Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on IBM Certified Associate
Posted on
October 14, 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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

What does the professional profile of an IBM Certified Associate look like?

You can become many different kinds of certified associate — certified associate (standalone), certified associate developer, certified associate business process analyst, certified associate SRE, and more — within the IBM information technology ecosystem. So you’ll have to do some narrowing of the scope of your certified associate interests before becoming an IBM Certified Associate (No. 70 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list).

Here what the salary picture looks like for IBM Certified Associate holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $82,230
Median Annual Salary: $73,330
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 11.5 percent
Very Satisfied: 30.7 percent
Satisfied: 38.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 19.2 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $56,050
Median Annual Salary: $45,000
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 14.3 percent
Very Satisfied: 35.7 percent
Satisfied: 7.1 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 42.9 percent
Not At All Satisfied: [No responses]

The largest single body of IBM Certified Associate holders to participate in the survey is made up of residents of the United States (66.7 percent). The rest of the IBM Certified Associate holders we heard from are spread across 10 other countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Ecuador, Guinea, Italy, and Syria.

Contrary to general industry biases, women abound in this neck of the IT woods: 35.7 percent of IBM Certified Associate holders who responded to the survey are female. The rest are either male (58.9 percent) — per the industry norm — transgender male (0.8 percent), transgender female (also 0.8 percent), or chose not to identify their gender (3.8 percent). Generally speaking, the pool of credential holders is surprisingly youthful, with roughly 92 percent of those surveyed younger than 45, either between the ages of 19 and 24 (5.1 percent), between the ages of 25 and 34 (43.6 percent), or between the ages of 35 and 44 (also 43.6 percent). The remaining 8-ish percent of respondents are either between the ages of 45 and 54 (2.6 percent) or between the ages of 55 and 64 (5.1 percent).

Roughly 90 percent of IBM Certified 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 IBM Certified Associate holders is either a bachelor’s degree (25.6 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (38.5 percent), doctorate (5.1 percent), associate's degree (17.9 percent), or professional degree (2.6 percent). The outliers are the 7.7 percent of respondents who completed some level of technical training after high school and the 2.6 percent who highest educational attaintment is a high school diploma.

There’s a generally positive employment outlook for IBM Certified Associate holders: 70.2 percent of survey respondents are employed full-time, 15.8 percent have part-time jobs, 7 percent are currently enjoying some form of sabbatical, and 7 percent are currently unemployed. Among those with full-time jobs, most are at work either between 31 and 39 hours per week (27.5 percent of those surveyed), for between 41 and 50 hours per week (22.5 percent), or for the standard 40 hours per week (also 22.5 percent). The rest are either punching the clock for the standard 40 hours per week (19.6 percent of respondents), for more than 50 hours per week (4.1 percent), or for between 20 and 30 hours per week (3.8 percent).

There's not a lot of freedom to work from home among IBM Certified Associate holders. Even in the post-COVID-19 world, roughly 69 percent of those surveyed are spending most of those hours in a traditional workplace, working at home either 10 or fewer hours per week (25 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours (47.5 percent). After that, there’s a little bit of everything: 15 percent work between 21 and 30 hours per week from home, 5 percent work 40 hours per week from home, and 7.5 percent work more than 40 hours per week from home.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of IBM Certified Associate holders we heard from are employed at the senior manager level (24.1 percent of those surveyed). The rest, in descending order, are either senior specialists (20.8 percent), executives (15.5 percent of respondents), managers (13.8 percent), directors (12.1 percent), rank-and-file employees (10.3 percent), or specialists (3.4 percent).

A core 50 percent of the IBM Certified Associate holders who responded to the survey are IT up-and-comers, having worked in a role the directly utilizes their certified skills for between 3 and 5 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years (17.2 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (15.5 percent), between 9 and 10 years (7 percent), or more than a decade (10.3 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of IBM Certified 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: 15.5 percent
Several times a week: 50 percent
Several times a month: 19 percent
Occasionally: 15.5 percent
Rarely: [No responses]

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 31 percent
Agree: 39.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20.7 percent
Disagree: 5.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 31 percent
Agree: 34.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.4 percent
Disagree: 5.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 6.9 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 27.6 percent
Agree: 27.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 32.8 percent
Disagree: 6.9 percent
Strongly Disagree: 5.1 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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