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Reflections of an Executive Resume Writer
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A Downside to IT Certification?

eWeek.com published an astounding article today that flies in the face of conventional wisdom that the more certifications an IT professional can accumulate, the greater will be their career prospects and potential salary. The article leads off with this statement, “Long seen as a method to maximize employment opportunities and salaries in the post-dot-com-bust era, a study released today finds that pay for certified IT skills falls short of the pay for non-certified skills.”

The statement is backed up by extensive statistics gathered for the Q1 2006 Hot Technical Skills and Certifications Pay Index, released April 25 by Foote Partners, a New Canaan, Conn., IT compensation and workforce management firm. Premium pay grew 300% faster for “non-certified” IT skills than for certified skills over a 6-month period. This suggests a shift in valuation by potential employers of the two types of skills reflected in competitive pay levels.

David Foote, President and Chief Research Officer for the firm stated, “This is the first time skills have trumped certifications since our firm began surveying tech skills pay in 2000.” While emerging from the economic recession and precipitous crash of the IT job market, those engaged in job search found success to be all about IT certifications. Employers are now shifting their focus to qualities in potential hires that will help to move their businesses ahead, particularly skills in Applications Development/Programming Languages, Project Management, Training, Webmaster and Security.

One certification that is not specifically mentioned is the “PMP” or Project Management Professional certification, which I would guess is still advantageous in view of the fact that project management skills are highly valued at present. See the complete article for a detailed listing of certifications that have decreased or increased in value, and those that remain “hottest.”