Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Splunk Core Certified User

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Splunk certification, starting with the Splunk Core Certified User credential, can help you dig through mountains of data.Vast caches of digital data are often metaphorically labeled “mountains.” Most actual mountains have caves, and “spelunk” is a word that describes the act of exploring and mapping caves. There’s a professional skill set required to dig valuable insights out of your average mountain of data, but there are also powerful tools that make that process faster, simpler, and more accurate.

We aren’t claiming to know exactly how San Francisco-based Splunk chose its name, but the company has been on the leading edge of data analytics for nearly 20 years and offers a range of certifications for IT pros looking to descend into massive data mountains and explore what they contain. This year, for the first time ever, a Splunk certification cracked our Salary Survey 75 list.

Splunk Core Certified User (No. 41) is a base-level credential, a starting point for those just entering the Splunk data analytics ecosystem. Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Splunk Core Certified User holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $109,770
Median Annual Salary: $117,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 54.5 percent
Satisfied: 9.1 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 9.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 27.3 percent

There are almost certainly Splunk-certified professionals who live and work in countries outside the United States, but we didn’t hear from enough of those individuals to glean any reliable information. Almost all of the Splunk Core Certified User holders who responded to the survey are U.S. residents.

Most of them are also men (83.6 percent of those surveyed), though we did hear from a notable contingent of female credential holders. Generally speaking, most Splunk Core Certified User holders are youngish, with nearly 75 percent of respondents either between the ages of 25 and 34 (19.1 percent) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (54.5 percent). The outliers are the 26 percent of respondents who are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (17.3 percent) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (9.1 percent).

Almost three-fourths of the Splunk Core Certified User 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 Splunk Core Certified User holders is either a bachelor’s degree (45.5 percent of respondents) or master’s degree (27.3 percent). The rest (27.2 percent of respondents) completed some level of post-high school technical training.

Having a Splunk certification, it would appear, is something employers find highly appealing: 100 percent of Splunk Core Certified User holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time. For most, that means a longer-than-standard work week, with 62.7 percent of respondents putting in between 41 and 50 hours per week. The rest are either even more overworked, clocking in for more than 50 hours per week (9.1 percent of those surveyed) or have a normal 40-hours-per week work schedule (28.2 percent).

IT jobs often offer the possibility of working from home, and that’s a notable reality for exactly half of Splunk Core Certified User holders: 11.8 percent work from home between 10 and 20 hours per week, 10 percent work from home between 21 and 30 hours per week, 9.1 percent work from home between 31 and 39 hours per week, and almost 20 percent are really living the dream, working out of the home office either 40 hours per week (9.1 percent) or more than 40 hours per week (10 percent). The other half only enjoy the novelty of doing work from home for fewer than 10 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Splunk Core Certified User holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (66.4 percent of respondents). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (16.4 percent of those surveyed), senior managers (9 percent), or rank-and-file employees (8.2 percent).

A core 46.3 percent of the Splunk Core Certified User 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 zero years (1 to 11 month) and 2 year (19.1 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (26.4 percent), or between 6 and 8 years (8.2 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Splunk Core Certified User 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: 48.2 percent
Several times a week: 18.2 percent
Several times a month: 17.3 percent
Occasionally: 16.3 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 20 percent
Agree: 64.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.5 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 36.4 percent
Agree: 55.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 8.2 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 20.9 percent
Agree: 63.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.5 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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CertMag Staff

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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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