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.
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is IT skills and certification pay and why is it so popular?
is common practice today for employers to isolate, recognize and reward
(with cash) experience in a variety of specific technical and business
skills. Pay for these skills, both certified and noncertified, is
usually provided in the form of a premium employers are willing to pay
workers who possess high-value technology skills used on the job. Such
pay may be applied in the form of a cash bonus (or it may be embedded in
base salary, though rarely) to adjust for the presence of a dominant
vendor or technology; for example a Cisco Network Engineer, Python
Software Engineer, Red Hat Linux Systems Administrator, or SAP Developer.
skills premiums in an employer’s compensation program has gained much
popularity in recent years. 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, Python, Ruby on Rails, SAP, and even Cobol specialists all with
"Programmer" or "Developer" titles. But some of these
skills are worth more than others in the marketplace. Benchmarking
salaries of these various IT specialists to a single job title in a salary
survey – if you can even find the job title -- typically results in
it just be easier to change the person’s job title to reflect the skill
specializations? For example, software developers who work exclusively
with Java FX become "Java FX Developers" and engineers in the
Cisco environment world be "Cisco Network Administrators". There
is much resistance in doing this with employers who are wary of the
complexities that accompany job title proliferation. Instead, they have
learned to simply differentiate workers within common job titles by
offering skills premium pay in order to match their pay to the job titles
they should have. It's a lot less unwieldy than going through
a laborious job evaluation process and doubling the number of job titles
needing to graded, leveled, and market priced.
is where our
IT Skills and
Certifications Pay IndexTM
comes in handy: it tells you exactly what the bonus or base pay adjustment
should be for 935 certified and noncertified IT skills based on current
compensation information collected at 3,084 carefully selected employers
in U.S. and Canada.
there other uses for skills pay? Absolutely. Skills pay can be
offered as an inducement in recruiting a prospective employee via internal
transfer, or as a basis for a sign-on bonus for securing external
candidates on the open market. 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. Progressive employers build
skills pay into their career development and training programs, using it
as a short term incentive element to attract workers to drive their career
choices to strategic initiatives and hot projects.
Is 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 did Foote Partners invent IT
skills pay benchmarking and how is the data collected?
Partners’ primary research report for skills and professional
certifications pay is the IT Skills and Certifications Pay IndexTM
(ITSCPI), which tracks premium pay for 935 IT certifications and
noncertified skills and is continuously updated and published
every three months. Updated data in this edition was collected through
July 1, 2017, including 72,820
validated IT professionals receiving premium pay for their skills and/or
have been paying for tech skills for some time but they have been
notoriously reluctant to create formal programs to do so. That’s 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 has made it much more labor intensive and expensive for IT
compensation survey firms to capture such data. Though many have tried and
failed, Foote Partners’ ITSCPI---launched in 1999---remains the first and
now the only survey of its kind still in existence. It has set a high bar
since the start as the industry’s most comprehensive and most accurate.
We are a different kind of compensation surveyor. Our unique
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 nearly 40 percent the 269,800 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 80 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. We update our data collection weekly
and publish the results every ninety days.
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 HR and compensation
staffs and in some cases from managers and executives who possess the
collect and compile skills and certifications data continuously and make
those results available to our retainer and consulting customers on-demand.
Everybody else may purchase one or more of 80 individual quarterly updated
‘off-the-shelf’ compensation surveys published quarterly by Foote
Partners that contains subject area and domain specific skills data excerpts
from the ITSCPI report.
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
research findings were collected from 3,084 public and private sector
organizations representing more than 40 private sector industries plus government and
educational institutions. Data from 269,800
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 $5 billion+ in sales/$15+ billion in
25% of participating organizations have $1 billion or more in annual
revenues or $5 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
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