Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Security+

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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The Security+ certification offered by tech industry association CompTIA provides a strong point of entry to the cybersecurity realm.The world has need of able IT professionals with strong cybersecurity skills. One way to both learn and verify those skills is by getting a certification, and one of the most widely popular information security credentials on the market is the Security+ certification offered by tech industry association CompTIA.

A perennial Salary Survey 75 presence, Security+ landed at No. 57 on our most recent list.  Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Security+ holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $107,330
Median Annual Salary: $103,870
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 13.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 22.8 percent
Satisfied: 39.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 17.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 6.1 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $70,960
Median Annual Salary: $65,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 21.4 percent
Satisfied: 32.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 25 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 14.3 percent

The largest single body of Security+ holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents: 87.6 percent of those surveyed. CompTIA certs are popular around the world, however, and we also heard from credential holders in 20 other countries: Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

Most of those we heard from are men — 92.4 percent of respondents — though there are female Security+ holders out there as well.  There’s a slight skew toward youth among Security+ holders, slightly more than half of whom are younger than 45: 33.8 percent of those surveyed are between the ages of 35 and 44, with 17.8 percent between the ages of 25 and 34, 1.8 percent between the ages of 19 and 24, and 0.4 percent who are 18 or younger. On the other side of the spectrum, 30.7 percent of respondents are between the ages 45 and 54, with 12.9 percent between the ages of 55 and 64, and 2.6 percent between the ages of 65 and 74.

On the formal education front, the highest level of education completed by most Security+ holders is some type of university degree, either a bachelor’s degree (35.2 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (28.9 percent), associate’s degree (17.8 percent), doctorate (1.3 percent), or professional degree (0.9 percent). The outliers are those whose highest level of educational attainment is some degree of post-high school technical training (12.4 percent of respondents), those who checked out after receiving a high school diploma (2.2 percent), and those who are currently in school (1.3 percent).

A wholly admirable 96.6 percent of Security+ holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, with 1.8 percent in part-time jobs, 0.8 percent on sabbatical, and 0.8 percent out of work. Among those who have full-time jobs, most are on the clock either between 41 and 50 hours per week (46.2 percent of respondents) or have a standard 40-hour schedule (35.6 percent). The outliers are those who put in more than 50 hours per week (12.9 percent of respondents), those at work between 31 and 39 hours per week (4.9 percent), and those who put in between 20 and 30 hours (0.4 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Security+ holders are senior specialists (45.5 percent of respondents). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (18 percent of those surveyed), managers (15.2 percent), rank-and-file employees (8.2 percent), senior managers (7.4 percent), directors (4.1 percent), and executives (1.6 percent).

A little more than half (55.7 percent) of all Security+ holders to participate in the survey are veterans, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (10.7 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (15.1 percent), between 6 and 8 years (10.7 percent) and between 9 and 10 years (7.8 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Security+ 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: 54.5 percent
Several times a week: 27.9 percent
Several times a month: 7.4 percent
Occasionally: 7.4 percent
Rarely: 2.8 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills. 
Strongly agree: 38.1 percent percent
Agree: 38.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19 percent
Disagree: 2.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.6 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 25.8 percent
Agree: 43 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.8 percent
Disagree: 5.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.7 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 24.6 percent
Agree: 40.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25 percent
Disagree: 7.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.4 percent

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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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