Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on (ISC)² CSSLP
Posted on
January 31, 2020

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Security is essential to software development and CSSLP can help you master best practices.

There's an app for everything in 2020 and security is a vital element of all that ongoing software development. The Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) credential curated by (ISC)² (No. 9 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) verifies expert-level knowledge of best practices for secure software development.

Here what the salary picture looks like for CSSLP holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $139,040
Median Annual Salary: $107,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 8.4 percent
Very Satisfied: 30.8 percent
Satisfied: 46.2 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 7.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 6.9 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $116,070
Median Annual Salary: $110,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 42.1 percent
Satisfied: 43.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 7.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 7.1 percent

The largest single body of CSSLP holders to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (48.1 percent), but we also heard from credential holders in nine other countries: Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, and Switzerland.

There are more female CSSLP holders — 14.8 percent of those surveyed — than is typical of the male-dominated cybersecurity industry.  The age of credential holders, on the other hand, falls more in line with expectations, with 44.5 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 44 and 33.3 percent between the ages of 45 and 54. The outliers are the 11.1 percent of CSSLP holders between the ages of 55 and 64, the 7.4 percent between the ages of 65 and 74, and the 3.7 percent between the ages 25 and 34.

Roughly 93 percent of the CSSLP 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 CSSLP holders is either a master's degree (51.9 percent of respondents) or bachelor's degree (40.7 percent). The remaining 7 percent of CSSLP holders either completed some level of post-high school technical training (3.7 percent) or departed the realm of formal education after completing high school (3.7 percent).

A solid 90 percent of CSSLP holders are employed full time, with 3 percent currently in school, 3.3 percent taking a sabbatical, and 3.7 percent presently out of work. Among those who have full-time jobs, more than 80 percent either have a standard 40-hour work schedule (33.4 percent) or are at work between 41 and 50 hours per week (48.1 percent). Out of the remaining 20 percent of those surveyed, 7.4  percent work between 31 and 39 hours per week, 7.4 percent work more than 50 hours per week, and a wildly fortunate 3.7 percent work fewer than 20 hours per week.

More than half of CSSLP holders — 55.5 percent — are spending most of those hours in a traditional workplace, putting in 10 or fewer hours per week from home, and a further 25.9 percent are only at the home office between 10 and 20 hours per week. The rest have a little more freedom from the morning commute and the cubicle universe, working from home either for between 21 and 30 hours per week (7.4 percent of respondents), between 31 and 39 hours per week (also 7.4 percent), or 40 hours per week (3.4 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of CSSLP holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (67.8 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either senior managers (12.9 percent of respondents), managers (9.7 percent), directors (3.5 percent), rank-and-file employees (3.2 percent), or executives (2.9 percent).

An imposing 70.9 percent of CSSLP 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 between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (6.5 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (also 6.5 percent), between 6 and 8 years (12.9 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (3.2 percent).

Finally, here's the view of CSSLP 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: 41.9 percent
Several times a week: 29 percent
Several times a month: 6.5 percent
Occasionally: 19.4 percent
Rarely: 3.2 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 16.1 percent
Agree: 51.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.8 percent
Disagree: 3.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.2 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 9.7 percent
Agree: 38.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 38.7 percent
Disagree: 10.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 9.7 percent
Agree: 32.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 38.7 percent
Disagree: 16 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.3 percent




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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