Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate is a good milepost on your road to becoming a cloud security expert.Azure, the cloud computing service offered by Microsoft, made its debut on Feb. 1, 2010, a little more than 11 years ago. It’s not the market-share megalith that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is, but Azure is big, and an Azure certification can be a ticket to a good job with an excellent salary.

A significant chunk of the overhauled and still-evolving Microsoft certification program is devoted to Azure and, among the various Azure specializations, security is of critical importance — as it is across the IT spectrum. The Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate credential (No. 19 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 List) is a great way for cloud security specialists to become familiar with Azure.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Azure Security Engineer Associate holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $141,410
Median Annual Salary: $140,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 26.2 percent
Satisfied: 50 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 23.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $74,140
Median Annual Salary: $66,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 15.2 percent
Satisfied: 26 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 37 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 14.4 percent

The largest single body of Azure Security Engineer Associate holders to participate in the survey is made up of residents of the United States (21.6 percent). The rest of the Azure Security Engineer Associate holders we heard from are spread across 16 other countries: Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The IT security realm is typically dominated by male professionals, and only a handful of the Azure Security Engineer Associate holders we heard from — 5.7 percent of those surveyed — are women.  Somewhat against type, on the other hand, the Azure Security Engineer Associate is notably youthful, with 83 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 25 and 34 (40.3 percent) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (42.6 percent). The next-largest group is credential holders between the ages of 45 and 54 — 14.3 percent of respondents — with the remaining 2.8 percent between the ages of 55 and 64.

A notable 87 percent of the Azure Security Engineer Associate 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 Azure Security Engineer Associate holders is either a bachelor’s degree (40 percent of respondents), master’s degree (42.9 percent), doctorate (2.6 percent), or associate’s degree (3.1 percent). The remaining 11 percent of Azure Security Engineer Associate holders either topped off their learning years by completing some level of post-high school technical training (6 percent of those surveyed) or departed the realm of formal education after graduating from high school (5.4 percent).

Employment among Azure Security Engineer Associate holders is rock solid, with 97.2 percent of credential holders employed full-time and just 2.8 percent presently out of work. For most respondents, full-time employment means a regular work schedule of either between 41 and 50 hours per week (42.8 percent) or the standard 40 hours per week (28.6 percent). Out of the remaining 29 percent of those surveyed, 17.1 percent work between 31 and 39 hours per week, 8.6 percent put in more than 50 hours per week, and 2.9 percent put in between 20 and 30 hours per week.

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshuffled workplaces worldwide in 2020, and there’s strong evidence of that here: A notable 56 percent of the Azure Security Engineer Associate holders we heard from are spending their entire work schedule at home, with 31.4 percent working beneath the same roof that’s overhead when they sleep at night for more than 40 hours per week, and a further 25.7 percent working 40 hours per week from home. The rest haven’t entirely separated from their cubicles (or corner offices), working from home either between 31 and 39 hours per week (17.1 percent of respondents), between 10 and 20 hours per week (11.4 percent), or for fewer than 10 hours per week (also 11.4 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Azure Security Engineer Associate holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (51.4 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (14.3 percent), senior managers (11.7 percent), directors (11.1 percent), specialists (5.8 percent), or rank-and-file employees (5.7 percent).

A solid 45.7 percent of Azure Security Engineer Associate holders who responded to 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 (28.6 percent), between 6 and 8 years (14.3 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (11.4 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Azure Security Engineer Associate 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: 39.7 percent
Several times a week: 43.1 percent
Several times a month: 14.6 percent
Occasionally: 2.6 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 33.3 percent
Agree: 41 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.1 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 2.6 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 17.9 percent
Agree: 56.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 12.8 percent
Disagree: 10.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.6 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 20.5 percent
Agree: 53.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.9 percent
Disagree: 2.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.1 percent

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