After years of decline, employers are beginning to pay a bit more for some IT certifications. The increase isn't much, but after dropping nearly every quarter since 2007, the change in direction during the spring is notable, says David Foote, chief analyst at Foote Partners, which survey IT salaries and premium pay across more than 2,400 employers.
According to Foote's latest report, the second-quarter turnaround were led by certifications in:
- Architecture/project management/process certifications, which increased in market value by 1.8 percent
- Database certifications, up in value by 1.5 percent
- Information security certifications, which gained 1.4 percent in value
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Those increases refer to premium pay and do not represent an increase in base salaries, so overall gains are fairly small. What's more, those categories are large, and the premiums within them vary quite a bit.
You might think that slight gains in one quarter merely represent an outlier, but Foote says that's probably not the case. "I think certs pay will not go any lower if the economy stays as healthy as it is right now. It has reached the bottom for now, and I think we can expect either flat performance or mild gains like the past quarter for the remainder of the year," he tells me.
Although overall employment growth in the U.S. economy has been weak, IT has been adding large numbers of jobs for months. A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a net gain of 18,400 jobs in July across four industry job segments commonly associated with IT professionals, the second largest monthly gain in 2013. That's the third month this year in which more than 18,000 workers were added to U.S. payrolls.