Certification Survey Extra: Profile of certified web professionals

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Certification Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Certification Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Certification Survey data.

What do certified web professionals have in common? Here's what we learned from survey respondents.Each new season of the year when one of our certification surveys rolls around — except for during the autumn months, when we’re busy with 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 Web Design and Development Certification Survey and see what that looks like.

Certified web professionals who are already involved in web design and development may be interested to see how close their own experience is to the group profile. Those who are considering web design and development 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 web design and development realm, like many IT sectors, is made up of mostly male workers. Eight out of every 10 survey respondents are men, though that disparity is not quite as pronounced as in many other areas of the IT industry.

There’s more diversity when it comes to the respective ages of those surveyed, though there is a pronounced skew toward late middle age.. The largest group, 35 percent of respondents, is made up of individuals between the ages of 35 and 44, followed by 25 percent between the ages of 45 and 54, and 25 percent between the ages of 55 and 64. That leaves just the 15 percent of those surveyed who are between the ages of 25 and 34.

An impressive 95 percent of those surveyed have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. Most have either a master’s degree (35 percent of respondents) or bachelor’s degree (40 percent), with the rest in that group claiming an associate’s degree (15 percent). That leaves just 10 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 60 percent of those surveyed live and work in the United States, but we did hear from certified web professionals in eight other countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Indonesia, Mexico, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

The norm among certified web professionals who participated in the survey is to hold a limited number of current web design and development certifications, primarily either one (52.9 percent of those surveyed) or two (17.6 percent). Roughly 30 percent of respondents hold three or more web design and development certs.

A notable 82.3 percent of those surveyed, worked in the web design and development realm for fewer than 5 years before getting their first web certification: for 35.3 percent of respondents it was less than a year, an additional 17.6 percent certified after just one year in the field, 11.8 percent certified after getting two years of professional experience. Roughly 12 percent of all respondents held a web job (or jobs) for somewhere between 5 and 10 years before getting their first certification. The remaining nearly 6 percent of respondents did not board the web design and development certification express until after they’d been employed professionally in web design and development pursuit for more than a decade.

It would appear that there’s a lot of room to move around among certified web professionals. More than 60 percent of survey respondents have been with their current employer for fewer than 5 years. On the other hand, nearly a third 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 nearly 3-to-1 split between mid-size and small employers and the rest of the spectrum. Nearly 75 percent of those surveyed either work for companies that have 500 or fewer total employees, while the remaining 25 percent are with large employers (1,000 coworkers or more). Of particular note, nearly one-fifth of all respondents are self-employed.

Taking all of that into account, and painting with an extremely broad brush, most of the certified web 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 either one or two current web design and development credentials, and probably worked in the web realm for five or fewer years before getting certified. They are further most likely to work for companies with that have 500 or fewer employees and have probably held their current job for fewer than 5 years. How well do you fit the profile?

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CertMag Staff

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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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