Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on EC-Council CCISO

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

What does the workplace look like for security professionals with EC-Council's CCISP certification?Once upon a time, hackers were sort of like Santa Claus: a (most likely) mythical presence who either did or did not occasionally come around with a surprise present or (more often) lump of coal. In 2017, cybersecurity is among the foremost concerns of almost every business and organization, and the role of chief information security officer (CISO) is a correspondingly vital assignment.

There are various qualifications expected of most CISO candidates, but among the avenues of job preparation that recommends itself to many is getting a certification. One of the more notable credentials available to serve this purpose is the Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO) credential offered by EC-Council, No. 15 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

As sometimes happens with the Salary Survey, nearly all of our respondents who hold CCISO certification are U.S. residents.  We heard from a smattering of CCISO-certified individuals in other countries, but not enough of them to calculate a reliable average salary. Hence, among U.S. CCISO holders, the average annual salary in 2016 was $134,220, with a median annual salary of $134,380.

Most CCISO holders in our survey pool are men (96.5 percent of those surveyed), though we did hear from a few female CCISOs. As a rule, CCISO holders are closing in on retirement age. Just 3.1 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 25 and 34, and those are the youngest CCISOs we heard from. Moving up to the next age bracket (35 to 44) only brings in another 22.6 percent of those surveyed. The remaining 75 percent are either between the ages of 55 and 64 (40 percent), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (34.3 percent).

The highest level of education attained by most CCISO holders is either a bachelor’s degree (34.9 percent), or master’s degree (30.4 percent). On the other hand, while we did hear from a handful of CCISO holders who have doctorate degrees (2.2 percent of those surveyed), there’s a very strong group of respondents (32.5 percent) who have completed technical training but have no college background.

An impressive 95.7 percent of those surveyed are employed full-time, versus just 4.3 percent who are unemployed. Among those who have jobs, just 26.1 percent of those surveyed have a standard 40-hour work week. Most work either between 41 and 50 hours per week (56,5 percent) or more than 50 hours per week (17.4 percent).

CISO is a management role, so it’s not surprising that the CCISO holders we surveyed mostly work in management positions. CCISOs are mostly likely to be found in at the senior manager level (31.1 percent of respondents), though there are also plenty of executives (20 percent) and directors (22.6 percent). The rest of those surveyed are either managers (10.7 percent), senior specialists (9 percent) or specialists (6.6 percent).

It takes a lot of job experience, generally speaking to get CCISO certified. Among all CCISO holders in the survey, 87 percent have 10 or more years of experience. The outliers in the survey have either between 6 and 8 years (3.1 percent) or between 9 and 10 years (10 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of CCISO 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: 65.2 percent
Several times a week: 26.1 percent
Several times a month: 8.7 percent
Occasionally: [No responses]
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 52.2 percent
Agree: 30.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.4 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 21.7 percent
Agree: 47.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25 percent
Disagree: 5.5 percent
Strongly Disagree:  [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 17.4 percent
Agree: 43.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 39.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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