Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Response and remediation is critical in the event of a cybersecurity breach. GCIH is the right credential to prepare specialists for that role.No business or organization wants to plan on a cybersecurity breakdown. Breaches happen, however, and it’s critical to be able to react properly when they do. The GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) credential, No. 23 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list, identifies security professionals who can do preventive work, but have a particular genius for response and remediation.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $127,280
Median Annual Salary: $125,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 9.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 25 percent
Satisfied: 46.9 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 18.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $91,370
Median Annual Salary: $86,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 19.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 14.3 percent
Satisfied: 24.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 18.6 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 23.3 percent

The largest single body of GCIH holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (59.3 percent), be we also heard from credential holders in 13 other countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Germany, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Most of the GCIH holders who responded to the survey are men — 94.6 percent — which is not really surprising, given the overall scarcity of women in cybersecurity roles.  Somewhat surprisingly, given the industry-wide need to bring in new security talent, most of the GCIH holders we heard from are 35 or older: 92 percent of those surveyed are either between the ages of 35 and 44 (35.8 percent), between the ages of 45 and 54 (41.5 percent), between the ages of 55 and 64 (11.3 percent), or between the ages of 65 and 74 (3.8 percent). The only “youngsters” to pop through are the 7.5 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34.

Roughly 85 percent of GCIH 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 GCIH holders is either a master’s degree (37 percent), bachelor’s degree (29.6 percent), associate’s degree (11.1 percent), doctorate (3.7 percent), or professional degree (also 3.7 percent).  The rest either topped out after completing some level of post-high school technical training (9.3 percent) or exited the realm of formal education after finishing high school (5.6 percent).

A tick more than 98 percent of GCIH holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time, with 1.9 percent in part-time jobs, and nobody unemployed or otherwise occupied. Among those who have full-time jobs, most put in either between 41 and 50 hours per week (56.6 percent of respondents) or have a standard 40-hour weekly work schedule (26.4 percent). The rest are either putting in more than 50 hours per week (7.6 percent of those surveyed) or between 31 and 39 hours per week (9.4 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of GCIH holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (40 percent of those surveyed). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (26.7 percent of respondents), senior managers (10 percent), directors (8.3 percent), specialists (6.7 percent), executives (5 percent), or rank-and-file employees (3.3 percent).

Nearly 65 percent of the GCIH holders in 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 3 and 5 years (8.3 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (20 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of GCIH 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: 63.3 percent
Several times a week: 23.3 percent
Several times a month: 10 percent
Occasionally: 3.3 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 43.3 percent
Agree: 36.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.3 percent
Disagree: 1.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 31.7 percent
Agree: 48.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.3 percent
Disagree: 1.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 31.7 percent
Agree: 43.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20 percent
Disagree: 5 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

PAST GCIH DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2017

2018

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