You may have noticed there is no shortage of top ten lists of hot jobs, hot skills, hot cities, hot whatever for tech professionals. Says who? You have to ask yourself how these lists were created.
I do, as a person who runs an actual tech benchmark survey and trends research company.
One of the most popular sources are jobs boards that use keyword searches to tally the number of mentions in job postings and then rank them. Another source is recruiting firms that survey executives or track compensation data from their job placements.
These approaches have their strengths and weaknesses to be sure — and they all deserve attention. One caveat, though: You have to be savvy enough to understand how the results may be skewed based on factors such as data sample demographics, survey methodologies, timing and bias.
Our firm has been carefully tracking and reporting on various measures of jobs, skills, and certifications performance since 1999 with the simple goals of vendor independence, higher than average reliability, data validation and, above all, the most accuracy attainable.
Here’s the third installment in my four-part series covering what we found out about the latest trends in pay for certified and noncertified tech skills from data collected and analyzed from 3,000 U.S. and Canadian employers through October 1, 2016.
Our data sample
Extra pay awarded to 69,900 U.S. and Canadian IT professionals for 880 certified and noncertified IT and business skills — also known as cash pay premiums — has been tracked and updated every three months in the IT Skills and Certifications Pay IndexTM (ITSCPI) for seventeen years. Research partnerships with 2,985 employers yields data covering a total of 255,600 IT professionals at these companies presenting 44 industries plus public and not-for-profit sectors
Fastest growing IT skills with no certification required
The following noncertified skills have recorded the highest gains in market value pay premiums in the three months ending October 1, 2016. They’ve grown between 20-60 percent in value in this brief period and are shown in descending rank order of market value gain (including ties), arranged alphabetically within each rank.
- Wireless sensors
- (Tie) Oracle CRM
- (Tie) Microsoft Sharepoint
- (Tie) Oracle SOA Suite
- (Tie) Cisco IPCC
- (Tie) Base SAS
Business performance management (software/systems)
UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration)
- (Tie) Apache Flex
- (Tie) Web Analytics
Ruby on Rails
A word on pay vectors for skills
Contrary to popular belief, skills that are displaying robust growth aren’t necessarily the newest, most popular hot skills in the marketplace. In fact, they may be older skills that are no longer in ample supply. When demand spikes because of new product(s) or an perhaps an event, short term demand is created that sometimes may not last for more than three to six months.
In the list above there are also skills enjoying the benefit of arguably more sustained market “heat” — coincident with high demand for user experience/user interface design skills (SAP Fiori); Internet of Things (wireless sensors); collaboration platforms for new or energized Microsoft enterprise products (Sharepoint); optimizing and innovating for more competitive web sites (Web Analytics); social media expertise (Social Media/Networks); and the explosion in multiplatform software development (Automated Testing).
[Authors Note: My next column will focus on tech certifications that have grown the most in market value in 2016 according to the latest ITSCPI].