills---also known as skills pay premiums---remained virtually unchanged in the final quarter of 2017 compared with the prior quarter, according to the latest quarterly update of Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index. That included pay premiums for top database skills.

The index is based on compensation data provided by 3,105 North American private and public sector employers who partner with the firm to report pay for their 270,644 IT professionals in the U.S. and Canada. The report said 94 certified and non-certified technology related skills made gains in cash market value while 126 lost value.

Overall market values for 522 non-certified IT skills—currently averaging the equivalent of 9 percent of base salary for a single noncertified skills---declined 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, only the second quarterly loss since 2014. These technology skills have shown a basically steady, sustained performance stretching back to early 2010, says David Foote, cofounder and chief analyst at Foote Partners LLC, driven most recently by gains in database, applications development tools and platforms, enterprise business applications, operating systems, and systems/networking skills.

Pay performance was stronger across five of eight noncertified skills categories reported: Operating systems skills (up 2.3 percent in average market value), systems/networking skills (up 1.8 percent), SAP and enterprise business applications skills (up 1.3 percent), applications development tools and platforms skills (up 0.9 percent), database skills (up 0.7 percent), Web/eCommerce development (down 2.1 percent), messaging and communications skills (down 2.3 percent), and management/methodology/process skills (down 3.6 percent).

After four consecutive quarterly losses, average market value for 446 IT certifications rose 0.3 percent in market value. Currently earning the equivalent of 8 percent of base salary on average for a single certification, gains this quarter were lead by applications development and programming language and networking and communications certifications.

Since its launch in 1999, the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index has continuously tracked quarterly market values for individual IT skills and certifications earned by 720,820 technology professionals at employers in 83 U.S. and Canadian cities.

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