Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on ISACA CRISC
Posted on
January 7, 2022

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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 Salary Survey has a new King of the Hill. Say hello to CRISC, an ISACA credential with serious salary clout.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to managing risk. You have to weigh the possibility of damage wreaked by everything from problematic organizational structure to meteor strikes and armed insurgency. It’s hard enough to manage risk at any level, but the potential for instability rises dramatically when information technology (IT) systems are involved.

The particular set of skills needed for mastery in that arena is rare and valuable, so much so that the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) credential offered by cybersecurity and IT governance professional association ISACA landed at No. 1 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list.

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

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $154,870
Median Annual Salary: $148,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 10.8 percent
Very Satisfied: 26.2 percent
Satisfied: 46.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 15.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 1.5 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $97,590
Median Annual Salary: $88,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 3.8 percent
Very Satisfied: 15.1 percent
Satisfied: 43.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 35.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 1.9 percent

The largest single body of CRISC holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (51.6 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in 31 other countries: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbados, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

ISACA is actively involved in opening up the IT industry in general to women and others, but the Salary Survey tends to suggests that its certifications are mostly held by men: 84.1 percent of CRISC holders who responded to the survey are men, followed by women (12.7 percent), survey participants who prefer not to identify their gender (2.4 percent) and transgender men (0.7 percent). Slightly more than 60 percent of CRISC holders are relatively seasoned professionals, either between the ages of 45 and 54 (32.2 percent), between the ages of 55 and 64 (24.6 percent), between the ages of 65 and 74 (4.2 percent), or older than 75 (0.8 percent). The only “youthful” cohorts among the ranks are the 29.7 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 35 and 44, and the 8.5 percent between the ages of 25 and 34.

Exactly 89 percent of CRISC holders who responded to the survey have an educational background that includes time spent at a college or university. The highest level of education completed by most CRISC holders is either a master’s degree (47.5 percent of respondents), bachelor’s degree (32.2 percent), associate’s degree (5.1 percent), professional degree (2.5 percent), or doctorate (1.7 percent). The outliers are the 7.6 percent of those surveyed who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, the 1.7 percent who topped out with a high school diploma, and the 1.7 percent who are currently engaged in furthering their educational pursuits.

A solid 93.7 percent of CRISC holders who participated in the survey are employed full-time, with 1.6 percent holding part-time jobs, 0.7 percent on sabbatical, and 4 percent not employed. Among those with full-time jobs, there’s a strong possibility of some extra hours at work: 48.3 percent of those surveyed work between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 14.4 percent are actively at work for more than 50 hours per week. Just 23.7 percent of respondents have a traditional 40-hour work week, while 12.7 percent are fortunate enough to work between 31 and 39 hours per week, and 0.9 percent have a full-time work schedule of between 20 and 30 hours per week.

In the COVID era, a little more than half (50.9 percent) of CRISC holders who participated in the survey are spending their entire work schedule outside of a traditional office setting, putting in either 40 hours per week at home (17.8 percent) or more than 40 hours per week (33.1 percent). Additionally, 9.3 percent work from home for either between 31 and 39 hours per week or between 21 and 30 hours per week (12.7 percent). The remaining 27 percent of respondents still commute to a traditional workplace for at least half of the time that they’re on the clock, working from home either between 10 and 20 hours per week (10.2 percent) or fewer than 10 hours per week (16.9 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CRISC holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (32.1 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either directors (20.6 percent), senior managers (19.8 percent), managers (14.5 percent), executives (8.4 percent), specialists (3.8 percent), or rank-and-file employees (0.8 percent).

A substantial 63.9 percent of CRISC holders who responded to 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 (0.7 percent), between 3 and 5 years (9.2 percent), between 6 and 8 years (18.5 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (7.7 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of CRISC 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: 56.9 percent
Several times a week: 27.7 percent
Several times a month: 9.2 percent
Occasionally: 6.2 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 32.3 percent
Agree: 46.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.7 percent
Disagree: 0.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.3 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 20.8 percent
Agree: 44.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.6 percent
Disagree: 6.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 21.5 percent
Agree: 42.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 24.6 percent
Disagree: 8.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.1 percent





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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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