In the fourth quarter last year, unemployment for database administrators fell to a mere 1.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That means those positions are really hard to fill – and correspondingly, employers pay more to hire into those jobs. Database skills, which gained 14.8 percent in value for the year, took the top spot in Foote Partners’ most recent report on the IT skills for which employers will pay a premium.
That’s despite a slight dip in market value in the fourth quarter. The report notes these changes in market value for IT skills in Q4:
- Operating system skills, up 8.6 percent
- Management/methodology, process skills, up 0.8 percent
- Application development skills, up 0.7 percent
- Systems/networking skills, down 0.1 percent
- SAP and enterprise business applications, down 0.4 percent
- Database skills, down 1.1 percent
- Messaging and communications skills, down 4.7 percent
And though the value of certifications has long been in decline, according to the Foote analyses, database certifications – largely Oracle and Teradata certs – also came out on top, rising 7.6 percent for the year.
Skills in management, methodology and process have gained 13 percent in value over the past two years. Meanwhile, in the SAP and enterprise business applications category, the report finds a huge surge of demand for 21 SAP and Oracle ERP skills, offset by a decline in 24 other related skills, pushing the total category to a decline for the quarter.
“ERP skills still matter enough that employers are willing to pay a premium for a very large number of them and aggressively adjust these premiums to market conditions to attract and retain ERP talent,” the report says.
As companies look to IT as an engine of innovation and competitiveness, employers seek workers with a mix of skills, including business, process and “people” skills. That could mean cloud administrators who combine skills in systems administration, virtualization, storage and network administration, or data architects well versed in traditional programming, but also data management, analytics and statistics.
“It’s becoming harder than ever to separate information technology and business strategy; this is an ideal marriage of expediency and innovation in a very competitive global business environment,” it states.