The Hardest Hit

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 2009-02-16 Print this article Print

Premiums paid for many certifications are diminishing, but some bright spots persist.

Some of the specializations particularly bloodied in the last six months include operating systems skills, web and e-commerce skills and application development skills.

Applications developers should especially temper their expectations for princely perks and salaries, Foote says. He believes that developers are among those groups most likely to get cut first within enterprises and big technology firms. “Applications development is down because there's a lot of talent out there right now without jobs,” he explains. “You can get people cheap.”

Even if the overall picture looks grim at the moment, certain numbers in the Foote report as well as other studies show that there are enough sun breaks in the clouds to keep geeks from despairing.

A recent Computer Economics report showed that analysts there expect modest overall gains in pay, projecting 2 percent increases in median IT pay for 2009. And the most recent BLS report showed that even amid prevalent layoffs, certain IT categories saw net gains in positions in January, including Management and Technical Consulting Services, Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services, and Computer and Peripheral Equipment categories.

Within the non-certified skills categories Foote examined, five saw growth in the last year. And Foote found that even those professionals with certifications may finally see some benefit again from that signed piece of paper after many consecutive quarters of declines in certs premiums.


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