10 Noncertified IT Skills That Pay a Premium

Certain IT skills are commanding premium pay from employers. The good news is it's all about hands-on experience and expertise.

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The economic down turn that began in 2008 prompted many companies to rethink their employee-hiring requirements and practices---which largely involve acquiring employees with unique IT skill-sets. Many of these skills and areas of expertise do not require certifications and are more about experience and IT acumen.

"Just possessing many of these IT skills is not what makes an IT professional valuable," says David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners LLC,"Instead it is how they can demonstrate they actually used them in building solutions."

Job seekers need to demonstrate to employers how having these skills will add value to their business. "The multidimensional factor is huge," says Foote. Knowing where companies are spending their IT staffing budgets can help guide your professional growth and education.

In Computerworld's 2012 annual IT forecast survey, 295 of the 353 IT professionals (or 29 percent) polled said they plan to increase their IT staff, in contrast to last year's 23 percent. How can you tap into this increase in staffing? Whether your goal is to grow professionally, get back to work or just make more money, according to Foote Partners, these skills can help you get there.

Apache and Big Data

Apache development skills gained in demand this year with the push for Big Data, and early adopters are eager to find IT professionals skilled in Apache Hadoop including HBase and Hive, Apache Cassandra and Apache CouchDB. MapReduce framework/programming model and NoSQL open system database systems are also areas that should increase in demand, says Foote.

SAP Development

Just as content has long reigned as king on the web, hands-on experience--rather than certification--is the key for employers looking for SAP developers. Employers are eager to find pros with expertise in SAP HANA (In-Memory Appliance), SAP SEM (Strategic Enterprise Management), SAP ESA (Enterprise Services Architecture), SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), SAP Solution Manager, SAP Retail, SAP SRM (Supplier Relationship Management), SAP CRM, SAP CO-PA (Profitability Analysis), SAP PS (Project Systems), SAP BI and SAP EHS (Environmental Management) .

Mobile Application Development

With more traditional application development skills lagging behind, a rising interest in mobile applications is great news if you are proficient using HTML5, Java and related technologies to create mobile applications, says Foote. HTML5 technologies also include JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS3). Specific Android- and iOS-related skills/experience are also seeing demand.

Database Development

Companies will always have data that needs to be secured, maintained and delivered making database development a skill that continually finds its way into hottest skills categories. Database management expertise is one of the top skills mentioned by CIOs looking for entry-level IT professionals. In particular, hiring managers are looking for experience in Oracle Developer Suite, Oracle database, Informatica, MongoDB, and MySQL/MySQL Cluster.


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