The firm found that compensation for 129 certified skills dropped 2 percent in the third quarter of 2006. During the same period, pay for non-certified skills rose 1.4 percent. The trend was even more dramatic in the year to date, with pay for certified skills dropping 1.2 percent and rising 4.8 percent for uncertified skills. It was a similar story when Foote surveyed companies six months ago. Pay levels for non-certified IT skills were growing three times faster than those for certified skills.
This doesn't mean companies aren't willing to pay a premium for certain certifications, such as security and project management. But companies are placing more emphasis on solid work experience and the right mix of skills. In fact, according to some members of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, too many certifications may mark a prospective hire as a "professional student" -- not an attractive quality in a job candidate.
With the right combination of skills proving to be increasingly elusive, the CEO of Foote Partners suggests that companies need to apply more resources to their professional development programs.