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Analyzing a Decade of IT Trends

Nov. 16, 2017
Ryan Day


The Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report is a window into the inner workings of IT departments, revealing insights and opinions held by professionals around the world. For 10 years, we have surveyed over 120,000 men and women in IT about the state of the industry. With a decade of data at our fingertips, we analyzed 10 years’ worth of reports and noticed four major trending areas: certifications, salaries, cloud computing and cybersecurity. 


It's no longer good enough for IT professionals to just "know computers"

Want to get a good idea of how the perceived value of certifications has changed over time? This is a line from our first IT Skills and Salary Report in 2008:

“There have been many articles and discussions regarding the value of certification, and in general, employer support for certification appears to be mixed.”

What a difference a decade makes. In our 2017 report, there are few mixed feelings—94 percent of IT decision-makers believe a certified team member brings added value above and beyond the cost of certification. Those values include increased productivity and faster troubleshooting, which are vital abilities in today’s tech world as skills gaps are steadily widening.

Certifications are now considered the pinnacle of achievement in the tech industry. That’s a huge change in perspective from a decade ago when many IT professionals still didn’t understand the merit of certification.

When you analyze 10 years of survey responses, the data overwhelmingly illustrates a rise in demand for certification training.

  • In 2008, 9 percent of respondents said the main reason they train is to prepare for certification. In 2017, that number has risen to 47 percent.
  • In 2008, just 38 percent of IT professionals held at least one certification. In 2017, 86 percent are certified.
  • In 2008, 42 percent of respondents said they plan to pursue a certification in the next year. In 2017, 67 percent will either pursue certification or are already in the process of becoming certified.

Currently, our survey respondents hold an average of three certifications. There’s a lot of competition in the tech industry, so professionals often have their eyes set on their next certifications years in advance.

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