by Meridith Levinson

Java/J2EE, PHP, Unified Communications and SQL Server Skills Remain in Demand During Recession

Apr 20, 20094 mins

Foote Partners' latest quarterly ranking of the most valuable IT skills and technical certifications highlights development, project management, process management and security skills.

IT professionals with expertise in PHP, Java/J2EE, unified communications and Microsoft SQL server technologies should see pay for their skills increase, according to Foote Partners’ latest research into IT skills pay.

The Vero Beach, Fla.-based IT research firm recently released its ranking of the IT skills and technical certifications that increased and decreased in value during the first quarter of 2009.

For more on IT skills pay, see IT Skills Pay Drops Slightly in Q1 andNew Research Reveals Highest-Paid IT Skills, Certifications During Recession.

The specific IT skills that rose in value during the first quarter of 2009 include:

IT Skills That Increased in Value

Percent Increase
Linux 28.6%
Apache HTTP web server 25%
Sybase Adaptive Server 25%
Java/J2EE, SE, ME 20%
HTTP 20%
PHP 14.3%
SAP LE (Logistics Execution System) 14.3%
Unix (all) 14.3%
Documentum 12.5%
MySQL 12.5%
Virtualization (various) 12.5%
SAP KW (Knowledge Warehouse) 12.5%
SAP LO (Logistics General) 11.1%
SAP Production Planning 11.1%
Unified Communications/Messaging 9.1%
Microsoft SQL Server 9.1%
SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) 9.1%
Business Objects 9.1%
ERP 9.1%
Project Management 8.3%
SAP CO (Controlling) 8.3%
SAP FI (Financial Accounting) 8.3%
Business Process Management/Modeling/Improvement 7.7%
NetWeaver 6.7%
Microsoft .NET 6.3%

Of the skills that increased in value during the first quarter of 2009, four carried over from the fourth quarter of 2008: PHP; Java/J2EE, SE, ME; unified communications/messaging; and Microsoft SQL server.

The two IT skills that declined in value during the fourth quarter of 2008 but increased in value during the first quarter of 2009 were SAP Knowledge Warehouse and NetWeaver.

Master data management, which grew in value by 10 percent during the fourth quarter, dropped by 9.1 percent during the first quarter.

The IT skills that declined in value during the first quarter are:

IT Skills That Decreased in Value

Percent Decrease
PowerBuilder 50%
AIX 25%
C++ 25%
CGI 25%
dBase/XBase 25%
Novell Groupwise 25%
Visual Interdev 25%
SAP PM (Plant Maintenance) 20%
Delphi 20%
Windows Vista/XP 16.7%
IPX 16.7%
Microsoft Access 16.7%
J.D. Edwards -16.7%
Microsoft Exchange Server 16.7%
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) 14.3%
Solaris 14.3%
VBScript 14.3%
Visual C++ 14.3%
XHTML 14.3%
Cold Fusion 14.3%
SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 12.5%
WSDL (Web Services Description Language) 12.5%
DB2 11.1%
WebSphere MQ (MQSeries) 11.1%
SAP SD GTS (Global Trade Systems) 11.1%
SAP FI – Travel Management 10%
RFID 10%
SAP CA (Cross Application) 10%
SAP CRM 9.1%
Master Data Management 9.1%
Business Intelligence 8.3%
SAP MDM (Master Data Management) 8.3%
CRM 8.3%
Oracle DB/8i/9i/10g/11i 7.7%
Wireless Network Management (LANs, GSM) 7.7%

Just as certain IT skills shifted in value from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, so too did specific IT certifications. For example, the Sun Certified Programmer for Java Platform, HP Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Security Professional certifications rebounded in value during the first quarter, after having experienced declines during the final months of 2008.

The three certifications that remained in demand from the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of this year are GIAC Certified Incident Hacker (GCIH), HP Accredited Systems Engineer and EMC Proven Professional Technology Architect – Expert.

IT Certifications That Increased in Value

Percent Increase
HP/Certified Systems Engineer 14.3%
Sun Certified Programmer for Java 13.5%
HP/Accredited Integration Specialist (AIS) 12.5%
GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) 12.5%
EC-Council/Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) 12.5%
EMC Proven Professional 12.5%
IBM Certified Specialist – Storage Networking Solutions, Version 2 12.5%
Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) 12.5%
HP/Accredited Systems Engineer (ASE) 11.1%
GIAC Certified Incident Manager (GCIM) 11.1%
IBM Certified Infrastructure Systems Architect 11.1%
EMC Proven Professional Implementation Engineer – Expert 11.1%
GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst (GCFA) 10%
EMC GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA) 10%
CheckPoint Certified Master Architect (CCMA) 10%
EMC Proven Professional Technology Architect – Expert 9.1%
Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA) 9.1%
HP/Master Accredited Systems Engineer (Master ASE) VIRT 9.1%
Cisco Certified Security Professional (CSP) 9.1%
GIAC Security Expert (GSE)/Security Leadership (GSLC) 7.1%

According to Foote Partners’ research, the value of IT certifications in general has been gradually declining since the fourth quarter of 2006, while the value of “non-certified” IT skills has risen steadily since the end of 2004. Only during the past two quarters has the value of non-certified IT skills experienced a slight decline—a half percent during each quarter.