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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
As John Cleese used to say, "And now for something completely different." Well, OK, it's not all that different. We're still going to share some new data from our 2016 Salary Survey with you. It will involve numbers, and answers to questions, and most of the usual output that many (if not most) of you are accustomed to seeing around here.
What's different, in this case, is that we're narrowing our point of inquiry to a single certification. We're calling this new gimmick Deep Focus, and we'll roll it out from time to time, possibly as frequently as once a week.
Each time, we'll look at a different certification from the Salary Survey 75 (the ones we have the most data about) and take a long look at that credential and the survey respondents who hold it. We're kicking things off with the randomly chosen Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification, No. 48 on this year's Salary Survey 75 list.
To begin with, we tracked an average annual salary of $114,700 among U.S. credential holders, with a median annual salary of $107,500. For those living outside the United States, the average annual salary in 2016 was a dramatically lower $37,150, with a medial annual salary of $30,000.
Out of our entire population of RHCSA holders, 31.2 percent checked in from the United States, with the remaining 68.8 percent coming from the following 23 countries around the world: Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Libya, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.
Just 6.2 percent of RHCSA holders in the survey are women, meaning that nearly 94 percent of respondents are men. The range of ages among RHCSAs skews heavily toward early adulthood, with 45.1 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34, and an additional 30 percent between the ages of 35 and 44. A youthful 10.4 percent of respondents are between the ages of 19 and 24, while 8 percent of respondents are will into middle age (45 to 55) and 6.5 percent are eyeing retirement (55 to 64).
The highest level of education attained by most RHCSA holders is some level of college degree, with 46 percent holding a bachelor's degree, 25 percent claiming a master's degree, 4.2 percent holding an associate's (two-year) degree, and 2.1 percent claiming a doctorate. That leaves 10.4 percent who have a high school diploma, 8.3 percent who have technical training but no college degree, and 4 percent who are currently in school.
Most RHCSA holders (79.4 percent) are employed full time, with 52.3 percent putting in a regular 40-hour work week, while 21.1 percent work between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 6 percent work more than 50 hours per week. Among part-timers, 12.5 percent work between 31 and 39 hours per week, while 2.1 percent put in between between 20 and 30 hours, 1.9 percent work fewer than 20 hours, and 4.1 percent are unemployed.
Those with jobs are concentrated most heavily (53.1 percent) at the senior specialist level of the general workplace hierarchy. Most of the rest are either rank-and-file employees (19.2 percent) or specialists (17.4 percent). The remaining 10 percent are scattered across the supervisory spectrum as managers (4.8 percent), senior managers (2 percent), directors (2.2 percent) and executives (1.3 percent).
The body of RHCSA-certified survey respondents features a mix of newcomers and veterans, with 29.1 percent having worked in a role that directly utilizes their certified skills for between zero years (1-11 months) and 2 years, while 22.2 percent have been thus engaged for between 3 and 5 years. An even 10 percent have been exercising their skills for between 6 and 8 years, with 14.9 percent having been at it for 9 or 10 years, and 23.8 in the trenches for more than 10 years.
Finally, here's the view of RHCSA 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: 53.3 percent
Several times a week: 26.7 percent
Several times a month: 13.3 percent
Occasionally: 6.7 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 45.8 percent
Agree: 21.9 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 22.1 percent
Disagree: 10.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: [None]
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 22.6 percent
Agree: 43 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 30 percent
Disagree: 3.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.3 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 23.9 percent
Agree: 56.3 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 15.6 percent
Disagree: 3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.4 percent