New demands, higher salaries for storage pros


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"I think a storage certification [like a Brocade or a Cisco] might help as long as you don't have too many of them," explains 33-year-old Eric Hess, a senior systems engineer at the College of American Pathologists, a Northfield, IL-based not-for-profit organization. He has "a ton of certificates," but he doesn't brag about them.

"I've been told the more you have the less appealing it is because you are then like a jack-of-all-trades, but not a master," says Hess. In general, the value of many IT certifications has dropped in recent years. In our survey, respondents holding two certifications earn an average of $87,958, approximately $3,000 more than those without any certifications on their resumes. Professionals with four vendor certifications did see a salary spike to $110,000, but salaries slip when the certifications number five or more (see "Average salary by number of vendor certifications held," below).

What Paramount Pictures' Greene and Hess have is real-world SAN experience, and those skills are worth more than any storage certification, says David Foote, CEO and chief research officer at Foote Partners LLC, a Vero Beach, FL-based research firm specializing in IT skills and compensation. Foote's data shows companies are paying on average 7% to 14% more for employees who bring SAN experience to the job. Companies need to "find people to design and implement

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systems," says Foote, adding that a strong demand for SAN skills is emerging in small and midsized companies.


This was first published in November 2007

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