June 08, 2010, 9:36 AM — Q&A: David Foote
The CEO of IT workforce analyst firm Foote Partners LLC explains why high volatility in the IT labor and skills markets will remain long after the economy recovers.
First of all, how are you defining and measuring volatility? Pay and demand for IT skills at more than 2,000 employers in North America that participate in our research. We've built several statistical gauges for examining trends in each. The IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index surveys pay premiums earned by 23,000 IT professionals for 438 individual technical and business skills, both certified and noncertified.
Our IT Skills Volatility Index tells us what percentage of these skills are changing in market value, either up or down. We also survey salaries for nearly 100,000 IT workers and a few hundred job titles. All of these are updated continuously, but we tend to analyze labor market trends in three-month increments and have been doing so since 1998. We also stay in regular contact with several hundred IT executives, who provide us with deep-dive perspective that the data itself cannot.
IT Skills Volatility Index
Companies were asked what percentage of IT skills and certifications had changed in market value from the preceding period.
* 2005: 13.9%
* 2006: 15.1%
* 2007: 15.3%
* 2008: 19.3%
* First half 2009: 25.1%
* Q3 2009: 38.7%
* Q4 2009: 28.6%
* Q1 2010: 31.8%
Source: Foote Partners LLC, IT IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index, 2005 to 2010 quarterly editions