Salary Survey Extra: The perks of work and other survey odds and ends
Posted on
December 23, 2016

Salary Survey Extra is a series of dispatches that give added insight into the findings of both our annual Salary Survey and our smaller Salary Survey PLUS polls. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Addressing all of our remaining Salary Survey non sequiturs.

With 2017 just around the corner and a mountain of data from the 2016 Salary Survey in the on-deck circle, it's time to empty our sack from October's Salary Survey PLUS about networking certifications. In particular, we're going to liquidate our supply of Not-So-Serious survey data.

The Not-So-Serious survey questions, now a proud salary survey tradition, are found at the end of each new Certification Magazine salary survey, whether of the PLUS or Annual variety. It's a chaser, a palate cleanser, a mood lightener — and it also gives us something fun to write about when we're doing week after week of these Salary Survey Extra reports.

A number of the Not-So-Serious questions from the most recent survey have already come up. But there are several that we hadn't gotten to yet, and we think it would be a crying shame to just leave you all hanging. So we took it upon ourselves to prepare a final report. (You're welcome.)

Some of the Not-So-Serious questions are silly, but others are simply off-topic. Not directly related to IT certification, perhaps, but nonetheless offering an interesting window into this or that tangential aspect of IT life.

For example, we all get certain perks from our employers. It's considered part of your overall compensation.

Our Networking Salary Survey asked each respondent to decide which of the most common employer-provided perks he or she would be least willing to do without. The largest single portion of respondents are not at all eager to relinquish their employer-provided medical insurance, but there was by no means a grand consensus:

Employer-Provided Benefit Percentage of Respondents Who Would Be Least Willing to Give Up this Benefit
Medical Insurance 29.2 percent
Flexible Scheduling 19.1 percent
Paid Time Off 18 percent
Child Care 8.7 percent
Paid Sick Leave 7.4 percent
401k or Other Retirement/Pension Benefit 7.1 percent
Dental Insurance 5.7 percent
Vision Insurance 4.8 percent

Follow-up question we wish we could ask : What, if anything, is your primary retirement savings vehicle?

We can certainly understand why medical insurance is at the top of the list. Especially in the United States, securing other means of addressing large medical expenses is a dicey proposition at best. On the other hand, who would rather be able to set their own working hours than, you know, get paid vacation? To each, her (or his) own, we suppose.

We also asked survey respondents a questions that directly bears on how we present the survey. For example, it's one thing to view a question with a long list of possible answers when your sitting at a desk looking at a full-size PC monitor, and quite a different experience if you're using a smartphone.

Some people did use their smartphones to take the survey, but not as many as you might think. The option du jour, by a wide margin, is the laptop computer (preferred by 58.4 percent of survey respondents), followed by the desktop computer (29.7 percent), the smartphone (8.1 percent) and the tablet (3.5 percent). (It didn't occur to us to ask whether you'd rather that we just call you at home, probably during dinner, and try get some answers that way.)

Sticking to the theme of personal device usage, we asked how survey respondent prefer to curl up with a good book. How do you read for pleasure?

Mode of Reading Percentage of Survey Respondents Who Prefer this Mode
I use my “fingers” and “thumbs” to turn “pages” that are from “paper” and stuck together by a “binding.” 39.8 percent
I just use the Google app to read them on my smartphone. 17.8 percent
Kindle 13.2 percent
Reading a book is for squares. 11.3 percent
Kindle Paperwhite 6.9 percent
I only do audio books. 4.1 percent
Kindle Voyage 3.8 percent
Nook 3 percent

This is why the Nook thing didn’t work out for Barnes & Noble and Microsoft, right?

We suspect that using the right snarky phraseology is a good way to bait some respondents into selecting a given option. Or maybe most people just aren't into e-books yet.

A good related question might have been, "When do you generally make time for reading?" For people who like to read while taking a break at work, the answer would probably have involved coffee, because yeah it would. We're not sensing an addiction problem connected to this next question at all, people.

Everyone gets a little run down at some point during a day at the office, right? So we asked what people do to get back on track:

Thing People Do to Get an Energy Boost Percent of Respondents Who Prefer this Option
I have a coffee. 46.1 percent
I go for a short walk. 20.3 percent
It must be time for lunch. 14.9 percent
I have a little stash of … Wait. Who wants to know? 8.1 percent
I hit the company gym. 4.6 percent
I grab a 5-Hour Energy. 3.4 percent
I head over to the candy dish in the breakroom. 2.7 percent

Original Question: Whenever I need a pick me up at work …

Finally, we attempted to solve one of life's greatest riddles by appealing to the philosophical bent that most IT workers probably haven't exercised since their freshman year of college. Once and for all, what does happen when a tree falls in the forest and no one is around:

Outcome Percentage of Respondents Who Believe In this Outcome
It makes a noise, but no one hears it. 45.7 percent
At least it didn’t squish anybody. 18.1 percent
There is no tree. 14.7 percent
It doesn’t make a noise. 9.4 percent
The tree doesn’t make a noise. Trees don’t have vocal chords. 7.4 percent
I never figured this one out in college, either. 4.7 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.

Posted to topic:
Jobs and Salary

Important Update: We have updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

CompTIA IT Project Management - Project+ - Advance Your IT Career by adding IT Project Manager to your resume - Learn More