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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
How is your follow-through? No, we're not talking about your golf swing. Getting a new certification in a given year is often a personal or professional development goal for certified IT professionals. For those of you who wrote down "Get [Name of certification]" on that always ambitious New Year's Day to-do list, how did things go?
Each year when we conduct the Salary Survey, we ask respondents a couple of questions about their IT certification plans for the coming year. You can click here, for example, to see a list of the 50 certifications named most frequently when we asked survey participants which cert(s) they were intending to chase in 2019 (be sure to scroll down the page).
We also asked survey respondents how many of the were planning to get at least one new certification in 2019. Perhaps not surprisingly, given that we directed this inquiry toward a bunch of certified IT professionals, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed (79.6 percent, to be exact) said that at least one new certification was definitely in the cards.
We also asked survey respondents how many of them actually got a new certification (or multiple new certifications) in 2018. Maybe everyone was feeling especially ambitious about 2019, because 42 percent of respondents did not get any new certifications in 2018, a stark contrast to the 20.4 percent who admitted that would probably be the case in 2019.
An impressive 48.7 percent of those surveyed got either one (36 percent) or two (12.7 percent) new certifications in 2018. Among the remaining slightly more than 9 percent of respondents, 5 percent got three new certs in 2018, 1.9 percent got four new certs, 0.7 percent got five new certs, and a hard-working 1.5 percent got six or more new certs.
Now, although we learn from the original Ghostbusters movie that you should never cross the streams, we got a little curious to know what past certification performance suggests about future certification activity. Here's what we learned:
Planned to Get At Least One New Cert in 2019 (79.6 percent of all respondents)
Got no new certs in 2018: 36.3 percent
Got one new cert in 2018: 38.2 percent
Got two new certs in 2018: 14.8 percent
Got three new certs in 2018: 5.8 percent
Got four new certs in 2018: 2.2 percent
Got five new certs in 2018: 0.9 percent
Got six or more new certs in 2018: 1.8 percent
Planned to Get No New Certs in 2019 (20.4 percent of all respondents)
Got no new certs in 2018: 64.9 percent
Got one new cert in 2018: 27.4 percent
Got two new certs in 2018: 4.8 percent
Got three new certs in 2018: 1.8 percent
Got four new certs in 2018: 0.9 percent
Got five new certs in 2018: [No responses]
Got six or more new certs in 2018: 0.2 percent
So, among those planning to get no new certs in 2019, that decision represents a continuation of the status quo for roughly two-thirds. And most of those planning on no new certs in 2019 who did actually certify last year only got a single cert.
On the other side of the coin, among those who are planning to get certified in 2019, a notable 36.3 percent took the year off from certification in 2018, while most of the rest (53 percent) got either one (38.2 percent) or two (14.8 percent) new credentials.