Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Level 1

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The entry point to the Fortinet certification program is Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Level 1.Computer networks are essential to modern society, and proper security is essential to computer networks. The certification program offered by network security provider Fortinet has eight levels to help you advance your network security expertise. The Fortinet Network Security Expert (NSE) Level 1 credential (No. 48 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) helps security personnel develop “a basic understanding of the ever-increasing threat landscape that impacts networks today.”

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $102,400
Median Annual Salary: $101,670
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 16.7 percent
Satisfied: 25.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 33.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 24.2 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $34,010
Median Annual Salary: $35,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 19.1 percent
Satisfied: 36.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 27.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 17.3 percent

The largest single body of Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (54.5 percent or respondents), but we also heard from credential holders in 8 other countries: Brazil, Germany, India, New Zealand, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.

Men generally outnumber women in information security professions, and that’s certainly true here, with men accounting for 84 percent of the Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders who responded to the survey. In terms of age, more than 95 percent of those survey are between the ages 25 and 54, landing either between the ages of 25 and 34 (30.4 percent), between the ages 35 and 44 (30.4 percent), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (34.8 percent). The only outliers are the 4.3 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 55 and 64.

More than 85 percent of the Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders we heard from have an educational background that includes time spent at a college of university. The highest level of education completed by most Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders is either a bachelor’s degree (43.6 percent), master’s degree (21.7 percent), associate’s degree (13 percent), doctorate (4.3 percent), or professional degree (3.9 percent). The outliers are the 8.7 percent of those surveyed who exited the realm of formal education after the completing some level of post-high school technical training, and the 4.8 percent who concluded their educational endeavors by graduating from high school.

A strong 92 percent of Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time, with the remaining 8 percent holding part-time jobs. Among those with full-time jobs, most are at work for either between 41 and 50 hours per week (56.6 percent of respondents) or for the standard 40 hours (30.4 percent). That leaves just the 13 percent of respondents who’s full-time schedule is more than 50 hours per week.

A little more than half of the Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders who responded to the survey are spending most of those hours at a traditional workplace, working from home fewer than 10 hours per week. The rest of the survey group are a mixed bag, with 13.5 percent working from home between 10 and 20 hours per week, 9.1 percent punching the clock from home between 21 and 30 hours per week, 12.6 percent at home for 40 hours per week, and 8.3 percent at home for more than 40 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders we heard from (51.9 percent of respondents) are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either managers (18.5 percent of those surveyed), specialists (11.1 percent), executives (7.4 percent), senior managers (4.1 percent), rank-and-file employees (3.7 percent), or director (3.3 percent).

Nearly half (48.1 percent) of the Fortinet NSE Level 1 holders who responded to the survey are IT veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (11.1 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (18.5 percent), between 6 and 8 years (11.5 percent of respondents), or between 9 and 10 years (10.7 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Fortinet NSE Level 1 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: 55.6 percent
Several times a week: 18.5 percent
Several times a month: 14.8 percent
Occasionally: 11.1 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 33.3 percent
Agree: 55.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 11.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25.9 percent
Agree: 63 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 11.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 22.2 percent
Agree: 63 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.8 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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