The IT skills earning most extra pay in Canada

Pay premiums are on their way back up for many certified IT positions but non-certified skills are also enjoying growing demand, according to a technology industry labour analyst firm.

“After four years of miserable results, pay premiums for IT certifications finally return to positive quarterly growth, powered by gains in architecture, project management and IT security certifications,” according to Foote Partners, LLC., a Florida-based firm that tracks market values for individual IT skills and certifications at 2,496, Canadian and United States companies and their 152,000 IT professionals.
Pay premiums also called skill premium of more plainly extra pay, for non-certified IT skills also enjoyed growth in the second quarter of 2013, according to Foote Partners. Gains were strongest in the areas of management and methodology process, database, mobile computing and big data.


The average extra pay for the 289 IT certifications that the company tracked during the last quarter grew an average of 0.84 per cent overall, following “eleven straight quarterly losses.

“This is a significant finding since certification premiums have lost value overall in 23 of the last 26 calendar quarters going back to 2007,” the report said. “Five certification segments posted gains while only one lost value.”

The certified IT skills with the highest pay premiums were:

  • Architecture/project management/process certifications: +1.8 per cent
  • Database certifications: +1.5 per cent
  • Information security certifications: +1.4 per cent
  • Systems administration/engineering certifications: +0.7 per cent
  • Networking & Communications certifications: +0.3 per cent
  • Application Development/Programming Language certifications: -3.1 per cent

The non-certified IT skills with highest pay premiums were:

  • Management/methodology/process skills: +6.3 per cent
  • Database skills: +4.3 per cent
  • Messaging and Communications skills: +1.9 per cent
  • Application development skills: +0.1 per cent
  • Web/e-commerce development: -0.6 per cent
  • Operating systems skills: -1.1 per cent
  • Systems/networking skills: -1.3 per cent
  • SAP/enterprise business applications: -2.4 per cent

The average market value for the 340 non-certified skills tracked by Foote Partners grew in the second quarter of 2013 by 0.84 per cent from April to June of this year.

“This is the sixth consecutive calendar quarter of positive growth for non-certified skills pay and the twelfth gain in the past 14 quarters,” the firm said. “Historically, pay for non-certified IT skills have performed strongly with gains in 28 of the previous 35 calendar quarters going back to 2004.

Find more IT skills stats from Foote Partners here

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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