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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Every so often the Deep Focus team lands on a certification that is no longer in service (so to speak). Microsoft has made fairly sweeping revisions to its certification program over the past couple of years, and Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Universal Windows Platform — No. 52 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list — is about to be swept under the rug (the official retirement date is Jan. 31, 2021). So this week's installment is more of a fond farewell than a relevant perspective on current events.
Here's what the salary picture looks like for MCSA: Universal Windows Platform holders who responded to the Salary Survey:
All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $97,320
Median Annual Salary: $86,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 28.8 percent
Satisfied: 28.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 33.4 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 9.5 percent
The Microsoft certification program certainly has a global presence, but we didn't hear from enough credential holders outside the United States to provide reliable data. Hence, everything discussed here applies only to credential holders in the United States.
Most of the MCSA: Universal Windows Platform holders who responded to the survey are men, but a rare and surprising 23.8 percent of them — nearly a fourth — are women. Almost all of the credential holders we heard from are 35 or older, with 38.1 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 44, 28.6 percent between the ages of 45 and 54, and 23.8 percent between the ages of 55 and 64. That accounts for everyone except the 9.5 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 25 and 34.
More than 70 percent of the MCSA: Universal Windows Platform 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 MCSA: Universal Windows Platform holders is either a bachelor's degree (42.9 percent of respondents), master's degree (19.1 percent), or associate's degree (9.5 percent). The outliers are the 24.2 percent of respondents who exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training, and the 4.4 percent who whose highest educational attainment is a high school diploma.
An impressive 95.5 percent of MCSA: Universal Windows Platform holders who responded to the survey have full-time jobs, and the remaining 4.5 percent have part-time jobs — nobody we heard from is out of work entirely. Among those who have full-time jobs, everyone is either working a standard 40-hour schedule each week, or putting in between 41 and 50 hours per week.
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 75 percent of respondents were at the office for most (or all) of those hours, working from home either fewer than 10 hours per week (65 percent) or for between 10 and 20 hours per week (10 percent). The rest were better accustomed to what has become the norm for many, working from home either between 31 and 39 hours per week (5.5 percent), 40 hours per week (15 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (4.5 percent).
In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of MCSA: Universal Windows Platform holders we heard from (41 percent of respondents) are employed at the senior specialist level. The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (18.6 percent of those surveyed), senior managers (17.7 percent), managers (9.5 percent), directors (8.6 percent), or rank-and-file employees (4.6 percent).
Almost all of the MCSA: Universal Windows Platform holders who participated in the survey — 81.9 percent of them — 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 (4.5 percent of respondents) or between 3 and 5 years (13.6 percent).
Finally, here's the view of MCSA: Universal Windows Platform 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: 32.3 percent
Several times a week: 31.4 percent
Several times a month: 22.7 percent
Occasionally: 9.1 percent
Rarely: 4.5 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 13.6 percent
Agree: 50 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 31.8 percent
Disagree: 4.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 22.7 percent
Agree: 32.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 31.4 percent
Disagree: 9.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.5 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 18.2 percent
Agree: 36.4 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 40.9 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 4.5 percent