Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Exterro ACE
Posted on
January 21, 2022
by

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

The Exterro ACE credential makes its maiden voyage into the Deep Focus waters.

Here at Salary Survey Central we do our best to keep our various lists updated. There’s a lot to keep track of, however, and sometimes we’re a bit behind the curve. The various AccessData certifications have been listed in the Salary Survey since we resumed it in 2014. At the end of 2020, however, AccessData was acquired by Exterro.

That change escaped our notice 7-to-8 months further on when we were preparing to launch the 2022 Salary Survey. So we’re just now catching up to the fact that the former AccessData Certified Examiner (ACE) credential is now simply Exterro ACE, which checks in at No. 36  on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

Exterro ACE is a cybersecurity credential, and the branch of cybersecurity in question is IT-centered forensic examination. Exterro ACE validates fluency with the Forensic Toolkit (FTK) software developed by AccessData and now owned and managed by Exterro. Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Exterro ACE holders who responded to the survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $104,230
Median Annual Salary: $102,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6 percent
Very Satisfied: 16 percent
Satisfied: 60 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 10 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 8 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $96,820
Median Annual Salary: $96,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 35.9 percent
Very Satisfied: 9.1 percent
Satisfied: 36.8 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 18.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of Exterro ACE holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (65.5 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in nine other countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Bahamas, Central African Republic, Eritrea, India, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

An almost astonishing number of the Exterro ACE holders who responded to the survey are women — 36.1 percent — especially given the extent to which men tend to dominate the cybersecurity industry. Of the remaining ACE-certified respondents, 62 percent are men, with 0.9 percent who are transgender female and 1 percent who are transgender male. All of the credential holders we heard are between the ages of 25 and 64, with most either between the ages of 25 and 34 (27.5 percent of respondents) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (52.5 percent). That leaves 17.6 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 55 and 64 and 2.4 percent between the ages of 65 and 74.

All of the Exterro ACE 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 Exterro ACE holders is either a bachelor’s degree (32.5 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (42.5 percent), associate’s degree (9.9 percent), doctorate (10.1 percent), or professional degree (5 percent).

An unusually low 64.7 percent of Exterro ACE holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time. The rest either have part-time jobs (11.3 percent of respondents), are on sabbatical (4.8 percent), or are out of work altogether (19.2 percent). Among those who have full-time jobs, most either put in the standard 40 hours per week (20 percent) or are on the clock for between 31 and 39 hours per week (42.6 percent). The rest have a full-time work schedule of either more than 50 hours per week (10 percent of respondents), between 41 and 40 hours per week (18 percent), between 20 and 30 hours per week (7.5 percent), or fewer than 20 hours per week (1.9 percent).

Even in the COVID-19 working world, a bit more than half of Exterro ACE holders are spending the lion’s share of those hours in a traditional workplace setting, working from home either fewer than 10 hours per week (27.5 percent of respondents) or between 10 and 20 hours per week (25 percent). The rest are notably more familiar with what has become the norm for many, working from home either between 21 and 30 hours per week (19.9 percent of those surveyed), between 31 and 39 hours per week (12.6 percent), 40 hours per week (2.5 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (12.5 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Exterro ACE holders we heard from are employed at the level of either senior manager (26.5 percent) or manager (also 26.5 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either executives (16.2 percent of respondents), directors (13.2 percent), senior specialists (11.8 percent), specialists (3 percent), or rank-and-file employees (2.8 percent).

Just barely fewer than 40 percent of the Exterro ACE holders who participated in the survey are IT novices, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between 3 and 5 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (10.2 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (32.4 percent), between 9 and 10 years (10.3 percent), or more than 10 years (7.4 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of CompTIA Exterro ACE 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: 11.8 percent
Several times a week: 54.4 percent
Several times a month: 30.9 percent
Occasionally: 2.9 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 28 percent
Agree: 38.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25 percent
Disagree: 5.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.9 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 17.6 percent
Agree: 42.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 32.4 percent
Disagree: 4.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 29.4 percent
Agree: 32.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 29.4 percent
Disagree: 4.4 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.4 percent

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