Hands-on IT skills pay off more than certs, study says


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IT workers looking for a new job following the “great resignation” could make bank if they have experience in risk analytics and assessment, smart contracts, devsecops, or another of the more in-demand skills of the moment.

But the flipside is that CIOs will have to pay top dollar to hire employees with those skills, or others with tools such as Apache Pig, Oracle Exadata, or broader fields, including deep learning, blockchain, or site reliability engineering, according to a new report from Foote Partners.

Employees are earning the highest cash premiums for experience in risk analytics, a niche area of business intelligence development: Premiums rose almost 12% in the first half of 2021, according to the third-quarter update to the 2021 IT Skills Demand and Pay Trends Report.

Big data, big rewards

It’s also an expensive time for CIOs to be hiring experts in Apache Pig, a decade-old platform for scripting the analysis of large data sets on Hadoop: While some had written it off years ago, bonuses paid for experience with Pig have jumped 20% since the start of the year, according to the report. It’s part of a resurgence in demand for big data analytics: Salary premiums for big data analytics expertise generally have risen by a similar amount, albeit from a lower base.

Other already highly rewarded skills for which bonuses are rising further include Amazon DynamoDB, Apache Cassandra, big data analytics, Cloud Foundry PaaS, microservices, MLops, and Splunk.

All these skills are attracting pay premiums of more than 16% of base salary. In contrast, the average premium paid for any one of the 621 skills tracked by Foote Partners was 9.4% in the second quarter of 2021.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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