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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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 ongoing emergence of the Internet of Things means that the need for IT networking specialists is acute, and likely to remain that way in the foreseeable future. Tech enthusiasts who don't have much knowledge of networking, but who are keen to enter the field, would do well to consider a foundational networking certification.
For those looking to get their feet planted squarely in the networking realm, few credentials recommend themselves as readily as Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching. Thanks to the thriving Cisco Networking Academy program at high schools and colleges, CCNA Routing and Switching, No.58 on this year's Salary Survey 75 list, is one of the first IT certs of any kind that many teens and young adults ever encounter.
CCNA Routing and Switching is a truly global cert — though 47.2 percent of credential holders who responded to our most recent annual Salary Survey are from the United States, we also heard from CCNAs in 54 other countries. Here's the complete list: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Zambia.
Among U.S. CCNA Routing and Switching holders, the average annual salary in 2016 was $107,770, with a medial annual salary of $106,110. Either currency conversion is a sticking point for global credential holders, or else demand is less intense outside the United States, where the average annual salary across all survey respondents was $53,820, with a median annual salary of $32,500. (International survey respondents often seem to default to the lowest salary bracket in our survey, which claimed 35 percent of all non-U.S. respondents here.)
Men overwhelmingly predominate among CCNA Routing and Switching holders who responded to the survey, accounting for 95.7 percent of all responses. It's a seasoned but not senior group, with 66 percent of those surveyed checking in either between the ages of 35 and 44 (33.3 percent) or between the ages of 25 and 34 (32.6 percent). We also heard from a notable 20.6 percent segment who are between ages of 45 and 54, along with small factions between ages of 19 and 24 (4.6 percent) and between the ages of 55 and 64 (8.9 percent).
The highest level of education attained by most CCNA Routing and Switching holders is either a bachelor's degree (41.8 percent of those surveyed) or master's degree (32.6 percent). The next-largest body of CCNA-certified respondents, at 8.5 percent, claim some level of technical training (but no college experience), while 7.8 percent are two-year college graduates and 3.9 percent have yet to go any further than a high school diploma.
A potent 93.3 percent of CCNA Routing and Switching holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, versus just 3.2 percent who are unemployed and 3.5 percent who are either students (1 percent) or employed part-time (2.5 percent). Among those who have jobs, 32.3 percent have a standard 40-hour work week, while 39.4 percent work between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 11.3 percent are at work more than 50 hours per week. A fortunate few either work between 31 and 39 hours per week (8.9 percent) or between 20 and 30 hours per week (4.3 percent).
You can find CCNA Routing and Switching holders at all levels of the standard corporate org chart, with the largest groups ranking either as senior specialists (37.6 percent) or specialists (22.7 percent). A further 13.8 percent are rank-and-file employees, while 11 percent are managers, and nearly 15 percent rank somewhere in the upper echelons as either senior managers (5.7 percent), directors (5.7 percent) or executives (3.5 percent).
In terms of experience, most CCNA Routing and Switching holders have a fair amount. Nearly half have worked in networking either for more than 10 years (41.8 percent) or between 9 and 10 years (6.4 percent). Even among those with less tenure, the needle leans toward a degree of seasoning, with 34 percent of respondents claiming either between 6 and 8 years of experience (16.3 percent), or between 3 and 5 years of experience (17.4 percent). There is, on the other hand, a core contingent of newcomers (18.1 percent) who have between zero (1 to 11 months) and 2 years of experience.
Finally, here's the view of CCNA 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: 50.7 percent
Several times a week: 31.2 percent
Several times a month: 10.3 percent
Occasionally: 6 percent
Rarely: 1.8 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 39.4 percent
Agree: 46.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 10.3 percent
Disagree: 3.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 0.7 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 30.9 percent
Agree: 53.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 12.1 percent
Disagree: 2.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.4
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 26.6 percent
Agree: 48.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20.2 percent
Disagree: 2.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.1 percent