The Dice.com jobs board listed more than 84,802 IT jobs at the beginning of August, roughly the same number as a year ago. Of those, more than 50,000 are full-time. It's not possible to tell from the data how many of the listed jobs were created recently.
To be sure, the employment picture for IT professionals is better than it has been for some time, but getting the most money for your labor still requires smart career planning.
These are the hot certifications
Despite the one-quarter improvement in certification premiums, noncertified skills still command a greater premium. That's a long-term trend, and it remains to be seen if it will change.
In 2004, noncertified skills premiums hit a 13-year floor of 6.59 percent, compared to certification-related premiums of 7.79 percent, according to Foote Partners. By the spring of this year, the balance had shifted, with noncertified skills commanding a premium of 8.71 percent compared to 6.69 percent for certified skills.
"If you look at what employers want, you'll see that many of the skills and competencies that they need are not easily certified, or certifications for them simply don't exist," Foote said back in January when the premium value of certifications sank to an all-time low.
In the latest quarter, the premiums for noncertified skills that increased the most were management/methodology/process skills, up 6.3 percent; database skills, up 4.3 percent; and messaging and communications skills, up 1.9 percent.
Noncertified skills that command the highest premiums, regardless of changes in the second quarter, included TOGAF (the Open Group's enterprise architecture methodology), complex event processing, data governance, Apache Hadoop, big data analytics, and business process management.
In the certified column, the hottest certifications now include Open Group Master Architect, EMC Cloud Architect Expert, GIAC Security Leadership, Oracle DBA Administrator Certified Master, Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT, and Certified Information Security Manager.