Study: IT pay up in three areas, down elsewhere

Highest paying individual skills included security tools and SAP's NetWeaver.

While salaries for IT skills on the whole dropped in the US last quarter, according to a study by Foote Partners, three areas saw an increase in pay despite the troubled economy.

The recent results of Foote's Foote Partners' IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index found the first overall decline since mid-2004. Foote saw a .5 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to the third quarter.

"It was inevitable for skills pay to start reflecting the hard times we're in," explains David Foote, co-founder and CEO of Foote Research, in the report. "But the big difference this time around is the strong counter-trending. We've never seen anything quite like this before."

That counter-trending is what Foote called "an urgent demand for talent" in three areas: management/methodology/process, database, and messaging and communications skills.

Management/methodology/process pay leapt upward by 5.6 percent, while IT folks with database skills generated 2.9 percent more, and messaging and communications professionals garnered 2.9 percent more money during last year's fourth quarter.

The report also found several skills that have decreased in value during the last quarter, including application development, SAP and other enterprise application, operating systems, Web/e-commerce, and systems networking skills.

The highest paying individual skills in the same time period, meanwhile, included security tools and SAP's NetWeaver.

Foote Partners' IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index concentrates on the pay for 354 skills and certifications earned by 22,550 IT professionals in the US and Canada.

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