Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on CSA Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
Posted on
October 2, 2020

Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of our annual Salary Survey. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

There's a lot to learn about cloud security from CSA's Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK).

Remember when "the Cloud" was primarily envisioned as a vast data storage repository for people's personal photos and music files? A lot has changed since that five-or-six-years-bygone era, and cloud computing is fast becoming the dominant computer technology of modern business and modern life.

As the impact and integration of cloud technology continues to grow, the importance of cloud security increases. The Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CSSK) credential (No. 3 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) by Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is one of the best established cloud security certs.

Here's what the salary picture looks like for CCSK holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $141,440
Median Annual Salary: $142,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 11.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 28.3 percent
Satisfied: 27.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 27.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 5.6 percent

There are almost certainly CCSK holders in countries outside the United States, but we didn't hear from enough of them to provide meaningful salary data. Hence, everything discussed here applies only to credential holders in the United States.

Most of the CCSK holders we heard from are men, as is commonplace inside the cybersecurity industry, but we did hear from a surprising number of female certified professionals — 14.6 percent. Also surprising, given the overall newness of cloud computing and its tricks, is the fact that almost all of the credential holders we heard from are relatively old dogs. Nearly 95 percent of those surveyed are 35 or older, either between the ages of 35 and 44 (46.3 percent), between the ages of 45 and 54 (23.1 percent), or between the ages of 55 and 64 (23 percent). The only survey participants who are outside of this box are the 7.6 percent who are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Nearly 70 percent of the CCSK holders who participated in the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most CCSK holders is either a bachelor's degree (31.5 percent of respondents), master's degree (30 percent), or associate's degree (7.7 percent). That accounts for everyone except for the 23.1 percent of respondents who exited the realm after completing some level of post-high school technical training, and the 7.7 who completed their formal education with a high school diploma.

Here's something to buttress the perception that cloud computing is a high-demand employment realm: 100 percent of CCSK-certified survey respondents have full-time jobs. For most, that means putting in either 40 hours per week (30.8 percent of those surveyed) or between 41 and 50 hours per week (61.5 percent). Nobody is getting off easy in this regard. The only outliers are the 7.7 percent whose full-time work schedule is 50 or more hours per week.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 63 percent of respondents were spending most (or all) of those hours in a traditional workplace, working from home either fewer than 10 hours per week (38.5 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours per week (24.6 percent). The rest were better accustomed to what has become the norm for many, working from home either 40 hours per week (6.9 percent of those surveyed), or more than 40 hours per week (an intriguing 30 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CCSK holders we heard from (38.5 percent of respondents) are employed at the director level. The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (23.5 percent of respondents), managers (23.2 percent), senior specialists (7.7 percent), or rank-and-file employees (7.1 percent).

An impressive 76.9 percent of CCSK holders holders who participated in the survey are IT 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 (8.4 percent of respondents) or between 3 and 5 years (14.7 percent).

Finally, here's the view of CCSK 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: 69.2 percent
Several times a week: 23.3 percent
Several times a month: [No responses]
Occasionally: 7.5 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 30.9 percent
Agree: 69.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: [No responses]
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 23.4 percent
Agree: 53.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.8 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 23 percent
Agree: 54.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.5 percent
Disagree: 8.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]




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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