Salary Survey Extra: Deep Focus on TestOut Security Pro
Posted on
February 11, 2022

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Build a solid foundation for a career in cybersecurity with the TestOut Security Pro credential.

Nothing is certain in life except for death, taxes, and maaaaybe the cybersecurity hiring gap. Cybersecurity professional association (ISC)² even reported last year that the global “cybersecurity workforce gap” had closed somewhat … but that, worldwide, 2.72 million cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled.

The Security Pro credential (No. 73 on our most recent Salary Survey 75 list) offered by IT training and education provider TestOut verifies basic cybersecurity knowledge and skills and provides a great foundation for any aspiring cybersecurity professional. Start here and you can take your IT career in any number of different directions.

Here’s what the salary picture looks like for Security Pro holders who responded to the Salary Survey:

All U.S. Respondents
Average Annual Salary: $70,090
Median Annual Salary: $75,250
How satisfied are you with your current salary?
Completely Satisfied: 20 percent
Very Satisfied: 6.8 percent
Satisfied: 53.3 percent
Not Very Satisfied: 13.3 percent
Not At All Satisfied: 6.6 percent

Though there are non-U.S. credential holders, TestOut certifications are most popular in the United States. We didn’t hear from enough Security Pro holders living outside the United States to present reliable data. Hence, the Security Pro survey data discussed here doesn’t take other countries into account.

Men far outnumber women in the security profession as a whole and that holds true here as well — just 10.4 percent of Security Pro holders who participated in the survey are women, with 1.6 percent who are transgender female, 4 percent who prefer not to identify their gender, and the remaining 84 percent who are male. TestOut courseware is particularly popular in colleges and high school, which perhaps accounts for the fact that Security Pro credential holders tend to be younger than the security industry norm. More than 70 percent of those surveyed are 44 or younger, either between the ages of 25 and 34 (20 percent), or between the ages of 35 and 44 (53.3 percent). That leaves just 26.7 percent of Security Pro holders on the downslope of their career trajectory between the ages of 45 and 54.

More than 85 percent of Security Pro 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 Security Pro holders is either a bachelor’s degree (13.7 percent of those surveyed), associate’s degree (26.7 percent), or master’s degree (40 percent). The remaining 13 percent of respondents completed high school, but have not yet moved on to other educational pursuits.

A notable 92 percent of Security Pro holders who participated in the survey are in the workforce, either on a full-time (60 percent) or part-time (32 percent) basis, with 8 percent unemployed. Among those who have full-time jobs, most have either a standard 40-hours-per-week schedule (33.3 percent of respondents), or put in either between 41 and 50 hours per week (20 percent) or more than 50 hours per week (also 20 percent). That leaves roughly 26.7 percent of respondents who are on the job for between 31 and 39 hours per week.

The emergence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the workplace for many IT professionals over the past two years, but doesn’t appear to have had much effect on Security Pro holders: 73 percent of those surveyed work from home fewer than 10 hours per week, and 13.3 percent are only at home for between 10 and 20 hours. On the other hand, the remaining 13.7 percent of respondents are spending their entire work schedule at home — 40 hours per week — with the option of conducting official business in sweatpants at all times.

In terms of workplace standing, the largest single group of Security Pro holders we heard from are employed at the rank-and-file employee level (47.4 percent of those surveyed). The rest, in descending order, are either managers (21 percent), senior specialists (15.8 percent), senior managers (5.5 percent), specialists (5.3 percent), or executives (5 percent).

The largest single group of Security Pro holders who responded to the survey — 36.8 percent of them — are information security newcomers, having worked in a role that directly utilizes one or more of their certified skills for between zero years (1 to 11 months) and 2 years. The rest have been plying their certified skills for either between 3 and 5 years (26.1 percent), between 6 and 8 years (10.5 percent), or between 9 and 10 years (26.6 percent).

Finally, here’s the view of Security Pro 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: 36.8 percent
Several times a week: 52.5 percent
Several times a month: 6.1 percent
Occasionally: [No responses]
Rarely: 4.5 percent

Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly Agree: 37 percent
Agree: 52.5 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 5.5 percent
Disagree: 5 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly Agree: 52.8 percent
Agree: 47.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: [No responses]
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]

Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly Agree: 47.7 percent
Agree: 47 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: [No responses]
Disagree: 5.3 percent
Strongly Disagree: [No responses]







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