Hot IT Skills: Certified and Non-Certified IT Skills in Demand

A list of the IT skills that employers are looking for even in a down market.


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The IT job market is a gloomy place right now. There’s no denying it. Job listings are down and even many fully employed IT staffers are feeling insecure.

IT salary levels are squeezed along with companies’ bottom lines. Foote Partners, an IT analyst firm, found that in Q2 pay premiums for non-certified and certified IT skills fell an average of 0.6% and 1.5%, respectively. That’s a steep decline in a single quarter.

The tough conditions make the question that much more compelling: what IT skills are most in demand?

• Below you’ll see a list of “hot” IT skills, regardless of certification. On the next page is a list of "hot" IT certifications.

• On page three is a list of IT certifications that are rising in value. On page four are IT certifications that are falling in value.

For those optimistic types determined to find a ray of light amid the darkness, some IT skills are maintaining their value – very much so, in fact.

The following lists of “hot” IT skills – very much in demand by employers – is based on Foote Partners' survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. and Canadian employers.

Top 15 "Hot" IT Skills, Non-Certified, July 2009:

1) Java EE, SE, ME

2) Linux

3) Virtualization (all)

4) Microsoft .NET

5) NetWeaver (SAP)

6) Flex

7) Business process management/modeling/improvement

8) SAP SM (Service Management)

9) Security
(IDS/IPS, forensics, identity/access management, compliance, firewalls, threat/vulnerability assessement and management, cncryption, data loss prevention, incident analysis and handling, and security architecture)

10) SAN (storage area networking)

11) Project management

12) SAP PS (Project Systems)


14) SAP FI (Financial Accounting)

15) SAP CO (Controlling)

The above list of hot IT skills reveals interesting trends. Despite naysayers like the anti-Java professor, Java is on fire – as Web 2.0 expands in a hurry, Java developers and expertise seems to grow more needed all the time.

It's no surprise that Linux and Virtualization are near the top: both help companies cut costs. It’s reasonable to expect both skill sets to stay in demand in the years ahead.

Note the wild popularity of SAP. David Foote, Foote Partners’ CEO, explains that 48,000 businesses worldwide use SAP, and that demand for this skill set remains very healthy as SAP has moved into the smaller business market.

Next page: a list of "hot" IT certifications

Page three: a list of IT certifications that are rising in value.

Page four: a list of IT certifications that are falling in value

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