Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut Network Pro

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

TestOut's Network Pro certification is a great way to step into the professional IT networking field.Computer networks are a key element of modern business and civic infrastructure and any certified IT professional with a solid understanding of networking fundamentals can build a long and satisfying IT career. The Network Pro (No. 74 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) credential offered by TestOut is a great way to jump into in this essential industry specialization.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $59,640
Median Annual Salary: $59,830
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7 percent
Very Satisfied: 14 percent
Satisfied: 44.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 30.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 4.6 percent

There are some TestOut credential holders who live and work outside the United States, but TestOut certifications are most widely deployed in the United States. The Network Pro data discussed here doesn’t take other countries into account.

Breaking with industry convention, a surprising 27.3 percent of Network Pro holders who responded to the survey are women. In addition to being notably more diverse than the general pool of Salary Survey respondents, the body of Network Pro holders is younger than the norm. Nearly 70 percent of Network Pro holders who responded to the survey are younger than 45, either between the ages of 35 and 44 (25.6 percent), between the ages of 25 and 34 (32.6 percent), or between the ages of 19 and 24 (11.6 percent). The rest are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (14 percent of those surveyed) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (16.2 percent).

Almost 80 percent of Network Pro 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 Network Pro holders is either a bachelor’s degree (32.6 percent), master’s degree (23.6 percent), or associate’s degree (also 23.6 percent). The outliers are the 7.2 percent of survey respondents who completed some level of post high-school technical training, the 6.9 percent who exited the realm of formal education completing high school, and the 6.9 percent who are still furthering their education.

Roughly 78 percent of Network Pro holders who participated in the survey have full-time jobs, with 1.8 percent employed part-time, 8.9 percent currently in school, 1.8 percent on sabbatical, and 9.3 percent currently unemployed. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are at work either for the standard 40 hours per week (58.1 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (30.2 percent). The outliers are the 4.7 percent of those surveyed who work more than 50 hours per week, the 4.7 percent who put in between 31 and 39 hours per week, and the 2.3 percent who are on the clock for between 20 and 30 hours per week.

If you work in IT, then there’s at least a chance that you spend some or all of your work week at home. It’s not a very good chance for Network Pro holders:  74.4 percent of those surveyed work from home fewer than 10 hours per week. The rest have the option of wearing pajamas to work for either between 10 and 20 hours per week (18.6 percent), between 21 and 30 hours per week (2.6 percent), for the standard 40 hours per week (2.3 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (2.1 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Network Pro holders we heard from are employed at the specialist level (40 percent of those surveyed). The rest, in descending order, are either rank-and-file employees (36.4 percent), senior specialists (12.7 percent), or managers (10.9 percent).

Most of the Network Pro holders who responded to the survey —  45.5 percent of them — are computer networking newcomers, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between 3 and 5 years (27.3 percent), between 6 and 8 years (12.7 percent), or more than 10 years (14.5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Network Pro 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: 43.6 percent
Several times a week: 20 percent
Several times a month: 7.3 percent
Occasionally: 23.6 percent
Rarely: 5.5 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 20 percent
Agree: 36.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 34.5 percent
Disagree: 7.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 29.1 percent
Agree: 43.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.6 percent
Disagree: 1.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 20 percent
Agree: 41.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 29.1 percent
Disagree: 3.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.5 percent

PAST TESTOUT PC PRO DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2019

2018

2017

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CertMag Staff

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