Salary Survey 2021: An all-new Salary Survey 75
Posted on
January 4, 2021
If it's a new year, then there must be a new Salary Survey 75. Welcome to 2021!

The late publisher Malcolm Forbes is alleged (in his own magazine) to have said, “I made my money the old-fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died.” It doesn’t 100 percent scan: Forbes accrued most of his wealth by making various investments after inheriting the family business (the aforementioned Forbes magazine) from his father.

It would seem that when you’re a colorful billionaire who collects yachts and Fabergé eggs, you can say whatever you want about where the money came from. Money doesn’t always let you have your way, of course, but it can provide various degrees of the greater independence and security that most people are looking for. And for those without wealthy relatives, money is most likely to come from, as they call it, “gainful” employment.

That’s quite often how we end up talking about money around here since certification is a key method for IT professionals to acquire or refine the skills and expertise that secure their employment. How much you can get paid for your skills and expertise depends on a number of different factors, but certification can certainly play a role in determining salary.

Before we get to this year’s Salary Survey hot ticket, however, how about a round of applause for the more than 4,000 certified IT professionals who pitched in over the course of roughly 14 weeks at the end of 2020 to get us here? Each of those hardy souls contributed some 15 or 20 minutes of their time and 70-ish questions’ worth of their personal data to help us create a picture of the IT salary landscape in the United States and elsewhere (94 other nations) around the globe.

Some of the more notable data points have already been reported in our Winter Edition. (If you aren’t already a print or digital subscriber, then you can go here to subscribe, or just grab a digital copy, or an ink-and-paper single.) We’ll be bringing you all of that and more as 2021 marches forward: Over the next few months, articles with new survey data will be featured each week here at

Our first dramatic reveal, however, is the Big Cheese of the Salary Survey, a survey output that first appeared in 2015 and has quickly become one of our most popular annual disclosures: the Salary Survey 75. People are competitive by nature, and this is a relatively harmless way to compare yourself to the Other Guy and see whose certification is at least potentially more valuable.

(No, we aren’t implying that everyone who has Certification A can expect to make Salary B from Employer C straight out of the testing center. As touched on above, there are many factors that determine salary, and the presence or absence of a particular credential on your résumé is only one of them. It sure is a fun one to talk about, though, right?)

We hope you enjoy looking over the numbers, and we hope that you’ll come back for more. Making a list of 75 certs is merely the tip of the iceberg. Stick around and you’ll find out a whole lot more in the coming weeks and  months. For now, feast your eyes on this:

If it's a new year, then there must be a new Salary Survey 75. Welcome to 2021!

About the Author

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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