Salary Survey: The Salary Survey 75 Top 15

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The Salary Survey 75 is up to our Top 15 !Along with everything else that came out of our 2015 Salary Survey, we included a list of the 75 top-salaried certifications in the 2016 Winter Edition of Certification Magazine. You can take a look right here if you haven’t seen it already.

Not long after publishing the Salary Survey issue, we began tweeting the Salary Survey 75 list, one certification at a time. After rolling through the list from No. 75 (IBM Certified Advanced Application Developer) to No. 16 (ISACA Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control), we decided to get a tiny bit fancier. Because we love certification, and because we love our readers, we’re giving you an extra dash of pizzazz as we finish out our Twitter-sprint through the Salary Survey 75 from No. 15 to No. 1.

We’ve rolled out the red carpet (so to speak) for the Top 15 certs on the list. Each of them will be featured here, so you can either sit back and watch the list grow, or follow us on Twitter (@CertMag). You should do both really. Why not do both? (Do both.) And without further ado, the Top 15 of 2015 are:

No. 8
Certification: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Engineering
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by (ISC)²
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $137,320
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $131,160
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $141,300
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $137,280
The CISSP is an IT landmark, possibly the most respected and trusted cybersecurity credential on the market. Engineering is one of three CISSP “concentrations” — you have to take a second exam that validates specialized expertise (security engineering expertise, in this instance) and confers a second title: Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP).
ISSEP is one of the very few credentials we tracked that is actually better-salaried abroad than inside the United States. That could make it easier for ISSEP holders to move out of the country if Hillary Clinton is elected president in November. The two largest blocks of U.S. ISSEPs are either pro-Donald Trump (35 percent of those surveyed) or fondly mindful of Mitt Romney (29 percent).

No. 9
Certification: Check Point Certified Security Administrator
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by Check Point
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $137,000
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $126,880
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $68,730
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $63,990
Founded in 1993, Check Point is an established provider of enterprise security solutions. Since 2009, the company’s products have conformed to its Software Blade architecture. Check Point’s certification program is small, with just four credentials, but training for the company’s certifications is available worldwide. CCSA’s are trained to manage, support and defend corporate IT networks.
Among Salary Survey respondents, Check Point Certified Security Administrators are largely mid-tier employees, with 56 percent placing themselves at the senior specialist level on the company org chart. An additional 24 percent are in management either as managers (17 percent) or senior managers (7 percent) Roughly half of those surveyed have been in a job role that relies on their certified skills for more than 10 years.

No. 10
Certification: IBM Certified Solution Architect
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by IBM
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $135,940
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $136,970
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $70,290
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $66,880
Among all active credentials on the IBM certification tree, Certified Solution Architect covers just two branches. One requires the certified individual to be fluent in all aspects IBM cloud computing infrastructure, including design, planning, architecture and management. The other is an analytics credential that requires expertise in IBM Social Business technology.
Among Salary Survey respondents, the credential is roughly three times as popular internationally as it is inside the United States. Certification plays an important role for Solution Architects. Among all credential holders worldwide, nearly 73 percent use skills learned or enhanced through certification either several times a day (48.5 percent) or several times a week (24.2 percent).

No. 11
Certification: ISACA Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by ISACA
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $135,000
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $125,840
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $112,970
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $108,937
IT governance is the process of ensuring that an organization’s IT resources are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. It’s often a management function, particularly at the enterprise level. IT governance is one of ISACA’s primary areas of focus and the CGEIT is a top-tier credential for professionals involved in IT governance.
Among U.S. CGEIT holders, 58 percent hold some level of management responsibility as either managers, senior managers, executives, or directors; while an additional 36 percent are at the senior specialist level. Outside the United States, 81 percent of CGEIT holders are employed in a management role.

No. 12
Certification: PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by Project Management Institute (PMI)
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $132,220
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $123,160
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $68,640
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $68,010
The Project Management Professional credential is the warhorse certification of IT project management. While it may eventually be surpassed by project management certs more specifically geared to IT, that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon — PMP has potent name recognition with employers and certified PMPs are highly in demand.
Among PMP-certified individuals in our survey who live in the United States, 100 percent are employed full-time. In the United States, the industries that claim the highest numbers of PMPs are Government (28.7 percent of those surveyed), Computer or Network Consulting (19.2 percent), and Finance (8.2 percent). In all other countries, PMPs most often work in Software (19 percent), Computer or Network Consulting (14.8 percent) and Finance (12.1 percent).

No. 13
Certification: Pegasystems Certified DCO Architect
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by Pegasystems
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $131,780
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $123,380
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $90,040
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $84,680
Pegasystems is a software solutions company based in Cambridge, Mass., that started out in 1983 creating “best-of-breed rules-based exception-processing systems.” In 2016, the company appears to specialize a little less at crafting impenetrable jargon, having shifted its focus to developing “strategic applications for sales, marketing, service and operations.”
Among Certified DCO Architects who responded to our survey, 44.4 percent live in the United States, with the rest scattered around the world. Worldwide, a significant number of the credential holders are relative newcomers to their current professional assignments. A little more than 72 percent of Certified DCO Architects have been with their present employer no more than five years.

No. 14
Certification: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Management
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by (ISC)²
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $130,450
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $126,130
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $99,180
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $95,170
The CISSP is an IT landmark, possibly the most respected and trusted cybersecurity credential on the market. Management is one of three CISSP “concentrations” — you have to take a second exam that validates specialized expertise (security management expertise, in this instance) and confers a second title: Information Systems Security Management Professional (ISSMP).
If you’re looking for a place to get started on the path to CISSP — and its concentrations — one item in particular jumps out. Out of all U.S. CISSP holders in our Salary Survey, 33.7 percent also hold CompTIA’s Security+ credential. Outside the United States, that figure rises to 38.4 percent.

No. 15
Certification: Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
Who’s In Charge Here: Offered by Red Hat
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (U.S.): $129,870
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (U.S.): $124,670
Average Annual Salary — 2015 (All non-U.S.): $49,930
Average Annual Salary — 2014 (All non-U.S.): $49,690
The RHCSA is for IT pros who have mastered the fine art of system administration in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) environments. RHEL is the core Linux OS product designed and supported by Red Hat and is widely used in corporate computing systems.
Among U.S. RHCSAs who contributed to the Certification Magazine Salary Survey, 93 percent are men, compared to just 7 percent who are women. In addition to being certified, roughly 93 percent are college-educated, having risen as high up the university ladder as a bachelor’s degree (54 percent), master’s degree (32 percent), or doctorate (7 percent).
Among our RHCSAs in all other countries, 96 percent are men, compared to just 4 percent who are women. In addition to being certified, about 63 percent are college-educated, having risen as high up the university ladder as either a bachelor’s degree (37 percent), or master’s degree (26 percent).

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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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