Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on AWS Certified Security – Specialty

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

AWS is the top cloud services provider, and AWS Certified Security - Specialty is the company's sole cloud security cert.As cloud computing technology continues to evolve into the mainspring of the entire IT industry, the importance of improving cloud security principles, processes, and practices is ballooning. IT certification has a vital role to play in keeping cloud professionals on the leading edge of cloud security.

The biggest name in cloud computing is Amazon Web Services (AWS), and the growing AWS certification program is an excellent place to start for cloud technologists eager to burnish their cloud security bona fides. The AWS Certified Security – Specialty credential checked in at No. 13 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for AWS Certified Security holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $149,190
Median Annual Salary: $147,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 11.8 percent
Very Satisfied: 58.8 percent
Satisfied: 29.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: [No responses]
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $76,230
Median Annual Salary: $70,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 12.5 percent
Satisfied: 43.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 12.5 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 25 percent

A little more than half of the AWS Certified Security holders who participated in the Salary Survey are U.S. residents (51.5 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in 8 other countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

Tech circles tend to be dominated by men, and male professionals account for 94.1 percent of the AWS Certified Security holders who participated in the survey. Most respondents, regardless of gender, are either young-ish, between the ages of 25 and 34 (27.3 percent of those surveyed) or clustered around middle age either between the ages of 35 and 44 (30.3 percent) or between the ages of 45 and 54 (18.2 percent). Most of the outliers are between the ages of 55 and 64 (21.2 percent of respondents), with a tiny fraction still going strong after retirement age between the ages of 65 and 74 (3 percent).

More than 90 percent of AWS Certified Security holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of formal education completed by most AWS Certified Security holders is either a bachelor’s degree (39.4 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (also 39.4 percent), doctorate (2.9 percent), or associate’s degree (9.1 percent). The outliers are the 3.2 percent of respondents who topped out at some level of post-high school technical training and the62 percent who exited the realm of formal education after completing high school.

A striking 97.1 percent of the AWS Certified Security holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, with the remaining 2.9 percent holding part-time positions. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (39.4 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (42.4 percent). The remaining roughly 20 percent of those surveyed are either carrying a heavy load, working more than 50 hours per week (15.2 percent), or getting off easy with a standard work week of between 39 and 31 hours per week (3 percent).

Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many AWS Certified Security holders who formerly had a desk at an office are spending most or all of their work schedule at home. A notable 90 percent of respondents don’t ever leave the house for work, putting in either 40 hours per week from home (48.5 percent) or more than 40 hours per week from home (42.4 percent). Among the remaining 10 percent, 3.2 percent work from home between 31 and 39 hours per week, 3 percent work from home between 21 and 30 hours per week, and 2.9 percent work from home between 10 and 20 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of AWS Certified Security holders we heard from, 44.7 percent of those surveyed, are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either specialists and managers (both 13.1 percent of respondents), directors (10.5 percent), rank-and-file employees (8 percent), or senior managers and executives (both 5.3 percent).

A little more than half (55.3 percent) of the AWS Certified Security holders who responded to the survey are IT veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (5.3 percent of those surveyed), between 3 and 5 years (18.4 percent), between 6 and 8 years (10.5 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (also 10.5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of AWS Certified Security holders on key questions from the survey about how certification impacts job performance:

At my current job I use skills learned or enhanced through certification: 
Several times a day: 44.7 percent
Several times a week: 39.5 percent
Several times a month: 8 percent
Occasionally: 7.8 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

 

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 52.6 percent
Agree: 23.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 21.1 percent
Disagree: 2.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 34.2 percent
Agree: 36.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 21.1 percent
Disagree: 7.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 39.5 percent
Agree: 31.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 28.9 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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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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