Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on MTA: Security Fundamentals
Posted on
May 21, 2021

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

MTA: Security Fundamentals is a security certification for beginners that won't be around too much longer.

Like factory jobs in a Bruce Springsteen song, MTA: Security Fundamentals (No. 69 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is goin', boys (and girls), and it ain't comin' back. Microsoft Learn has already pulled the plug. The certification won't be formally retired until June 30, 2022, but there's barely a month left to purchase an exam voucher.

Here what the salary picture looks like for MTA: Security Fundamentals holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $87,700
Median Annual Salary: $76,880
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: [No responses]
Very Satisfied: 31.6 percent
Satisfied: 47.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 15.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 5.3 percent

The Microsoft certification program has global reach, but we didn't hear from enough credential holders living and working outside the United States to formulate good data. So everything we've got here applies solely to U.S.-based MTA: Security Fundamentals holders.

Nearly all of the MTA: Security Fundamentals holders we heard from are men (95.2 percent of respondents), with just a handful of female credential holders participating. The overall group has largish outliers at both ends of the age spectrum, with 21.3 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 25 and 34, and 26 percent either between the ages of 55 and 64 (21.1 percent) or between the ages of 65 and 74 (5 percent). Everyone else is nestled in the middle, with 21 percent of respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 and 31.6 percent between the ages of 45 and 54.

More than 89 percent of MTA: Security Fundamentals 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 MTA: Security Fundamentals holders is either a bachelor's degree (52.6 percent of respondents), master's degree (115.9 percent), or associate's degree (21.1 percent). The outliers are the 5.3 percent of those surveyed who departed the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training and the 5.1 percent who left formal education behind after completing high school.

Microsoft certification is apparently a solid hedge against unemployment: 90.5 percent of MTA: Security Fundamentals holders who responded to the survey are employed full-time, while the rest either have part-time jobs (5 percent) or are students (4.5 percent). For most of those with full-time jobs, the work week consists of either between 41 and 50 hours (52.2 percent of respondents) or the standard 40 hours (42.1 percent). The rest of the full-timers put in somewhere between 31 and 39 hours per week (5.7 percent of respondents).

For a little more than half of MTA: Security Fundamentals holders, full-time work means a lot of time at the office, even after COVID-19 reconfigured the workplace landscape: 53 percent of respondents work from home either fewer than 10 hours per week (42.1 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours per week (10.6 percent). All remaining respondents spend either half or more than half of their work time in pajamas (or other casual wear), clocking in from home either between 21 and 30 hours (10.4 percent of respondents), 40 hours per week (15.5 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (21.4 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of MTA: Security Fundamentals holders we heard from are senior specialists (33.4 percent of respondents). The rest, in descending order, are either rank-and-file employees (28.6 percent of those surveyed), specialists (19 percent), executives (9.5 percent), managers (5.2 percent), or senior managers (4.3 percent).

A core 42.9 percent of the MTA: Security Fundamentals 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 (19 percent of those surveyed), between 3 and 5 years (33.3 percent), or between 6 and 8 years (4.8 percent).

Finally, here's the view of MTA: Security Fundamentals 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: 38.1 percent
Several times a week: 19 percent
Several times a month: 9.8 percent
Occasionally: 23.8 percent
Rarely: 9.3 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 33.6 percent
Agree: 42.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19 percent
Disagree: 4.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 28.8 percent
Agree: 37.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.4 percent
Disagree: 18.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 24.1 percent
Agree: 38.1 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 23.5 percent
Disagree: 9.5 percent
Strongly Disagree: 4.8 percent



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