How much are your IT skills worth? Well, it depends on your particular area of specialization.

According to the research firm Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index, updated for the first quarter of 2011, pay premiums for certain certifications have hit their lowest point in years – even as certain non-certified skills have seen a significant uptick in pay.

During the quarter, average premium pay for 252 non-certified skills increased 1.4 percent in value. Meanwhile, pay for 231 individual IT certifications declined some 1.9 percent.

As noted by the report, average premium pay for some 252 non-certified IT skills rose in the first quarter of 2011, the fifth straight quarterly gain. Non-certified IT skill areas that enjoyed the greatest gains included, in order of greatest gains.


  • Methodology/Process/Management – Skill segments include project management and CRM.
  • Systems/Networking – Skill segments include network security management, SAN (storage-area networking) and Novell Netware.
  • Messaging and Communications – Skill segments include unified communications and messaging.
  • Web and E-Commerce – Skill segments include knowledge of IBM’s WebSphere and Microsoft’s .NET platforms.
  • Applications Development – Skill segments include knowledge of Tcl, SAS, PL/SQL and WebSphere MQ (MQSeries).
  • Operating Systems – Skill segments include HP-UX (Hewlett-Packard’s Unix variant), Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


Pay for 231 different IT certifications declined 1.9 percent. Leading those declines are as follows:

  • Entry-Level and Training Certifications – They include MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and CTT+ (CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer).
  • Networking and Communications Certifications – They include Cisco Systems’ IP Contact Center Express Specialist, or CPCC.
  • Database Certifications – They include Oracle Certified Professional MySQL 5.0, Database Administrator (was Sun SCMDBA), Oracle Certified Expert MySQL 5.1 Cluster and MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator).
  • IT Security Certifications – They include CEH (EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker), SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner), GREM (GIAC Reverse Engineering Malware) and GCIA (GIAC Certified Intrusion Specialist).

(Image from Martin)

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