Fastest growing tech skills and certifications in 2017: 30 and 30

The cash market value of these certified and noncertified tech skills have increased the most so far this year.

[Author’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series highlighting the fastest growing and highest paying certified and noncertified tech skills at 3,038 U.S. and Canadian employers.]

If you’re new to this space you may be unaware that more employers than ever are paying their tech workers extra cash over and above salary for specific certified and noncertified tech and business skills they possess. And why would they do this?

Because getting compensation right has been a nagging problem with tech professionals for years. It’s about constant market price volatility but even more about the impact of countless variations in the jobs these people perform. It’s tough to keep it all straight when employers require hybrid tech-business experience, soft skills, industry knowledge, specific solution aptitude, and especially experience with certain kinds of customers or a particular product or service. And all of this in addition to proven expertise that can span multiple tech platforms, domains, programming languages, tools and systems.

But the true problem that paying skills premiums solves is aging HR systems, inflexibility, and lack of agility in compensation structures and pay practices. Employers saddled with these problems often find it too difficult to compete for talent in today’s tech labor marketplace where the market value of a job or skill can move like a roller coaster depending on what’s hot and what’s not at any given moment. Salary alone is too often not sufficient; an employer has to find ways to come up with more cash to compete with peer organizations that already have greater agility built into their salary and bonus programs. If an employer cannot react quickly and correctly it may be in real trouble finding and keeping people to execute fluid tech enabled business strategy.

Skills pay to the rescue

Extra pay awarded to 72,120 U.S. and Canadian IT professionals for 916 certified and noncertified IT and business skills has been tracked and updated quarterly since 1999 in the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index (ITSCPI). 3,038 private and public sector employers currently provide this data in the most recent 2017 data edition, covering detailed compensation for 262,540 tech professionals. 

Fastest growing tech certifications, last six months  

Market values for 422 tech certifications in the most recent ITSCPI data update (through April 1) are averaging the equivalent of a 7.6% of base salary for a single certification, ranging from 2% to 17% of base salary at the 50th percentile.   

The following 30 certifications have recorded the highest gains in cash market value pay premiums in the six months ending April 1, 2017. They’ve grown between 17%  and 35% in value in this period and are shown in descending rank order of market value gain (including ties), arranged alphabetically within each rank.

1.    Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)

2.    InfoSys Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP/CISSP)

3.    (Tie) Oracle Certified Master - Java EE Enterprise Architect

      Oracle Certified Professional - DBA (OCP)    

      Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack

4.    GIAC Systems and Network Auditor (GSNA) 

5.    (Tie)CompTIA Server+

      Oracle Certified Expert - Siebel CRM Business Analyst

      Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)

      Check Point Certified Security Master (CCSM)

      CWNP/Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA)

      Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (JNCIA)

      SAS Certified Advanced Programmer

6.    (Tie) Cisco Certified Network Professional - Security 

      Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

7.    (Tie) Avaya Certified Solutions Specialist (ACSS)

      Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate(all)

      Novell Certified Linux Professional

      Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist (JNCIS)

      Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD)

      GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)

      Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate: SQL Server 2012

8.    GIAC Certified Perimeter Protection Analyst (GPPA)

9.    (Tie)Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)            

      GIAC Certified Penetration Tester (GPEN) 

      Linux Professional Institute certification (LPIC-Level 3)

      Citrix Certified Administrator - Networking (CCA)

      Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Business Intelligence

      SAS Certified Base Programmer

Fastest growing noncertified tech skills, last six months  

Market values for 494 noncertified tech skills are averaging the equivalent of a 9.3% of base salary for a single skill, ranging from 1% to 18% of base salary at the 50th percentile.

The following 30 noncertified skills have recorded the highest gains in cash market value pay premiums in the six months ending April 1, 2017. They’ve grown between 20% and 50% in value in this period and are shown in descending rank order of market value gain (including ties), arranged alphabetically within each rank.  

1.    Apache Cloudstack

2.    Workday HCM

3.    (Tie) Storage virtualization/administration

      SAP FI - FSCM (Financial Supply Chain Management)

4.    (Tie)Tivoli

      SAP CS (Customer Service)

      SAP Business Workflow/Webflow

      Sqoop

      Quantitative Analysis/Regression Analysis

      SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer

      Oracle SCM (Supply Chain Management)

      QlikView

5.    Magnolia

6.    Baan

7.    (Tie)CA PPM(Clarity PPM)

      Citrix XenServer

      Rackspace Cloud

      Web Dynapro

      SAP CO-PA (Profitability Analysis)

      SAP PSCD (Collection and Disbursement) 

      SAP PS (Project Systems)

8.    SAP MRS (Multi Resource Scheduling)

9.    JavaFX

      Scrum

      TCP/IP

      Apache Flume

      R language

      Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services

      Marketo

      ColdFusion/ColdFusion MX

[Author’s Note: In my next column I’ll focus on the highest paying certified and noncertified tech skills for 2017 in the latest ITSCPI.]

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