Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Certified Cloud Security Professional (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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

CCSP is the leading cloud security certification on the market.As described last year in the pages of Certification Magazine, cybersecurity professional association (ISC)² has made a strong commitment to developing a highly relevant and thorough certification exam to test the knowledge and skills of cloud security experts. Six years after its launch, the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) credential (No. 8 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is reliably popular among certified cybersecurity professionals.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $150,400
Median Annual Salary: $146,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 14.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 28.2 percent
Satisfied: 42.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 12.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 2.4 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $96,820
Median Annual Salary: $96,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 25.4 percent
Satisfied: 36.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 26.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 5.3 percent

The largest single group of CCSP 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 31 other countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, 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: 93.1 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 (36.7 percent of those surveyed), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (31.1 percent). The rest are either youngish — the 10.6 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 25 and 34 — or circling retirement, either between the ages of 55 and 64 (20 percent) or between the ages of 65 and 74 (1.6 percent).

More than 86 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 (36.7 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (31.1 percent), doctorate (3.3 percent), professional degree (3.3 percent), or associate’s degree (2.2 percent). The outliers are the 8.3 percent of respondents who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, the 4 percent who topped out with a high school diploma, the 0.6 percent who are currently in school, and the 0.6 percent who entered the workforce with no formal education whatsoever.

Nearly all of the CCSP holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time — 95.3 percent of them, to be precise — with 1.6 percent holding part-time jobs, 0.5 percent who are currently full-time students, 0.5 percent who are on sabbatical, and 2.1 percent who are 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 (47.2 percent) or more than 50 hours per week (14.5 percent). The rest either have a traditional 40-hour schedule (28.9 percent of respondents) or put in between 31 and 39 hours per week (9.4 percent).

Like workers in a lot of professions, CCSP holders who participated in the survey spend a lot of 2020 working from home in the shadow of COVID-19. An eye-popping 84 percent of CCSP holders who responded to the survey work from home more than 20 hours per week, putting in either between 21 and 30 hours per week (7.2 percent of those surveyed), between 31 and 39 hours per week (13.3 percent), a full 40 hours per week (20.4 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (43.1 percent). Even among the remaining 16 percent, 5 percent of those surveyed work from home between 10 and 20 hours per week, with just 10 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, 37.1 percent of those surveyed, are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either managers (20.5 percent), directors (14.8 percent), senior managers (14.3 percent), specialists (4.8 percent), rank-and-file employees (5.2 percent), or executives (3.3 percent).

A noteworthy 62 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 (3.8 percent of those surveyed), between 3 and 5 years (14.9 percent), between 6 and 8 years (8.2 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (11.1 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: 53 percent
Several times a week: 30.3 percent
Several times a month: 12 percent
Occasionally: 4.3 percent
Rarely: 0.4 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 39.4 percent
Agree: 40.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.4 percent
Disagree: 2.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.9 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 23.6 percent
Agree: 51.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19.7 percent
Disagree: 2.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.9 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 25.5 percent
Agree: 45.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24 percent
Disagree: 3.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2 percent

PAST CCSP DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2020

2019

2018

2017

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