Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on all survey participants
Posted on
December 17, 2021

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

For our final Deep Focus entry of 2021, we shift away from individual certs to individual survey participants.

Each year we use the Deep Focus prism to look separately at both the female and male Salary Survey participants. Last year around this time we had the bright idea of looking at everyone together. So, hey, why not do it again? For our last call, grand finale reader-take-all dip into the Deep Focus well, we’re considering the entire body of 2021 Salary Survey participants.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for, well, everyone who responded to the 2021 Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $120,270
Median Annual Salary: $123,550
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 11.7 percent
Very Satisfied: 26 percent
Satisfied: 40.5 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 18.1 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 3.7 percent

All Non-U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $72,400
Median Annual Salary: $67,608
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 6.3 percent
Very Satisfied: 14.7 percent
Satisfied: 40.6 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 29.7 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 8.7 percent

The largest single body of certified IT professionals to participate in the survey is made up of U.S. residents (53 percent of those surveyed), but we did hear from tech pros in 94 other countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium. Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

The IT industry has been largely male-dominated for as long as information technology has been with us, but there are more women entering the field now perhaps than ever before, and 10.7 percent of the certified IT pros who participated in the 2021 Salary Survey are female. For the most  part, both male and female IT professionals are either in the thick of middle age or getting close to it, with 81.5 percent of those surveyed older than 24 but younger than 55, either between the ages of 25 and 35 (18.9 percent), between the ages of 35 and 44 (33.2 percent), or between the ages of 45 and 54 (29.4 percent). Just 1.3 percent of respondents are younger than 25 — all of them between the ages of 19 and 24 — with everyone else either between the ages of 55 and 64 (15.6 percent) between the ages of 65 and 74 (1.5 percent), or 75 or older (0.1 percent).

Roughly 87 percent of certified IT pros 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 is either a bachelor’s degree (40.8 percent of those surveyed), master’s degree (35.3 percent), associate’s degree (6.9 percent), professional degree (1.9 percent), or doctorate (2.2 percent). Most of the remaining survey respondents exited the realm of formal education after completing some level of post-high school technical training (7.1 percent), along with a handful who either checked out after graduating from high school (4.5 percent) or are currently in the process of furthering their education (0.9 percent). And if you’re in favor of no formal education at all, well, 0.4 percent entered the workforce armed with only their native wits.

An impressive 94.5 percent of certified IT professionals who responded to the survey are employed full-time, with 2.4 percent holding part-time jobs and 1.9 percent out of work. That leaves 0.7 percent who are on sabbatical and 0.5 percent who are students. Among those who have full-time jobs, most have either a standard 40-hour work week (36.1 percent of respondents) or put in between 41 and 50 hours per week (43.5 percent). The outliers are the 11.3 percent of those surveyed who put in more than 50 hours per week, the 8.4 percent who work between 31 and 39 hours per week, the 0.5 percent who work between 20 and 30 hours per week, and the 0.2 percent who are employed full-time but also on the clock for fewer than 20 hours per week.

In the age of COVID, an only somewhat surprising 24 percent of certified IT professionals are spending most of those hours in a traditional workplace, putting in either 10 or fewer hours per week from home (16.4 percent) or between 10 and 20 hours per week from home (7.1 percent). The rest have transitioned to an office that is almost certainly within bleary-eyed stumbling distance of their nice, comfy bed, working from home either between 21 and 30 hours per week (6.1 percent of respondents), between 31 and 39 hours per week (9.8 percent), 40 hours per week (25.3 percent), or more than 40 hours per week (35.3 percent).

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of certified IT pros who participated in the survey are employed at the senior specialist level (35.5 percent of respondents). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (16.3 percent of those surveyed), specialists (14 percent), rank-and-file employees (10.9 percent), senior managers (10.6 percent), directors (8.9 percent), or executives (3.8 percent).

A notable 47.1 percent of certified IT professionals 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 (12.3 percent), between 3 and 5 years (17.7 percent of respondents), between 6 and 8 years (12.8 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (10.1 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of our 2021 Salary Survey participants, in aggregate, 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: 48.5 percent
Several times a week: 28.6 percent
Several times a month: 11.5 percent
Occasionally: 9.1 percent
Rarely: 2.3 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly agree: 36.7 percent
Agree: 40.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 17.9 percent
Disagree: 3 percent
Strongly Disagree: 1.8 percent

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly agree: 28.3 percent
Agree: 43.7 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 20.9 percent
Disagree: 4.6 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.4 percent

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly agree: 26.6 percent
Agree: 40.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 25.1 percent
Disagree: 5.1 percent
Strongly Disagree: 2.6 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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