Technology professionals with key database skills were among those in the highest demand during the first quarter of 2017, according to the results of research from Foote Partners, which tracks compensation for hundreds of specific skillsets in information technology.

So-called pay premiums—the amount of additional compensation paid to a professional that has a skill versus—rose most significantly for database skills than for all other skills tracked by the firm. Non-certified database skills paid 7.8 percent in additional compensation during the first three months of the calendar year, while those with certified database skills paid an extra 11.2 percent.

Pay premiums are viewed as a reflection of hiring demand, the firm notes, because organizations must increase pay depending on how much demand there is for a skill and how difficult it is to find that skillset on the job market.

“If there is little leeway in the incumbent’s salary range to sweeten the pot on a counteroffer, and a promotion is not a viable pay option, paying workers extra cash for critical skills and certifications can be the perfect solution. Especially when workers possess the very hot certified or noncertified tech skills that other employers are aggressively targeting,” noted David Foote, principal research officer at Foote Partners.

The trick, Foote continued, is to tie extra cash directly to current market value for the hot skill or certification and guarantee that premium for some time period, which is usually one year or more.

Foote Partners also provided a breakdown on the top advanced data analytics skills for the first quarter of 2017. These skills are fetching pay premiums of 6 percent to 25 percent. They are Quik View; Data science; Apache Struts/Struts 2; Apache Flum; R language; MongoDB; Cloudera software; Webtrends Analytics; Amazon DynamoDB; Clojure; Apache Pig; MapReduce; Apache Hive; Hbase; Sqoop; Quantitiative Analysis/Regression Analysis; and Metadata design and development.

The top earning big data related certifications are earning pay premiums of between 9 percent to 12 percent of base salary. They are Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist; SAS Certified Data Scientist; Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop; EMC Data Science Specialist, Advanced Analytics; Oracle Certified Master - DBA (OCM); HP ASE Vertica Big Data Solutions Administration; SAS Certified Advanced Programmer; Cloudera Certified Specialist in Apache Hbase; Teradata 14 Certified Master; IBM Certified Database Administrator - DB2; and Oracle Certified Professional - DBA (OCP).

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