Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of both our annual Salary Survey and our smaller Salary Survey PLUS polls. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
There are a number of different directions that you can go in professionally once you get started in computer networking. And it's almost certainly the case that Cisco Learning Network, the certification and training arm of Cisco, has a certification that directly addresses your preferred specialization.
One of those variant credentials is the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security cert, No. 45 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list (which, yes, is still the one from January 2017 — although we're getting much closer to changing that).
Those among the largest contingent of CCNA Security-certified survey respondents (45 percent) are from the United States. We did, however, hear from a robust array of non-U.S. professionals spread across 24 different countries: Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Those in the United States earned an average annual salary of $117,480 in 2016, with a median annual salary of $110,000. For those outside the United States, the average annual salary was $61,900, with a medial annual figure of $70,000.
Most of the CCNA Security holders who participated in the survey are men (95.5 percent of those surveyed, which is far from surprising in the realm of cybersecurity certification. And though we did hear from a tiny segment of CCNA Security holders between the ages of 19 and 24 (1.1 percent of those surveyed), most in the many body of respondents are either between the ages of 25 and 34 (26.1 percent), between the ages of 35 and 44 (39.7 percent), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (22.7 percent). The veterans of the group are the 10.2 percent of CCNA Security holders between the ages of 55 and 64.
The highest level of education attained by most CCNA Security holders is either a bachelor's degree (38.7 percent of those surveyed) or master's degree (33 percent). We did hear from a few who climbed higher up the ladder, with 4.5 percent of those surveyed claiming professional degrees (such as in law or medicine) and 1.1 percent holding doctorates. The rest are either two-year college graduates (9.1 percent of those surveyed), have some level of technical training but no college degree (7.9 percent), checked out of formal education after completing high school (3.4 percent), or are still in school (2.3 percent).
Full-time employment among CCNA Security holders is at 99 percent, with part-time employment accounting for the remaining 1 percent. Among regular full-time workers, most have either a standard 40-hour schedule (40.9 percent of those surveyed), are putting in some extra time between 41 and 50 hours per week (33 percent), or have a lighter load of between 31 and 39 hours per week (18.1 percent).
As is often the case among groups of certified IT professionals, the largest contingent CCNA Security holders from the survey, 49.1 percent of those surveyed, are at the senior specialist level in the workplace. A further 15.9 percent of those surveyed are specialists, while the rest are either rank-and-file employees (8 percent), managers (10.2 percent), senior managers (4.5 percent), directors (7.9 percent, or executives (4.4 percent).
Our CCNA Security holders don't have quite as much time in the profession as is often the case. A little less than half (48.9 percent of those surveyed) have worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for more than a decade. The rest have been in the game for between 9 and 10 years (7.9 percent of those surveyed), between 6 and 8 years (21.6 percent), between 3 and 5 years (11.4 percent), or between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (10.2 percent).
Finally, here's the view of CCNA 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: 59.1 percent
Several times a week: 30.7 percent
Several times a month: 5.7 percent
Occasionally: 3.4 percent
Rarely: 1.1 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 42 percent
Agree: 44.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 8 percent
Disagree: 5.7 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 37.5 percent
Agree: 53.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 5.7 percent
Disagree: 2.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 26.1 percent
Agree: 56.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 12.5 percent
Disagree: 2.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2 percent