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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
Microsoft Windows is the familiar face of desktop everything for individual computer users. For computer network administrators and others behind the scenes of workplace IT and other enterprise-level systems, there's a similar level of familiarity with Windows Server, a suite of operating system (OS) tools and platforms that orchestrates large-scale computing the way that regular ol' Windows coordinates and manages the function of your individual desktop PC.
The Server Pro: Manage and Administer certification (No. 72 in this year's Salary Survey 75) offered by training and certification provider TestOut is one of a trio of credentials that teach and verify Windows Server fluency. The other two are Server Pro: Advanced Services and Server Pro: Install and Configure.
Once equipped with a Server Pro certification, IT professionals can work in a variety of job roles (including the likes of network administrator and systems engineer) and earn a solid income to boot. Among U.S.-based Server Pro-certified professionals who responded to our annual Salary Survey, the average annual salary is $56,030, with a median annual salary of $56,250. Like its TestOut cousins, Server Pro is a relative newcomer to the international market, so we didn't get any reliable data about non-U.S. certification holders.
The Server Pro survey population is either comfortably middle aged (46.7 percent of respondents are between the ages 35 and 44), or getting there fast (40 percent are between the ages of 25 and 34). The outliers are the 7.2 percent of respondents between the ages of 19 and 24, and the 6.1 percent between the ages of 45 and 54. Server Pro-certified individuals are almost all men (94.7 percent of respondents).
In terms of educational attainment, nearly all Server Pro holders are college educated, with the vast majority having risen either to the level of a bachelor's degree (73.8 percent of respondents) or master's degree (6.7 percent). There are a smattering (5.9 percent) of associate's (two-year) degrees, and a solid contingent of cert holders who completed some level of technical training (13.4 percent) after graduating from high school.
Full-time students account for about 15 percent of Server Pro-certified survey respondents, while 79 percent are employed full-time, versus just 6 percent who are unemployed. Among those with jobs, the typical work week is either between 41 and 50 hours (48 percent of respondents), or the standard 40 hours (36.2 percent).
Nearly 60 percent of all Server Pro holders in the survey are either rank-and-file employees (37.4 percent of respondents) or slot in at the senior specialist level (24.2 percent). The rest are mostly likely to be either managers (15.8 percent of respondents) or employed at the specialist level (17.3 percent), though there are smattering of executives (5.3 percent).
Generally speaking, the Server Pro crowd has a lot of folks who are either new to server management or switching over from other IT disciplines. A bit more than half (52.6 percent) of all Server-Pro certified respondents have worked in a role that directly utilizes their certified skills for between zero years (1-11 months) and 2 years. The next largest group, at 24.7 percent, have been in the game for between 3 and 5 years, though there is a veteran core (13.4 percent of respondents) who have worked in the field for more than 10 years.
Finally, here's the view of Server 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: 37.7 percent
Several times a week: 22.6 percent
Several times a month: 27.8 percent
Occasionally: 8.9 percent
Rarely: 3 percent
Since becoming certified, I feel there is greater demand for my skills.
Strongly Agree: 19.5 percent
Agree: 38.2 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 33 percent
Disagree: 6.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.1 percent
Becoming certified has increased my problem-solving skills.
Strongly Agree: 26.6 percent
Agree: 52.6 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 16 percent
Disagree: [No responses]
Strongly Disagree: 4.8 percent
Becoming certified has increased my workplace productivity.
Strongly Agree: 22 percent
Agree: 37.8 percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree: 31.6 percent
Disagree: 5.2 percent
Strongly Disagree: 3.4 percent