So what are these in-demand skills? Tech skills were evaluated based on pay growth for individuals with and without certification. The non-certified skill areas that exhibited the most pay growth in the first six months of 2005 were as follows:
- operating systems (8.2%)
- networking/internetworking (5.1%)
- database (4.3%)
- applications development (2.1%)
In particular, four of the top five hottest non-certified skills (25% or more pay growth) in the past twelve months were Microsoft-related:
- SQL Server
- Active Server Pages
- Microsoft .NET
- SQL Windows
For those tech workers with certification the areas that have seen the most growth were as follows:
- Web (3.8%)
- applications development/programming languages (2.3%)
- database (0.7%)
According to the author, companies are searching for "workers with solution-specific experience within a particular industry" to develop "new products and services that will ensure their competitiveness against challengers of all sizes and geographies." He concludes by stating that "most employers favor both experience and credentialing in a job candidate whenever possible."
Web designers and developers should consider obtaining CIW Associate certification, the first in a series of Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) certification paths available from Prosoft. For a complete list of 86 certifications used in this analysis, along with links to certification Websites, access Web Apprentices' Training Center.A summary of this research is available at Information Week. For a more detailed findings access a Foote Partners Press Release.