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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The Security Pro from TestOut is a great way to get a broad foundational grasp of cybersecurity knowledge and skills.Every business and organization needs people who can play a part in the overall effort to protect IT assets from hackers and other digital malefactors. The Security Pro certification (No. 75 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) from TestOut is a great place to turn for cybersecurity newcomers who want to get a foothold in the field.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $50,280
Median Annual Salary: $41,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 23.9 percent
Satisfied: 22.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 53.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

There are Security Pro holders who live and work in countries outside the United States, but we didn’t hear from enough of them to provide non-U.S. salary data. Among U.S. credential holders who responded to the Salary Survey, a comparatively shocking 22.1 percent are women. That’s welcome news both for the cybersecurity sector and the IT realm as a whole, as women are still a largely untapped source of potential workforce replenishment.

Security Pro holders are generally younger than many of the groups we write about for these Deep Focus articles — 46.2 percent of respondents are between the ages of 25 and 34, with 42.8 percent between the ages of 35 and 44. The outliers are the 9.7 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 45 and 54, and the 1.3 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64.

If you’re considering Security Pro certification, then you’d do well to consider some form of university degree. The highest level of formal education completed for nearly 90 percent of Security Pro holders who responded to the survey is either a bachelor’s degree (44.4 percent), associate’s degree (32.2 percent), or master’s degree (12.1 percent). The rest, 11.2 percent of respondents, are potentially working toward that threshold, as they are all currently in school.

Full-time employment among Security Pro holders reflects the overall demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals: 100 percent are employed full-time. Most are locked into a traditional workday schedule, with 67.6 percent of respondents working 40 hours per week, while 22.2 percent are on the clock between 41 and 50 hours per week, and the remaining 10.2 percent at work between 31 and 39 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Security Pro holders who responded to the survey are at the specialist level (55.8 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either senior managers (22 percent), senior specialists (11.4 percent), or rank-and-file employees (10.8 percent).

There a lot of fresh blood among Security Pro holders: 44.6 percent have worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between 0 years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between 3 and 5 years (22.1 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (11.2 percent), or for more than a decade (22.1 percent).

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: 66.9 percent
Several times a week: 20.9 percent
Several times a month: [No responses]
Occasionally: 12.2 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 22.8 percent
Agree: 45 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 32.2 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-soslving skills.
Strongly agree: 31.1 percent
Agree: 46.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13.3 percent
Disagree: 8.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 44.7 percent
Agree: 22 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.3 percent
Disagree: 10 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

PAST PC PRO DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2018

2017

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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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