10 IT skills paying the highest premiums today

From ERP and compliance to data visualization, these 10 IT skills grew the most in market value over the past year, according to data from Foote Partners.

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Market demand for specific IT skills can fluctuate quickly, as emerging trends and reviving interest in legacy systems rise and fall. And while pay for an individual role, such as data scientist, may spike upward due to a lack of qualified candidates, certain niche IT skills can become hot for a time, with organizations paying a premium for candidates with this specific skill, thanks to a change in their industry or a strategic shift in their overall business.

To keep a finger on the pulse of these premiums, Foote Partners has been tracking pay data on IT skills since 1999 to see which skills and certifications give the biggest boost at any given time. The Foote Partners quarterly IT Skills and Certification Pay Index report uses data provided by 3,305 private and public-sector employers in 83 U.S. and Canadian cities to track gains and losses in market value and pay premiums for over 1,000 tech skills and certifications.

As IT jobs grow increasingly complex, there’s more ambiguity surrounding how job titles are defined between different companies and how employers can compensate candidates in the same role with varying skillsets. Pay premiums help employers track the value of specific skills, so they know how competitive the market is for candidates with those skills and how much to offer on top of the base salary.   

As Foote Partners’ report notes, non-certified IT skills have outpaced certified IT skills in the past year, rising faster in value than ever before. However, the value of skills can be volatile, often changing over three-month periods to meet market demands. And the trends don’t just impact new skills; oftentimes legacy skills will increase in value if companies need them for new technologies or legacy systems. According to the data, just over 29 percent of reported skills changed in value in the final calendar quarter of 2018. Of the 159 skills that changed in value during that time, 87 of gained market value. Pay for non-certified tech skills is now at a 19-year high, according to the report.

Here are the 10 non-certified IT skills that gained the most in market value in 2018.

SAP EHS (Environment, health & safety)

SAP’s environment, health and safety (EHS) management software is designed for the industrial and manufacturing industry and is focused on safety, industrial hygiene, occupational health processes and compliance. Premiums paid for IT pros with SAP EHS skills rose nearly 68 percent in 2018 — significantly more than any IT skill, certified or otherwise, according to Foote Partners’ report. With manufacturing companies increasingly undergoing digital transformations and compliance on the rise, SAP EHS skills may continue to be in demand in the year ahead. You can take a training course directly from SAP if you want to brush up on your SAP EHS skills or to get a certification for your resume.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR became a hot skill that quickly increased in value as companies around the world scrambled to hire qualified professionals who could help them meet the May 25, 2018, compliance deadline.

“The GDPR aims primarily to give control to individuals over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. Clearly the growth in pay over the past 12 months has been driven by employers trying to get out in front of this major change in how they operate their businesses,” says David Foote, co-founder, chief analyst and chief research officer at Foote Partners.

The market value of GDPR skills grew 62.5 percent in value over the course of 2018. You can brush up on GDPR skills, tools and knowledge through a variety of online training programs offered through companies such as Lynda, Udemy, IT Governance USA and Thomson Reuters.

Lawson

Lawson is an ERP software company that offers solutions for accounting, human resources and manufacturing. The company offers two main lines of products, one of which is services-oriented, with a focus on HR and customer service, while the other focuses on manufacturing and distribution.

Lawson is a relatively older ERP tool acquired by Infor when it purchased Lawson Software in 2011. After the acquisition, Infor introduced the Infor Certified Lawson Security Authorization Consultant V10 certification in 2017, which may be driving the popularity of this skill, according to Foote.

Premiums paid for Lawson skills increased by 43 percent in 2018. If you want to expand or improve your Lawson skills, the company offers tailored online learning suites to help you get up to speed on your product of choice.

SAP Forecasting and Replenishment (SAP F&R)

SAP’s Forecasting and Replenishment (F&R) software is designed to help retail and food companies automate forecast and replenishment planning. The software can help companies find ways to reduce waste, increase profits and improve customer and employee satisfaction. Companies can get deep analysis into complex lifecycle processes to find common trends, risks and inefficiencies as necessary.

