Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on VCA 6-DCV

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Get started into the world of virtualization with VMware's VCA 6-DCV credential.A post that appeared at earlier this month identifies five “entry-level” certifications that can help anyone building a career in IT hit the ground running. Four of the credentials on the list are obvious selections: the CompTIA trifecta of A+, Network+, and Security+; as well as Cisco’s popular CCENT, for beginners in computer networking.

The fifth credential is a bit of a surprise pick: VMware Certified Associate (VCA) 6 – Data Center Virtualization. As reliance on cloud computing expands, however, virtualization is an increasingly valuable skill set, and VCA 6-DCV (No. 63 in our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is a good place to start.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for VCA 6-DCV holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $97,120
Median Annual Salary: $89,170
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 15.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 8.5 percent
Satisfied: 30.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 29.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 16.1 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $69,060
Median Annual Salary: $82,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 15.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Satisfied: 53.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 38.5 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of VCA 6-DCV holders who responded to the survey is made up of U.S. residents (46.4 percent), but we heard from a number of credential holders in other countries as well. Our other certified professionals were fairly evenly spread across the following 12 countries: Albania, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Almost all of those we heard from are men (96.4 percent of respondents), giving VCA 6-DCV only marginal representation among women. Most of the VCA 6-DCV holders who weighed in are relatively young, with exactly 75 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 25 and 34 (35.7 percent) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (39.3 percent). The outliers are the 17.9 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 45 and 54, and the 7.1 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64.

In terms of the highest level of formal education completed by survey respondents, there’s no one path to VMware certification. Most are college educated, having completed either a bachelor’s degree (35.8 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (21.4 percent), doctorate (3.9 percent), professional degree (3.2 percent), or associate’s (two-year) degree (3.6 percent). On the other hand, you have the 25 percent of respondents who went no further than to complete some level of technical training after high school, and the 7.1 percent who left formal education behind after high school.

Most VCA 6-DCV holders who responded to the survey have full-time jobs (96.6 percent of those surveyed), and the rest (3.4 percent) all claim part-time employment. Among those who have full-time jobs, most also have full-to-bursting work schedules, putting in either 40 hours per week (25 percent of respondents), between 41 and 50 hours per week (39.3 percent), or more than 50 hours per week (21.4 percent). The rest (14.3 percent of respondents) put in between 31 and 39 hours per week.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of VCA 6-DCV holders — 56.3 percent of those surveyed — are senior specialists, followed, in descending order, by specialists (18.8 percent), rank-and-file employees (12.5 percent), managers (6.2 percent), senior managers (3.1 percent), and directors (3.1 percent).

There aren’t many VCA 6-DCV holders who are virtualization greenhorns. Just 6.3 percent have 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, while 12.5 percent have been thus engaged for between 3 and 5 years. The rest of those surveyed have been plying their certified skills either between 6 and 8 years (27.5 percent of those surveyed), between 9 and 10 years (6.2 percent), or for more than a decade (37.5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of VCA 6-DCV 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: 50 percent
Several times a week: 43.8 percent
Several times a month: 6.2 percent
Occasionally: [No responses]
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 37.5 percent
Agree: 34.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 21.9 percent
Disagree: 6.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25 percent
Agree: 53.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.6 percent
Disagree: 6.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 31.3 percent
Agree: 40.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25 percent
Disagree: 3.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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CertMag Staff


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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