Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on IBM Certified Solution Architect

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

There's a lot of bandwidth in the IBM ecosystem for an IBM Certified Solution Architect.There are 13 different specializations for solution architects working inside the IBM information technology ecosystem. So you’ll have to do some narrowing of the scope of your interests before becoming an IBM Certified Solution Architect (No. 13 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list).

Here what the salary picture looks like for IBM Certified Solution Architect holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $135,050
Median Annual Salary: $128,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 14.8 percent
Very Satisfied: 22.2 percent
Satisfied: 33.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 26 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 3.7 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $62,520
Median Annual Salary: $47,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 5 percent
Very Satisfied: 5 percent
Satisfied: 47.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 35 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 7.5 percent

The largest single body of IBM Certified Solution Architect holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (40.9 percent of respondents), but we also heard from credential holders in 20 other countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

There are more women among the survey population here than one might typically expect to find: 15.3 of IBM Certified Solution Architect holders who responded to the survey are female. In general terms, the group as a whole is neither young nor old, with 70 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 35 and 44 (30.3 percent) or between the ages of  45 and 54 (39.4 percent). The outliers are the 6.1 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 24.2 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64.

More than 90 percent of the IBM Certified Solution Architect holders we heard from have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most IBM Certified Solution Architect holders is either a bachelor’s degree (44 percent of respondents), master’s degree (31.8 percent), professional degree (7.6 percent), associate’s degree (6.1 percent), or doctorate (3 percent). That leave just a handful of respondents who either topped out with some degree of post-high school technical training (4.5 percent) or exited the realm of formal education after graduating from high school (3 percent).

An impressive 91.8 percent of IBM Certified Solution Architect holders are employed full-time, with 4.1 percent holding part-time jobs, 1.4 percent on sabbatical, and 2.7 percent unemployed. Among those with full-time jobs, most are at work either between 41 and 50 hours per week (53.7 percent of respondents), more than 50 hours per week (17.9 percent), or for the standard 40 hours per week (23.9 percent). A tiny fraction of credential holders with full-time jobs either put in between 31 and 39 hours per week (3 percent of respondents) or fewer than 20 hours per week (1.5 percent).

An unusually low 60 percent of IBM Certified Solution Architect holders are spending most of those hours at a traditional workplace, working from home either fewer than 10 hours per week (41.5 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours per week (20 percent). There’s a little bit of everything after that: 7.7 percent of respondents work from home between 21 and 30 hours per week, 10.8 percent work from home between 31 and 39 hours per week, 4.6 percent work from home 40 hours per week, and 15.4 percent work from home more than 40 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of IBM Certified Solution Architect holders we heard from (58.4 percent of respondents) are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either senior managers (12.4 percent), managers (10.1 percent), executives (7.9 percent), employees (5.6 percent), specialists (4.5 percent), or directors (1.1 percent).

More than half (57.3 percent) of IBM Certified Solution Architect 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 (7.9 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (11.2 percent), between 6 and 8 years (7.9 percent of respondents), or between 9 and 10 years (15.7 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of IBM Certified Solution Architect 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: 29.2 percent
Several times a week: 31.4 percent
Several times a month: 16.9 percent
Occasionally: 13.5 percent
Rarely: 9 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 16.9 percent
Agree: 43.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.4 percent
Disagree: 7.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 9 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 21.4 percent
Agree: 25.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 30.3 percent
Disagree: 13.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 9 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 15.8 percent
Agree: 30.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 31.5 percent
Disagree: 11.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 11.2 percent

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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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