Security Tops List of Vital Skills, Certifications
53% of IT decision-makers (ITDMs) report that IT security tops the list of skills needed in 2015, followed by network operations (35%), cloud computing (35%), IT architecture (33%), network engineering (30%) and systems operations (30%).
Security certifications captured the top three salaries. Security salaries range from $79,330 (with CompTIA Security+ certification) to $119,000+ (for ISACA’s Certified in Risk and CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control) certifications).
One out of five ITDM respondents report challenges finding skilled employees for cloud initiatives. This means skills in cloud migration, integration and developer knowledge of APIs.
Two-thirds of ITDMs have at least begun the evaluation process, with 36% at either the adoption or adaptation stages. 36% are at the awareness and interest stages.
36% of ITDMs report “measurable” technical skill gaps in their IT groups. 33% have concerns over the next two years. 33% said they have the skills they need today and over the next 12 to 24 months.
82% of respondents who reported skills gaps said it has caused increased employee stress levels, followed by difficulty meeting quality objectives (61%), delayed hardware and software deployments (61%), and delays in new product and service development (56%).
The biggest reason for a skills shortage is not enough investment in training to develop the skills needed, according to 47% of respondents at companies with more than 500 employees, 58% at companies with 100 to 500 employees, 51% of firms with 11 to 99 employees, and 50% at firms with more than 10 employees.
The average salary for IT professionals is $88,335, up 1% from 2014, while the average salary for business professionals increased 7% to $101,790.
However, 75% of respondents reported a raise—the highest since 80% in the study’s inaugural year—and 63% reported receiving a bonus, the highest percentage ever reported for the study.
77% of IT professionals, excluding ITDMs, took some form of professional training in the prior year with IT security professionals (90%) leading the way.
Three out of four IT respondents earned at least one certification in the last five years. Of this group, 45% earned one certification in the last year.
More than 38% of IT respondents hold one or more CompTIA certifications, mostly considered foundational programs, with an overall average of two. Other top certifications come from Microsoft, Cisco, and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and IT Service Management (ITSM).
Certifications have a positive impact on salaries. The top five highest paying certifications are Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Computer Science and Information Management (CSIM), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CSISSP ), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).