Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut Security 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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Build a solid foundation for a career in cybersecurity with the TestOut Security Pro credential.The world has need of wily men and women who have solid cybersecurity skills. How bad is the problem? Experts project that there will be 1.8 million fewer cybersecurity workers than open cybersecurity jobs by 2022. The TestOut Security Pro credential (No. 74 on this year’s Salary Survey 75 list) is a good point of entry for would-be IT pros who want to work in cybersecurity but don’t know where to start.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $60,150
Median Annual Salary: $62,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 8.3 percent
Very Satisfied: 25 percent
Satisfied: 33.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 25.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 7.5 percent

There are Security Pro holders who don’t live and work in the United States, but we didn’t hear from enough of them to provide non-U.S. salary data. Among U.S. credential holders, most are men (93.7 percent of those surveyed), though there are a handful of women (6.3 percent) in the Security Pro segment of the workforce.

The Security Pro holders who responded to the 2018 Salary Survey are mostly mid-career professionals, at least in terms of age, with 35 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34, and 42.5 percent between the ages of 35 and 44. The rest are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (15.8 percent of respondents) or quite possibly still in high school at age 18 or younger (6.7 percent).

The highest level of formal education completed by most Security Pro holders is either an associate’s (two-year) degree (42.5 percent of those surveyed) or bachelor’s degree (34.2 percent). The outliers are the 16.6 percent of respondents who completed some level of technical training but did not attend college, and the 7.5 percent who are currently in school.

Full-time employment among Security Pro holders is solid at 78.1 percent. A notable portion of survey respondents have part time jobs (12.5 percent of those surveyed), and the rest are either students (3.1 percent) or currently out of work (6.3 percent). Among those who have jobs, most either put in a standard 40-hour work week (50 percent of respondents) or are slightly overworked with a schedule of between 41 and 50 hours per week (35.8 percent). The rest, 14.2 percent of those surveyed, are at work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

In terms or organizational standing, almost exactly half of respondents are either managers (25 percent of those surveyed) or specialists (25.6 percent). The rest are either rank-and-file employees (37.5 percent of respondents) or senior managers (6.3 percent).

A large majority of Security Pro holders are relative newcomers to the cybersecurity field, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and two years (75 percent of respondents). Among the rest, 12.5 percent have been plying their certified skills for between 3 and 5 years, 6.2 percent have been so engaged for between 9 and 10 years, and 6.3 percent have been in the game for more than a decade.

Finally, here’s the view of Security 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: 37.5 percent
Several times a week: 26.3 percent
Several times a month: 12.5 percent
Occasionally: 17.4 percent
Rarely: 6.3 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 32.5 percent
Agree: 30 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 12.5 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 50 percent
Agree: 31.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 12.4 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 6.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 37.5 percent
Agree: 31.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 18.8 percent
Disagree: 6.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 6.1 percent

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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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