is the data presented?*
and certifications pay in the ITSCPI is displayed as a percent of base pay,
a normative view that is also the most common form in which they are paid.
We display three data points for each skill or certification: 10th percentile;
50th percentile (median); 90th percentile.
is IT skills and certification pay?
is common practice today for employers to isolate, recognize and reward
experience in a variety of technical skills. Pay for such skills,
both certified and noncertified, is usually provided in the form of a
premium employers are willing to pay workers who possess high-value
technical skills used on the job (with or without certifications for those
skills). This pay is may be applied in the form of a cash bonus or
it may be embedded in base salary to adjust for the presence of a dominant
vendor or technology; for example an Oracle Database Administrator, Linux
Systems Administrator, Unix Programmer, or SAP Developer.
skills premiums in base pay is the most popular option today. Why? Because
it is an effective solution to the dreaded long-standing problem of job
titles that don't match what people actually do on-the-job. These days it
is common to find Linux, Unix, and NT administrators lumped together under
a single "Systems Administrator" titles. Or .NET, Java, SAP, and
Cobol specialists all with "Programmer" or "Developer"
titles. But some of these skills are worth more that others in the
marketplace. Benchmarking salaries of these various specialists to a
single job title in a salary survey typically results in salary
an ideal world you would simply change the persons job title to reflect
the skill specializations. For example, software developers who work
exclusively with Java become "Java Developers" and
administrators in the Linux world "Linux Administrators". But
there are barriers to doing this at many employers and consequently much
resistance. Instead, why not differentiate workers within common job
titles by offering skills premium pay in order to match their pay to to
the job titles they should have? It's a lot less difficult
than going through a laborious job evaluation process and has become a
common industry practice. This is where our IT Skills and
Certifications Pay Index comes in handy: it tells you exactly what the
bonus or base pay adjustment should be for 610 certified and noncertified
IT skills, based on current compensation practice at 2,405 employers.
there other uses for skills pay? Absolutely. Skills pay can be
offered as an inducement in recruiting a prospective employee via internal
transfer, or securing external candidates on the open market as a basis
for a sign-on bonus. Skills pay can also used as a de facto retention bonus. This
may be without regard to other variables such as low/no-cash incentives,
merit and bonus pay not connected to specific skills (e.g. profit
sharing), work/lifestyle benefits, and other important add-ons not tied
specifically to cash compensation for individual performance.
a certain level of performance necessary to receive a skill or
certification premium? Our
research indicates that while some employers may attach a performance
basis for skills payout, others do not. The trend is towards companies
devising measurable performance hurdles whenever possible.
How does Foote Partners collect skills &
certification pay data?
Partners’ primary research report for skills and professional
certifications pay is the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index
(ITSCPI), which tracks premium pay for 503 IT certifications and
noncertified skills and is continuously updated and published every three
months. Updated data in this edition was collected through , including
validated IT professionals receiving premium pay for their skills and/or
have been paying for tech skills for some time but they are notoriously
reluctant to create formal programs to do so. Why? Because they want to pay
for skills selectively without feeling obligated to pay all holders of any
one skill or certification equally, or even at all.
This makes it much labor intensive and expensive for survey
researchers to capture such data. Though
many have tried to track skills pay, Foote Partners’ ITSCPI---launched in
1999---is not only the oldest and (now) only survey of its kind still in
existence, but also the industry’s most comprehensive and most accurate.
data collection methodology lends itself very well to capturing both
informal and formal pay practices, and to do it more economically.
Our survey reveals that more than one half of the private and public
sector IT workers in our North American survey receive some form of skills
pay, and of that number we are able to both document and validate
skills pay data for approximately 48 percent of them.
From our HR department and non-HR research partner sources we receive
all formal and informal IT compensation data in the form of electronic
databases, spreadsheets, and hard copy.
critical data in hand, Foote Partners spends significant time on the
delicate and critical task of validating the data including direct
interviewing and aggressive interactive surveying. We do not collect skills
pay data from workers themselves, but instead from their managers and
ITSCPI reports pay in the following classifications, for full-time IT
workers only (these premiums do not apply to contractors or
IT compensation data for our 2013
research findings were collected from 2,405 public and private sector
organizations representing more than 40 private sector industries plus government and
educational institutions. Data from 149,353
were included in these findings.
The size of
the participating organizations, measured most appropriately for the type of
business, by revenues, assets, total premiums and operating budgets, are as
13% of participating organizations have $3 billion+ in sales/$15+ billion in
25% of participating organizations have $1 billion or more in annual
revenues or $3 billion or more in total assets
44% of participating organizations have $500+ million in sales/$3+ billion
in total assets/$500+ million in premiums/$500+ million operating budget
(government, educational, not-for-profit)
of participating organizations fall in the SMB (small-to-medium sized
business) segment, generally defined as organization under $500 million in
have operating budgets of $500 million or more, 4% with operating budgets
$100 million to less than $500million (nonprofit/government/educational
Survey Frequency and Availability
Surveying during these months...
Produces research published no later than...