Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate
Posted on
April 8, 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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

A few years back, Cisco created a new certification for IT professionals whose skill set combines knowledge of networking and knowledge of cybersecurity operations. The Cisco certification team installed this new credential at the associate level of its certification pyramid. If you follow Cisco certification, however, then you know what comes next: The associate level of the Cisco certification is now represented by a single credential: CCNA.

Mostly. Mostly, that is, because Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate (No. 39 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) is still in the mix. Almost certainly in part because of its adoption by the U.S. Department of Defense into the gold standard family of approved cybersecurity credentials for government employees and contractors, the CyberOps Associate survived the elimination of Cisco's formerly robust tier of associate-level credentials.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $109,620
Median Annual Salary: $107,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 13 percent
Very Satisfied: 26 percent
Satisfied: 43.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 17.4 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $43,700
Median Annual Salary: $26,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 7.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 21.4 percent
Satisfied: 21.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 35.8 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 14.3 percent

The largest single body of Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders to participate in the survey is made up of residents of the United States (62.1 percent). The rest of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from are spread across 10 other countries: Australia, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

The IT security realm is typically dominated by male professionals, and only a handful of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from — 7.3 percent of those surveyed — are women. A solid 87.8 percent are men and 2.4 percent chose not to identify their gender. Somewhat against type, on the other hand, the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate is notably youthful, with 75 percent of those surveyed either between the ages of 25 and 34 (24.3 percent) or between the ages of 35 and 44 (51.4 percent). The next-largest group is credential holders between the ages of 45 and 54 — 8.1 percent of respondents — with the remaining 16.2 percent between the ages of 55 and 64.

Nearly 90 percent of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate 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 Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders is either a bachelor’s degree (48.7 percent of respondents), master’s degree (35.1 percent), or associate's degree (5.4 percent). The remaining 10 percent of Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders either topped off their learning years by completing some level of post-high school technical training (5.4 percent) or jumped off the formal education express after completing high school (5.3 percent).

Employment among Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders is solid, with 90.3 percent of credential holders employed full-time and the remaining 10 percent either holding part-time jobs (7.3 percent) or enjoying a sabbatical (2.4 percent). For most respondents, full-time employment means a regular work schedule of either between 41 and 50 hours per week (36.7 percent) or the standard 40 hours per week (34.1 percent). Out of the remaining 30 percent of those surveyed, 17.1 percent work between 31 and 39 hours per week, 2.4 percent put in more than 50 hours per week, 2.4 percent are on the job for between 20 and 30 hours per week, and fortunate 7.3 percent have a full-time work schedule of fewer than 20 hours per week.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshuffled workplaces worldwide, and there’s strong evidence of that here: A notable 49 percent of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from are spending their entire work schedule at home, with 27 percent working beneath the same roof that’s overhead when they sleep at night for more than 40 hours per week, and a further 22 percent working 40 hours per week from home. The rest haven’t entirely separated from their cubicles (or corner offices), working from home either between 31 and 39 hours per week (7.4 percent of respondents), between 21 and 30 hours per week (7.2 percent), between 10 and 20 hours per week (9.8 percent), or for fewer than 10 hours per week (26.6 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from are employed at the senior specialist level (54.8 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (14.3 percent), managers (9.5 percent), executives (also 9.5 percent), senior managers (7.1 percent), and directors (4.8 percent).

A solid 38.2 percent of Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate 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 3 and 5 years (23.8 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (19 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (also 19 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate 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: 42.9 percent
Several times a week: 45.2 percent
Several times a month: 2.4 percent
Occasionally: 9.5 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Several times a day: 45.2 percent
Several times a week: 33.3 percent
Several times a month: 16.2 percent
Occasionally: 2.5 percent
Rarely: 2.5 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 45.2 percent
Agree: 40.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 9.5 percent
Disagree: 4.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 45.3 percent
Agree: 28.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 19 percent
Disagree: 7.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

PAST CISCO CERTIFIED CYBEROPS ASSOCIATE DEEP FOCUS FEATURES

2021

2020

2019

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. Subscriber to CertMag here.

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