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Here are the tech skills that can get you paid the most right now

  • The market turnaround has led to layoffs in the tech industry and a freeze after two years of aggressive hiring.
  • For jobs that require certain skills, wages have risen this year, new data shows.
  • Other jobs that require common skills have seen pay drops, sometimes significant.

Compensation in the tech industry rose to new heights during the pandemic, with Big Tech hitting record prices and demand soaring. It didn’t last. The market is trending down – and paying with it – but there are still certain skills that can compensate more than others.

Management, project management and operating systems skills are still in demand and average pay has increased slightly over the past three months, a new report from Foote Partners, a consultancy for the technical industry. The data also showed that more than half of tech jobs that require common skills have seen compensation declines in the past three months as hiring delays, freezes and layoffs have swept the industry.

Foote Partners analyzed changes in average pay for 2022, through July 1, by looking at technical employees with certain certified and non-certified skills. The data showed that more than half of the highlighted skills were paid less in the past three months, with most of the same skills seeing a pay drop in the past year.

Skills in web and e-commerce development, messaging and communications, cybersecurity and app development have seen wages fall over the past three months, according to data. The remuneration for messaging and communication skills has fallen the most in the past year, by almost 17%. This was followed by a decline in web development skills, with a drop of more than 12%.

Many of the skills that have been undervalued in recent months are considered “certified” skills, or skills that can be learned in school or through other educational programs. Half of the skills analyzed in the data are “uncertified,” meaning they learned skills through work experience. Decades of data from Foote Partners show that uncertified skills are more valued and result in higher pay.

Tech workers have become increasingly unhappy with the industry, but David Foote, the principal analyst and co-founder of Foote Partners, said pay is just one aspect of employee sentiment.

“When you talk to employers, they keep thinking that insufficient compensation is the reason their employees are not happy,” Foote said. “But if you talk to the workers themselves, they give us very different answers.”

Foote said that employee satisfaction often comes down to three things: “a sense of belonging to their work,” a sense of being “valued by their manager,” and a sense of being “valued by their organization.”

A sense of “value” doesn’t always mean higher pay, but Big Tech companies, in particular, aren’t agile enough to adapt to workers’ needs, Foote said.

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