Salary Survey Extra: Virtualization and the experience curve

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Experience drives IT salary.So one of the things that we reported on in the course of doing follow-ups to our Project Management Salary Survey is a totally-not-surprising phenomenon that we ended up calling the “experience curve.” This is not revelatory information, and it doesn’t at all fly in the face of expectation. With apologies to the Unknown Phraseologist, sometimes statistics aren’t damned lies, or even mere garden variety lies.

(Sam Clemens popularized the usage of “lies, damned lies and statistics” in the United States, but the expression did not originate with him.)

So here we are again with our Virtualization Survey. Every so often a statistic simply confirms something that you’ve always suspected was true about the world. People who you tell tend to be the opposite of acting shocked or stunned. Remember the scene from Disney’s Aladdin where the snarky parrot with the voice of Gilbert Gottfried is totally not taken aback when one of Jafar’s schemes doesn’t pan out? “I think I’m gonna have a heart attack and die from not surprise!” Yeah, that.

So anyway, the experience curve simply describes the upward trend in salary that corresponds to accumulating professional experience, It turns out that the longer you do something professionally, the more valuable you become to employers. That doesn’t mean you’ll always have a job. Experienced employees are sometimes laid off precisely because they are valuable — and compensated accordingly.

Having a lot of professional experience does, however, tend to be clearly linked to increased compensation. We asked survey respondents to tell us how many years they have been a working professional in the virtualization sphere. When you tie those responses to salary, here’s what the results look like:

Years in Virtualization: Average Annual Salary
Zero to 3 years:  $57,180
4 to 9 years: $92,530
10 to 14 years: $116,710
15 years or more: $125,500

The poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do — not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased.” So there’s a double reward for picking an IT specialization and sticking to it: Ideally, your capacity to perform will increase right along with your compensation.

Ready to rumble in Berlin. SUPERHERO VS. SUPERHERO  Earlier this month, Captain America: Civil War breezed into the home viewing market on DVD and Blu-ray. So this is probably as good a time as any to reveal the response to one of our Not-So-Serious questions that was inspired by that very movie. There’s a proud tradition of good guys fighting each other, both in the cinema and on television. Sometimes it’s almost as though we’d rather see the good guys fight amongst themselves than worry about whether any bad guys are getting away with anything.

Honestly, does anyone even remember whether there was a bad guy in Captain America: Civil War? Weren’t we all mostly into the movie for the chance to see Cap and Iron Man slug it out? Black Widow fighting random aliens in The Avengers = b00oo-ring. Black Widow fighting Ant Man and Bow-and-Arrow Guy in Captain America: Civil War = no business like show business. At any rate, since the movie is a movie, and not a WWF battle royal, it doesn’t totally answer the question that we’d really like to have answered: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the Marvelest of them all?

We left that one up to you guys, and here’s what we learned:

Hulk — 20 percent
Iron Man — 17.7 percent
Why can’t superheroes just get along? — 15.6 percent
Superhero “versus” movies are dumb. But wake me up if the Justice League ever rumbles with the Avengers. — 14 percent
If all of the superheroes are fighting each other, who’s protecting the rest of us from injustice and evil designs? — 10 percent
Thor — 10 percent
Black Widow, because then maybe she would get her own movie. — 6.7 percent
Come on, Hulk and Thor aren’t even in the movie! — 3.3 percent

Original question: If all of the Marvel Comics superheroes got together to have a fight, who would win?

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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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