Salary Survey Extra: Certification at the speed of life

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

When are you getting your next certification?Momentum is a phenomenon that applies in a lot of different areas in life. The more that you do something on a consistent basis, the better you become at doing that thing. And as your capacity to do something increases, it take less time and energy to see that thing through each time you begin it.

Like most other endeavors, certification is susceptible to momentum. The more that you learn, the greater your capacity to go from one certification to the next. And since many certification programs are designed so that each successive credential builds on the one before it, the likelihood of a Billy Joel moment increases with each cert.

(Sing it with us: “Don’t forget your second wind. Sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in.”)

Now, not everyone in IT is busy building momentum. Among the more than 11,700 people who participated in the 2015 Salary Survey, 52 percent did not get a new certification in 2015. On the other hand, 28.7 percent got one new credential, 11 percent got two new certs, and 4 percent grabbed three.

The momentum really kicked in for the remaining 4.4 percent of respondents, who got either four new certs (2 percent), five new certs (0.8 percent), or six or more new certs (1.4 percent) in 2015. We salute the truly busy beavers of certification: six or more new IT certifications in a single year is quite an accomplishment.

Perhaps not surprisingly, quite a few of our survey respondents will either be coasting into 2016, or are ready to build some momentum for 2017: 75 percent of those surveyed are planning to get a new certification this year.

Many who certify rely on their own knowledge of technology to make IT happen. (No, IT never gets old.) Quite a few, however, take advantage of learning materials and study aids. Among all Salary Survey respondents, 57.2 percent used learning materials and study aids provided by the certifying organization to prepare for their most recent exam.

Despite the preponderance of third-party learning and study providers, however, considerably fewer of those surveyed — just 29 percent — used third-party learning materials and study aids to prepare for their most recent exam.

 ELECTION 2016: A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE  Do IT professionals vote? With Super Tuesday just around the corner on March 1, it’s probably a good time to reveal the results of the informal presidential poll tucked in with all of those other Not-So-Serious questions that we enjoy so much.

Who's your presidential pick?Donald J. Trump was considerably less of a sure thing last fall than he’s begun to seem since the calendar turned over 2016. Nevertheless, we asked Salary Survey respondents who they prefer: Hillary or The Donald? That choice facing American voters in November may well be just that stark, but we included a few “soft landing” options in our pursuit of truth. Here’s what we learned:

Hillary — 40.3 percent
Trump — 17.1 percent
Where’s Mitt Romney when you need him? — 16.1 percent
I’m moving to Canada to blaze a J with Trudeau’s kid. — 13.2 percent
Both, but Trump has to be Hillary’s veep — 7.4 percent
Aaron Eckhart, but only if Mike Banning is his top Secret Service guy — 5.9 percent

Looks like it’s Hillary in a landslide, thanks to Mitt Romney splitting the vote. Will the same hold true in November? Only time will tell.

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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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