Salary Survey Extra: Personal electronic device preferences

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

We all have our favorites when it comes to personal tech. What's the personal electronic device you rely on most?In 2018, there’s an app for everything. Even more to the point, however, there’s a personal electronic device, or PED, to help you centralize and manage all of the apps that you use to manage everything else in your life.

We have personal fitness trackers to help us monitor everything from our weight, to our heart rate, to the effectiveness of our sleep. There are smart remotes like a Roku to help you navigate to and fro among all of your streaming entertainment options. Most people are so attached to a smartphone that it’s practically part of their hand.

At night, some people curl up with a good book — that’s digitally stored on their e-reader of choice — while others get their headphones and 7th generation iPod Nano and plug in for an evening run. The PED space is evolving so quickly, actually, that iPod Nanos aren’t even a thing anymore. Apple discontinued the mini-me version of it signature media player in the middle of last summer.

People who work with information technology (IT) in just about any capacity tend to be a little bit more in love with personal electronic devices even than the tech-crazy populace at large. So we figured who better to ask about which is the ultimate digital sidekick? We referred the matter to the certified IT professionals who participate in our 2018 Salary Survey, and here’s what we learned:

Q: The personal technology item I absolutely could not live without is my:

Phone — 58.4 percent
Laptop — 27.5 percent
Tablet — 3.7 percent
eReader (Kindle, Nook, etc.) — 3.6 percent
Phablet — 2.6 percent
Media player (iPod, etc.) — 1.8 percent
Personal health tracker (Fitbit, etc.) — 1.1 percent
Sport watch — 0.7 percent
Smart watch — 0.6 percent

It’s probably not very surprising that most people’s first loyalty is to their phone or laptop. But who knew the depth of disdain for, or maybe just disinterest in, the high-tech watch? Maybe it’s just plain too late to think about bringing sexy back on that front.

Or maybe we’re still at the extreme beginning of a soon-to-be-surfable wave of interest in Dick Tracy-esque do-everything gizmos that can be worn around the wrist. You may have noticed, for example, that our survey question is already behind the times.

We neglected to make mention of the rapidly expanding home assistant market that includes the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home, and Apple’s HomePod. There are surely some among our faithful audience who would have words to say about that. And now we have something to ask about at the tail end of next year’s Salary Survey.

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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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