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IT skill certifications
don’t hold the same value as they did during rosier economic times, according
to the latest report from IT employment and consulting firm Foote Partners. 

Global instability and a
lack of confidence in the U.S. economy are leading to a flattening of salaries
between workers who have IT certifications and those who bring noncertified
skills to the table.

In its IT Skills and
Certification Pay Index report for the third quarter, released Nov. 29, the
firm finds that 13% of noncertified skills got an increase in pay premiums over
the last year while the same was true for only 5% of certified skill sets.

While in the past, simply
having a string of accreditations displayed on a business card might be enough
to bump up salaries, the current business environment asks for more, says David
Foote, co-founder of Foote Partners.

"Private corporations
may be holding on tightly to something like $2.5 million in liquid assets, but
they have definitely been spending on skills and people during the recovery,
albeit heavily in the services industry and in selective internal hires, The
drivers for skills and talent acquisition in evidence today are more unique and
compelling than prior downturns and won’t easily crumble under pressure,"
Foote says.   

Most companies, he says, are
hiring for vacant positions or looking internally for candidates. This kind of
pressure forces companies to look less at specialists and more at what Foote
Partners calls a "hybrid IT business professional." Instead of
candidates with specific certified skills, hiring managers are seeking
candidates not only with a strong IT background, but also skills in business,
sales and even marketing.

According to Foote, fewer
than 20 percent of all IT professionals today now work within the walls of what
could be considered the traditional IT department. And IT workers who are
entrenched in the workings of other business units will need a diverse set of
skills to continue to grow.

"They have not been
valuing certified skills as much as they have those that are without
certification, where the experience and on-the-job performance of a person
accounts for more ‘juice’ in hiring and skills acquisition decisions than
having an acronym on one’s business card," Foote says.