Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CCNA

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Ladies and gentlemen, making its first appearance (kinda) in our Deep Focus series: CCNA.It was French man of letters Alphonse Karr who said the thing about, “The more things change, the more they change back to what they were really not very long ago, like maybe five or six years is all.” (Eh, it was something like that.) Circa 2015, Cisco embarked on a major shakeup of its certification program that included dividing up its core networking credential, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), into a handful of new CCNA credentials that each had a specialized focus.

Last year, everything changed back, with almost all of the specializations at the associate level going off the books and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) (No. 43 on our most recent Salary Survey list) once more left to stand alone — like the cheese in that song about the farmer in the dell. The more things change — yes, Al, we get it.

Here what the salary picture looks like for CCNA Routing and Switching holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $118,050
Median Annual Salary: $115,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 11.3 percent
Very Satisfied: 22.5 percent
Satisfied: 37.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 25 percent
Not At All Satisfied:3.7 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $64,450
Median Annual Salary: $54,580
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 5.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 9.5 percent
Satisfied: 41 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 29.5 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 14.3 percent

The largest single body of CCNA holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (43.3 percent of those surveyed), but we also heard from credential holders in 42 other countries: Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

Nearly all of the CCNA holders we heard from are men, with woman accounting for just 2.1 percent of responses. Generally speaking, most respondents are middle-aged either between the ages of 35 and 44 (45 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 45 and 55 (28.1 percent). There are a bare handful of kids in the room, with 0.5 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 19 and 24, as well as a youngish cohort between the ages of 25 and 34 (16.8 percent of respondents). The balance of respondents are either between the ages of 55 and 64 (8.1 percent of those surveyed), between the ages of 65 and 74 (1 percent), or age 75 and older (0.5 percent).

More than 85 percent of CCNA holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most CCNA holders is either a bachelor’s degree (40.8 percent of respondents), master’s degree (40.8 percent), associate’s degree (2.3 percent), doctorate (2.6 percent), or professional degree (2.2 percent). The outliers are the 8.1 percent of those surveyed who departed the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, the 2.8 percent who left formal education behind after completing high school, the 0.5 percent who are still in school, and the 0.5 percent who entered the workforce without any formal education.

A strong 98 percent of CCNA holders who responded to the survey are employed, either full-time (95.9 percent of respondents) or part-time (2.1 percent), with a further 0.5 percent presently in school, and just 1.5 percent out of work. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are punching the clock for either between 41 and 50 hours per week (42.7 percent of respondents) or for the standard 40 hours (37.9 percent). The rest put in either more than 50 hours per week (12.4 percent of respondents), between 31 and 39 hours per week (7 percent).

The COVID-19 pandemic altered the outlook on hours spent working from home for a great many IT workers. For a notably largish chunk of CCNA holders, the profile of full-time work didn’t change much, with remote work only on the table for either fewer than 10 hours per week (23.4 percent of respondents) or between 10 and 20 hours per week (10.3 percent). Everyone else is working from home for more than half of their weekly schedule, using a home wi-fi connection for either between 21 and 30 hours per week (4.3 percent of respondents), between 31 and 39 hours per week (9.2 percent), 40 hours per week (27.2 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (25.5 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CCNA holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (35.1 percent of respondents). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (22.2 percent), senior managers (11.5 percent), specialists (10.6 percent of those surveyed), rank-and-file employees (9.2 percent), directors (7.3 percent), or executives (4.1 percent).

A bit more than half (56.3 percent) of the CCNA 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 (5.1 percent of those surveyed), between 3 and 5 years (13 percent), between 6 and 8 years (13.4 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (12 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of CCNA 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: 50 percent
Several times a week: 28.7 percent
Several times a month: 13 percent
Occasionally: 6.9 percent
Rarely: 1.4 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 39.4 percent
Agree: 42.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.8 percent
Disagree: 1.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 32.8 percent
Agree: 49.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.8 percent
Disagree: 1.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 29.1 percent
Agree: 49.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16.7 percent
Disagree: 4.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 0.9 percent

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