Salary Survey Extra: Certification Information Dissemination
Posted on
June 25, 2016

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

How do IT professionals get new information about certification?

When describing his home planet of Tatooine in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker sardonically tells C-3PO, "Well, if there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from." We here at Certification Magazine strive to be like that in reverse. We want to be as close to the bright center to the IT certification universe as possible — right in the IT certification thick of things.

That gives us a little bit of a hyperfocused perspective when it comes to IT certification. Even career IT professionals probably don't generally pay quite the level of breathe-eat-sleep attention to IT certification that we do. So while it may seem odd from where we sit, there are plenty of people in the industry who have to look for information about IT certification. It doesn't just fall into their laps, or stream forth from their keyboards.

So we typically ask when conducting our surveys how IT professionals tend to find out new information about certification. There are a lot of options out there. Which are the ones that people rely on most? For our Project Management Salary Survey, we provided a menu of options and asked survey respondents to indicate which ones they find most useful.

Given that we live in an Internet Age, it makes sense that the options most popular among survey respondents involve the internet. A strong 34.5 percent of those surveyed said that they use internet searches to seek out the IT certification equivalent of new life and new civilizations. And since most people tend to stay in touch via some form of social media, the internet directly ties into the second-most popular source, referrals from friends and acquaintances (27.6 percent).

After that, there's a virtual tie between industry publications and websites (24.2 percent) and employer referrals (23.9 percent). The next most popular source of information about certification is promotional materials from vendors (13.8 percent), followed by industry conferences and conventions (7.3 percent), career counseling (6.7 percent), and the catch-all "Other" category (3.5 percent).

How about it, project management professionals? Does that line up with how you typically get new information about certification?

WOODLAND CONUNDRUM We like to occasionally tackle the great mysteries of the universe in the Not-So-Serious section at the tail end of every Salary Survey and Salary Survey PLUS. This time around, we had the thing about the tree falling in the forest on our minds. Sound? No sound? Sound and fury?

That's right, project management professionals, we could have planted a camera in an empty thicket and filmed until a tree dropped dead, but we decided to turn it over to you instead. Let's settle the Great Debate once and for all! If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to observe, does it still make a sound? Here's what we learned:

How do IT professionals get new information about certification?

It makes a noise, but no one hears it. — 53.9 percent
There is no tree. — 23.1 percent
The tree doesn't make a noise. Trees don't have vocal chords. — 9.4 percent
At least it didn't squish anybody. — 7 percent
I never figured this one out in college either. — 6.6 percent

No votes received: It doesn't make a noise.

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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