Salary Survey Extra: Remember when there was a total eclipse?
Posted on
April 5, 2018

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

What did YOU do during the total eclipse of the sun that occurred on Aug. 21, 2017?

Most of the time when people talk about a “total” eclipse, they’re probably thinking of that one song by Bonnie Tyler. By the way, if you’ve never seen the “literal video version” of that one song by Bonnie Tyler, then, hoo-boy, stuff like that is the reason YouTube exists, and oh, the laughing! It hurts! (That one song by Bonnie Tyler is “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” released in 1983.)

Last summer, however, there was an actual factual total eclipse, or more accurately, a total solar eclipse. On Aug. 21, people around the world, but especially in the United States, took anywhere from a few minutes to several hours out of their normal routine to watch as the moon passed directly in front of the sun, temporarily darkening the sky and lowering surface temperatures.

For some, it was a not-to-be-missed, once-in-a-lifetime spectacle that demanded complete attention on the level of driving hundreds of miles and camping out to get the best possible view. For others, well, work doesn’t change because there’s an eclipse. Besides which, in 2017, is this really the be-all and end-all that it must have seemed to our distant human ancestors, who were less aware of what was actually happening?

The connection to IT certification and salary, of course, is that we decided to find out whether certified IT professionals were apt to geek out, or shrug and continue on about their business. It’s exactly the sort of thing that we keep that Not So Serious section at the end of the survey around for.

Even if you didn’t participate in the 2018 Salary Survey — and if you didn’t, then we certainly hope that you’ll plan to participate in the fall — you can see what your IT-certified peers had to say, and compare to how you yourself responded at the time. All right, then, let’s find out what the people think!

Q: At the time of the recent solar eclipse:

I went outside, borrowed some glasses from a coworker, and checked it out. — 42.7 percent
I deliberately ignored the whole foolish business. It’s just the moon, passing in front of the sun. — 25 percent
There was an eclipse? — 21.3 percent
I called upon the eldritch wizardry of Gaia to keep the demon Ahazazel at bay. Just to be on the safe side, I also sacrified my neighbor’s goat. — 5.8 percent
I drove hundreds of miles and camped out so I could fully experience the sheer life-affirming awesomeness of “totality.” — 5.1 percent

So, yeah, there it is. Apparently more certified IT professionals sacrificed a goat than felt the tug of celestial phenomena so powerfully that they rushed to where the viewing opportunity would be finest.

It’s probably consistent with most of humanity that the biggest segment of survey respondents reacted more or less on the level of “Well that was something cool.” On the other hand, one-fourth of all respondents completely blew it off? There just might be a few more curmudgeonly cranks in IT than you’d find in the world at large.

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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