“F&R is an advanced multilevel supply chain optimization tool for streamlining global inventories based on aggregated forecasts. Fulfillment optimization and getting SCM efficiencies are making these two pop in the skills marketplace,” says Foote.

The value of SAP Forecasting and Replenishment (SAP F&R) skills grew by 42.9 percent in 2018. If you need a refresher on SAP F&R, you can attend one of SAP’s in-person workshops to get up to speed.

SAP Point-of-Sale Data Management (SAP POSDM)

SAP’s point-of-sale data management (POSDM) software is designed to help companies “reduce inventory carrying costs and gain critical insight into customer buying patterns and behavior,” according to SAP. It’s a point-of-sale management solution that allows sales data to be quickly transferred from the cash register to a back-office system automatically throughout the day.

The growing demand for POSDM skills, along with F&R are “being driven by the hot retail environment and demanding customers whom retailers are trying hard to please. POSDM is all about reducing inventory carrying costs by gaining critical insights into customer buying patterns and behavior,” says Foote.

SAP POSDM skills grew on pace with F&P, at 43 percent for 2018. If you want to add SAP POSDM skills to your resume or brush up on your POSDM knowledge, you can attend one of SAP’s four-day classroom workshops on the subject.

SAP FS (Financial Servicse)

As the name suggests, SAP Financial Services software is designed specifically for the financial services industry. It helps organizations streamline operations, improve customer engagement and gain deeper insights on potential risks. The software can support several insurance industry needs including business networking, agility, innovation, employee engagement and financial planning and analysis.

SAP FS Insurance increased in value steadily over the year, rising 33.3 percent over the previous year. You can take a training course from SAP to brush up on your skills.

Java SE/Java EE

Java SE (Standard Edition) is the core Java programming platform and Java EE (Enterprise Edition), which is built on top of Java SE, offers enterprise-specific features, including libraries for database access.

“Pay for Java skills have been sawtoothing in our IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index for years because it is ubiquitous in the marketplace. There will always be a new use for it that will drive pay up periodically, followed by a decline in value as skills supply targeted demand for specific products or tech trends begins to meet demand,” says Foote.

Java SE and Java EE skills rose 33 percent in value over the 12-month period, which is significant growth for a skill and programming language that has been around for as long as Java has. If you want to learn Java or improve your current skills, there’s no shortage of programs both online and in-person that will help you learn.

Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio is a data visualization program that lets users take complex data and turn it into easy-to-read charts, graphs and flow charts. Microsoft Visio, used for data visualization, has been around for more than 25 years but recently saw a rise in value, according to Foote.

Microsoft was able to boost the visibility of Visio in 2017 by packaging it into its 365 suite — a service already widely embraced in the enterprise. It’s a valuable tool for organizations as they try make better use of collected data.

Microsoft Visio skills gained 33 percent in value in 2018. You can take a Visio training course offered through Microsoft if you want to add this skill to your resume or improve your current Visio skills and abilities.

Data visualization

Data visualization skills are growing in demand as more companies turn to data analytics and business intelligence for decision-making, risk assessment and process improvements.

“Data virtualization is a modern equivalent of visual communication. It makes complex data more accessible, understandable and usable. What’s driving high pay for these skills is the evolution of next-gen internet of things and just the high level of digitalization in today’s business environment in general,” says Foote.

Market value of data visualization skills held steady for most of the year, rising 31 percent value over the course of the year. It’s a broad set of skills that includes several products, tools and concepts. You will easily find an online or in-person course specific to your industry, specialty or software.

Quantitative analysis/regression analysis

Quantitative analysis and regression analysis are quantitative research methods that are used for modeling and analyzing large amounts of data with several variables. They’re important skills as businesses try to make sense of all the data they’ve collected over the years.

These quantitative research skills are also linked to the increasing demand for data analysis. Data visualization helps inform quantitative research and regression analysis models and algorithms used for modeling risk assessment, according to Foote.

The market value for quantitative and regression analysis grew by 30.8 percent in 2018. You can find plenty of online courses in quantitative and regression analysis from companies like Coursera and Edx as well as at several colleges and universities across the country.  

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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