Certification Survey Extra: Profile of certified cloud computing professionals

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What do certified cloud computing professionals have in common? Here's what our research reveals.Three times each year when one of our certification surveys rolls around — the fourth survey of every calendar year is the annual Salary Survey —  we gather data about certified professionals who work in the same IT sector. Everyone who participates has at least one thing in common with everyone else: They’re all certified in some branch of the same technology.

So what else do the individuals who participate in these surveys have in common? In what ways are they different? In this installment of our Certification Survey Extra series, we’ll create a composite of the individuals who participated in our recent Cloud Computing Certification Survey and see what that looks like.

Certified cloud computing professionals who are already involved in cloud computing may be interested to see how close their own experience is to that of their cloud-certified peers. Those who are considering cloud computing as a career may be interested to find out, at a broad brush level, what their potential future looks like.

For starters, it would appear that the cloud computing realm, like many IT sectors, is made up of mostly male workers. Approximately 9.1 out of every 10 survey respondents are men. If you are a female certified cloud professional, then you probably don’t often encounter other women in your professional circles.

There’s more diversity when it comes to the respective ages of those surveyed, though there is a heavy skew late toward middle age. The largest group, 40.9 percent of respondents, is made up of individuals between the ages of 35 and 44, followed by 31.5 percent who are between the ages of 45 and 54, and 18.1 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64. That leaves just the 6.3 percent of those surveyed who are between the ages of 25 and 34, the 0.8 percent who are between the ages 0f 19 and 24, the 0.8 percent who are 18 or younger, and the 1.6 percent who are between the ages of 65 and 74.

A notable 87 percent of those surveyed have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. Most have either a bachelor’s degree (39.4 percent of respondents) or master’s degree (31.5 percent), with the rest in that group claiming an associate’s degree (12.6 percent), doctorate (3.1 percent), or professional degree (0.8 percent). That leaves just 12 percent of those surveyed who fall into one of our other buckets (post-high school technical training, high school diploma, currently in school, and so on).

About 52 percent of those surveyed live and work in the United States, but we did hear from certified web professionals in 30 other countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

The norm among certified cloud computing professionals who participated in the survey is to hold just one or two current cloud computing certifications. A notable 62 percent of respondents have either one (36.4 percent) or two (25.6 percent) certifications. Most of the rest of those surveyed  have either 3 current cloud certs (16.5 percent of respondents), 4 such certs (6.6 percent), 5 such certs (7.4 percent), 6 such certs (2.5 percent), or 7 or 8 such certs (both 1.7 percent).

A notable 76.1 percent of those surveyed worked in the cloud computing realm for 3 or fewer years before getting their first web certification: for 33.9 percent of respondents it was less than a year, an additional 14.9 percent certified after just one year in the field, and 18.2 percent certified after getting two years of professional experience. Roughly 20 percent of all respondents held a cloud computing job (or jobs) for somewhere between 4 and 10 years before getting their first certification. The remaining 3.3 percent of respondents did not board the cloud computing certification express until after they’d been employed professionally in cloud computing pursuits for more than a decade.

It would appear that there’s a lot of room to move around among certified cloud computing professionals. A bit more than 50 percent of survey respondents have been with their current employer for fewer than 5 years. On the other hand, 28 percent of those surveyed have been with their current employer for more than a decade. So there’s apparently stability to be had, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Finally, there’s a heavy tilt toward large employers among the certified cloud computing professionals who participated in the survey. Roughly 62 percent of those surveyed work for companies that have more than 1,000 total employees, while the remaining 38 percent are with small to mid-size employers (999 coworkers or fewer). Of particular note, just 4.3 percent of all respondents are self-employed, while 30.1 percent work for companies with more than 10,000 employees.

Taking all of that into account, and painting with an extremely broad brush, most of the certified cloud computing professionals who participated in the survey are likely to be men, older than 35, with a college or university degree. They are most likely to be from the United States, have one or two current cloud computing credentials, and probably worked in the cloud computing realm for three or fewer years before getting certified. They are further most likely to work for companies with that have more than 1,000 employees and have probably held their current job for either fewer than 5 years or more than a decade. How well do you fit the profile?

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CertMag Staff


Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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