Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CCSP

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

(ISC)²'s CCSP certification continues to dominate the cloud security sector.A handful of years back, when cloud computing was a relatively novel concept, people used the expression “in the cloud” to refer to the file storage environment for everything from cell phone pictures to shopping lists. Nobody uses it very much anymore, probably because the cloud is less new than it was, and also because, for many (if not most) things, local storage is no longer the default.

With all of that data metaphorically floating through the sky — and with all of the other things that we now use cloud technology for — protecting cloud servers has become a top IT priority. And perhaps the best-known certification for cloud security technologists is the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) credential (No. 14 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) managed by (ISC)².

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $134,480
Median Annual Salary: $128,330
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 2 percent
Very Satisfied: 32 percent
Satisfied: 30 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 24 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 12 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $98,010
Median Annual Salary: $96,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 4.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 22.8 percent
Satisfied: 36.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 22.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 13.6 percent

The largest single group of CCSP holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (69.4 percent of respondents), but we also heard from credential holders in 11 other countries: Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The cybersecurity industry as a whole tends to be dominated by male professionals, and that’s certainly the case here: 93.2 of CCSP holders who responded to the survey are men. Whether male or female, most are what we generally think of as being middle-aged, either between the ages of 35 and 44 (34.7 percent of those surveyed), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (44.4 percent). The rest are either youngish — the 5.6 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 25 and 34 — or circling retirement, either between the ages of 55 and 64 (12.5 percent) or between the ages of 65 and 74 (2.8 percent).

More than 85 percent of CCSP 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 CCSP holders is either a bachelor’s degree (45.8 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (36.1 percent), or associate’s degree (5.6 percent). The outliers are the 9.7 percent of respondents who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, and the 2.8 percent who topped out with a high school diploma.

Nearly all of the CCSP holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time — 97.3 percent of them, to be precise — with 1.3 percent currently full-time students and 1.4 percent out of work. Among those who have have full-time jobs, 60 percent are going above and beyond that standard 40-hour work week, putting in either between 41 and 50 hours per week (52.8 percent) or more than 50 hours per week (8.3 percent). The rest either have a traditional 40-hour schedule (34.7 percent of respondents) or put in between 31 and 39 hours per week (4.2 percent).

Cloud technology allows businesses to access files and applications stored offsite and cloud security employment is apparently something of a sweet spot for IT pros who prefer to do their work offsite as well. Slightly more than 35 percent of CCSP holders who responded to the survey work from home more than 20 hours per week, working remotely either between 21 and 30 hours per week (6.9 percent of those surveyed), between 31 and 39 hours per week (also 6.9 percent), a full 40 hours per week (12.5 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (9.7 percent). Even among the remaining 65 percent, 20.8 percent of those surveyed work from home between 10 and 20 hours per week, with just 43.2 percent logging fewer than 10 hours per week outside of a traditional workplace setting.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CCSP holders we heard from, 52.6 percent of those surveyed, are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either directors (17.1 percent), managers (7.9 percent), senior managers (6.6 percent), specialists (also 6.6. percent), rank-and-file employees (also 6.6 percent), or executives (2.6 percent).

A noteworthy 68.5 percent of CCSP 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 (11.8 percent), between 6 and 8 years (also 11.8 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (2.6 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of CCSP 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: 55.3 percent
Several times a week: 22.4 percent
Several times a month: 9.2 percent
Occasionally: 9.2 percent
Rarely: 3.9 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 31.6 percent
Agree: 48.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.1 percent
Disagree: 1.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 22.4 percent
Agree: 35.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 30.2 percent
Disagree: 6.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 21.1 percent
Agree: 34.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 32.8 percent
Disagree: 6.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.3 percent

PAST CCSP DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2019

2018

2017

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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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