Salary Survey Extra: What is your most recently earned certification?

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Salary Survey Extra is a series of periodic dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our most recent Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

For a lot of IT pros, the certs start coming and they don't stop coming. So we asked survey respondents to name their most recently earned certification.For many certified IT professionals, certification is a lifetime pursuit. Most certifications require the credential holder to periodically recertify, so there’s a degree of built-in momentum that makes it at least a little bit hard to stop once you’ve gotten started. Certification can also be an excellent self-paced and self-guided means of adding skills to one’s IT repertoire.

One of the questions we ask each year in our Salary Survey is for each survey respondent to identify their most recently earned certification. For some people that may be the only certification they’ve ever gotten. Or it may be a credential that finished off a run of certifications several years ago. In other words, that one question by itself is not necessarily indicative that a certification is “hot.”

On the other hand, we also ask survey respondents how many new certifications they’ve earned in the past year. And roughly 59 percent of certified IT professionals who responded to our 2019 Salary Survey earned one or more new certifications. About 23 percent earned two or more. So we can make at least a partial comparison that does give some indication of current popularity.

To start out with, here’s the unfiltered list of most recently earned certifications. These are the Top 25 responses:

1) (ISC)² CISSP
2) CompTIA Security+
3) (ISC)² CCSP
4) Pegasystems Certified System Architect (CSA)
5) ISACA CISM
6) CompTIA A+
7) Pegasystems Certified Senior System Architect (CSSA)
8) EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
9) CompTIA Network+
10) AXELOS ITIL Foundation
11) ISACA CISA
12) ISACA CRISC
13) (ISC)² SSCP
14) Okta Certified Professional
15) Pegasystems Certified Pega Decisioning Consultant (CPDC)
16) Teradata 14 Certified Professional
17) Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) CyberOps
18) PMI Project Management Professional
19) Okta Certified Administrator
20) Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
21) Pegasystems Certified Pega Business Architect (CPBA)
22) Teradata Database Certified Associate
23) Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing & Switching
24) Magento 2 Certified Solutions Specialist
25) (ISC)² HCISPP

Now let’s limit our search to only responses given by survey participants who actually earned a certification in the 12 months prior to the survey. Here’s what that list looks like:

1) (ISC)² CISSP
2) (ISC)² CCSP
3) Pegasystems Certified System Architect (CSA)
4) Pegasystems Certified Senior System Architect (CSSA)
5) CompTIA Security+
6) ISACA CISM
7) Okta Certified Professional
8) ISACA CISA
9) Pegasystems Certified Pega Decisioning Consultant (CPDC)
10) EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
11) AXELOS ITIL Foundation
12) (ISC)² SSCP
13) Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) CyberOps
14) CompTIA A+
15) ISACA CRISC
16) Okta Certified Administrator
17) Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
18) CompTIA Network+
19) Pegasystems Certified Pega Business Architect (CPBA)
20) Teradata Database Certified Associate
21) Magento 2 Certified Solutions Specialist
22) Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
23) Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer
24) Teradata 14 Certified Professional
25) The Open Group TOGAF 9

Some of the ordering of the list has changed a bit, but there’s a lot of common ground between the two lists. So maybe it’s fair to look at either list if you want to know which credentials are currently popular among the global community of certified IT professionals.

Perhaps there are a lot of IT folks out there who just missed the “past year” cutoff when they were taking the survey, but are still earning the same certs as most of the rest of our respondents. At any rate, if you’re looking for a certification that’s currently (or at least recently) of interest to a lot of certified IT professionals, then this is a reasonable place to start your search.

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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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