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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Cyber attacks happen with relentless regularity in 2023. Passive attention to security measures doesn't cut it anymore. Businesses, government agencies, and other organizations that want to survive need to have a security operations team that actively monitors their digital perimeter to detect and deflect potential threats.
That mission-critical skill set is at the heart of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate credential (No. 38 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list). Cisco has raised its cybersecurity profile in recent years, and the certification clout that Cisco credentials have in computer networking circles has begun to carry over to the cybersecurity realm.
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: $117,360
Median Annual Salary: $112,500
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 15.2 percent
Very Satisfied: 15.6 percent
Satisfied: 38.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 30.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]
All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $47,690
Median Annual Salary: $33,750
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 3.1 percent
Very Satisfied: 12.3 percent
Satisfied: 35.4 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 29.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 20 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 (28.6 percent). The rest of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from are spread across 40 other countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.
The IT security realm is typically dominated by male professionals, women are making up ground: Among the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from, 18.3 percent of those surveyed are women. A still-imposing 78.6 percent are men, 1.6 percent chose not to identify their gender, 0.8 percent are transgender female, and 0.7 percent are gender variant/nonconforming. The Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate crew is notably youthful, with more than 75 percent of those surveyed age 44 or younger, either between the ages of 19 and 24 (5.5 percent), between the ages of 25 and 34 (23.1 percent), or between the ages of 35 and 44 (47.2 percent). That leaves just the 18.7 percent of respondents who are between the ages of 45 and 54 and the 5.5 percent who are between the ages of 55 and 64.
Roughly 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 (49.5 percent of respondents), master’s degree (28.6 percent), professional degree (5.4 percent), doctorate (4.4 percent), or associate's degree (2.2 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 (4.4 percent) or jumped off the formal education express after completing high school (5.5 percent).
Employment among Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders is solid, with 72.2 percent of credential holders employed full-time and 6.3 percent holding part-time jobs. The rest are either enjoying a sabbatical (8 percent), are primarily students (7.9 percent), or are presently out of work (5.6 percent). For most respondents, full-time employment means a regular work schedule of either between 41 and 50 hours per week (33.3 percent) or the standard 40 hours per week (44.4 percent). Out of the remaining 22-ish percent of those surveyed, 9 percent work between 31 and 39 hours per week, 10 percent put in more than 50 hours per week, 2.2 percent are on the job for between 20 and 30 hours per week, and fortunate 1.1 percent have a full-time work schedule of fewer than 20 hours per week.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshuffled workplaces worldwide at the onset of the 2020s, and the ripples from that shift are still showing up: A notable 30 percent of the Cisco Certified CyberOps Associate holders we heard from are spending their entire work schedule at home, with 12.5 percent working beneath the same roof that’s overhead when they sleep at night for more than 40 hours per week, and a further 18.2 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 (10.2 percent of respondents), between 21 and 30 hours per week (17 percent), between 10 and 20 hours per week (8 percent), or for fewer than 10 hours per week (34.1 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 (30.2 percent). The rest, in descending order, are either specialists (23.8 percent), rank-and-file employees (16.7 percent), managers (13.5 percent), senior managers (8 percent), directors (3.9 percent) or executive (also 3.9 percent).
A sturdy 34.9 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 zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (15.9 percent of respondents), between 3 and 5 years (21.4 percent), between 6 and 8 years (16.7 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (11.1 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: 46.9 percent
Several times a week: 23.8 percent
Several times a month: 12.7 percent
Occasionally: 9.5 percent
Rarely: 7.1 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Several times a day: 36.6 percent
Several times a week: 31.7 percent
Several times a month: 19 percent
Occasionally: 4 percent
Rarely: 8.7 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 32.5 percent
Agree: 43.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 13.5 percent
Disagree: 4.8 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.5 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 23.8 percent
Agree: 46.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 14.3 percent
Disagree: 7.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 8 percent
PAST CISCO CERTIFIED CYBEROPS ASSOCIATE DEEP FOCUS FEATURES