Premium Pay for IT Certifications Slides Again

Frustrated WomanAdditional pay awarded to professionals with IT certifications declined — again — during the first three months of 2011, reaching its lowest point since 1999.

But the average premium for critical non-certified skills rose again, reaching its highest level since September 2001.

The pay for 252 non-certified skills tracked by consulting firm Foote Partners increased by an average of 1.4 percent. Among the leaders:

  • Methodology/Process Management
  • Systems/Networking
  • Messaging and Communications
  • Web/e-commerce
  • Applications Development
  • Operating Systems

At the same time, premium pay for 231 individual certifications decreased by 1.9 percent. Leading the drop:

  • Entry-level and Training
  • Networking and Communications
  • Database
  • IT Security

CEO David Foote says this doesn’t exactly mean certifications don’t have value. Employers will still pay more for professionals with critical certifications, but the premium amount is declining. Meanwhile, the demand for critical non-certified skills is growing, so employers are willing to pay more.

“There are hundreds of skills that may not have certifications that are being valued more highly by employers. If there is also a certification available for a skill and an employer is facing a choice between hiring a worker with demonstrated experience in that skill or a person who is less experienced but holds a certification in the same skill, employers are choosing the experienced person and paying a higher premium for that experience. Ideally they’d probably like to have both.”

Source: Foote Partners

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