Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on (ISC)² CSSLP

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

It's important to incorporate sound security practices at every phase of software development. CSSLP certification can help you lock in this skill set.We’re all better off in life adhering to certain rules and taking whatever extra time is required to ensure that certain safeguards are always in place. That doesn’t mean, of course, that everyone who gets in a car always buckles their seatbelt, or that everyone who goes outside to work in the yard for several hours is careful to apply sunblock beforehand.

There are various protections analogous to seatbelts and sunblock in the software development realm, and sometimes they get neglected. That, in part, is why information security association (ISC)² has a special certification for security professionals who are essentially software safety inspectors, shepherding projects through development with all of the applicable security measures in place.

The (ISC)² Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) credential is typically among the most generously compensated certs in our annual Salary Survey, and this year was no exception. CSSLP landed at No. 6 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $144,510
Median Annual Salary: $137,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 18.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 7.4 percent
Satisfied: 55.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 11.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 7.4 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $81,420
Median Annual Salary: $78,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 9.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 27.3 percent
Satisfied: 63.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: [No responses]
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of CSSLP holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (65.9 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in 11 other countries: Austria, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

A surprising number of the CSSLP holders to participate in the survey are women: 13.2 percent of those surveyed. Female credential holders often don’t turn up at all in survey cross sections that assess security certifications, so CSSLP is something of an outlier. It would appear to also be a mid-career credential: just 10.5 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 25 and 34, and we didn’t hear from a single CSSLP-certified individual younger than 25. The biggest group of CSSLP holders to respond to the survey are between the ages 35 and 44 (31.7 percent), with the remaining respondents evenly split between two age groups: 28.9 percent are between the ages of 45 and 54, and 28.9 percent are between the ages of 55 and 64.

Nearly 90 percent of CSSLP holders who participated in the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of formal education completed by nearly all CSSLP holders is either a bachelor’s degree (39.5 percent of respondents), master’s degree (39.5 percent), doctorate (7.9 percent), or associate’s degree (2.6 percent). The outliers are the 7.9 percent of respondents who completed some level of technical training after high school (but did not get a college degree), and the 2.6 percent whose educational journey is still in progress.

A strong 92.7 percent of CSSLP holders to participate in the survey are employed full-time, with 2.7 percent in part-time positions, 2.4 percent splitting time between work and school, and 2.2 percent taking a sabbatical. Among those who have full-time jobs, most either put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (50 percent of respondents) or have a standard 40-hour work week (36.9 percent). The rest either put in more than 50 hours per week (10.5 percent of respondents) or work between 31 and 39 hours per week (2.6 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CSSLP holders who participated in the survey are at the senior specialist level (53.8 percent of those surveyed). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (10 percent of respondents), specialists (9.7 percent), senior managers (9.5 percent), rank-and-file employees (7.3 percent), directors (5.1 percent), or executives (4.6 percent).

A strong 61 percent of the CSSLP holders we heard from 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 (2.4 percent), between 3 and 5 years (12.2 percent), between 6 and 8 years (17.1 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (7.3 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of CSSLP 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: 48.8 percent
Several times a week: 29.3 percent
Several times a month: 14.6 percent
Occasionally: 7.3 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 43.9 percent
Agree: 26.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 26.8 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 2.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 12.2 percent
Agree: 41.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 34.1 percent
Disagree: 4.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 7.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 17.1 percent
Agree: 34.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 36.6 percent
Disagree: 4.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 7.3 percent

PAST CSSLP DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2017

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CertMag Staff

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