Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on MTA Database

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Microsoft-savvy professionals with MTA Database-certified skills have many career options.Databases are some of the most fundamental building blocks of the information age, and a working professional knowledge of how they work is valuable career skill. Setting aside the flotilla of Microsoft Office certifications, there are just three certifiable skills at the entry-level tier of the Microsoft certification pyramid: database, developer, and IT infrastructure.

The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certs are not considered weighty enough to qualify a given individual as a Microsoft Certified Professional, but as demonstrated in part by our pool of MTA Database holders — who landed the credential at No. 59 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list — you can still be paid handsomely for your skills.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for MTA Database holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $99,110
Median Annual Salary: $97,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Satisfied: 46.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 23 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 15.4 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $52,380
Median Annual Salary: $37,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 15.3 percent
Very Satisfied: [No responses]
Satisfied: 46.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 38.5 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of MTA Database holders who responded to the survey is made up of U.S. residents (50 percent), but we also heard from certified professionals in 11 other countries: Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, China, Denmark, Greece, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.

While most of those we heard from are men (88.5 percent of respondents), this is one of the rare certs to field a double-digit percentage of female credential holders. As you might expect given that MTA Database is a lower-level credential, many of the MTA Database holders in our survey group are relatively youthful, including 22 percent who are younger than 35, either between the ages of 19 and 24 (3.8 percent) or between the ages of 25 and 34 (19.2 percent). The largest single segment are between the ages of 35 and 44 (30.7 percent of respondents), with the balance either between the ages of 45 and 54 (23.2 percent) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (23.1 percent).

In terms of the highest level of formal education completed by survey respondents, almost everyone has a college degree. For most, that means either topping out at a bachelor’s degree (26.9 percent of those surveyed) or master’s degree (38.5 percent), but we also encountered a surprising number of professional degrees (15.8 percent), as well as a handful of doctorates (3.8 percent) and associate’s degrees (7.7 percent). The outliers are the 4 percent of respondents who completed some level of technical training after high school, and the 3.8 percent who are currently students.

There’s a somewhat higher level of unemployment among MTA Database holders than we typically find, with 6.9 percent of those surveyed currently out of work, compared to 3.4 percent who have part-time jobs and 89.7 percent who are employed full-time. Among those who have regular full-time jobs, most either have a standard 40-hour work week (30.7 percent) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (50 percent). The rest either work more than 50 hours per week (11.6 percent of respondents) or put in between 31 and 39 hours (7.7 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of MTA Database holders, 38.5 percent of those surveyed, are at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either rank-and-file employees (16.4 percent of respondents), managers (15.7 percent), senior managers (14.2 percent), specialists (7.7 percent), directors (4.2 percent), or executives (3.3 percent).

A relatively large number of those surveyed — 42 percent — are relative newcomers to the database field, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (9.1 percent), between 3 and 5 years (21.2 percent), or between 6 and 8 years (12.1 percent). The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between 9 and 10 years (12.1 percent) or more than a decade (45.5 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of MTA Database 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: 51.5 percent
Several times a week: 21.2 percent
Several times a month: 10.6 percent
Occasionally: 8.8 percent
Rarely: 7.9 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 18.5 percent
Agree: 45.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.8 percent
Disagree: 15.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 24.5 percent
Agree: 45.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.2 percent
Disagree: 2.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 18.2 percent
Agree: 45.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 27.2 percent
Disagree: 9.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

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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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