Salary Survey Extra: The standard-issue virtualization professional
Posted on
July 16, 2016

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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

What does a senior specialist in virtualization look like?

When it comes to IT, there is typically no one size β€” or one description β€” that fits all. People in IT are a pretty diverse lot. We do find outliers: As countless studies and surveys have shown, for example, most of the working professionals in the IT realm are men. Indeed, 97 percent of the virtualization professionals who responded to our recent Salary Survey PLUS are male.

Despite certain characteristics that predominate, however, you can't generally round up a group of working professionals and draw a tidy box that fits them all. So the headline that we've used here is somewhat misleading. There is no profile that fits everyone in our survey. We did find, however, that more than half (55.9 percent) of all respondents occupy a similar stratum in the workplace pecking order: senior specialist.

If you pursue, or are already pursuing, virtualization as a career path, then there's a good chance that you'll spend some time in a senior specialist role. What then, are some of the other characteristics of IT workers who occupy this rung on the organizational ladder? Some workers at that level got there relatively quickly: 26.3 percent of senior specialists in our survey have only worked in virtualization four or fewer years. Nearly half (42.2 percent) have worked in virtualization between five and nine years, while the remaining 31.5 percent have 10 or more years of professional virtualization experience.

For many senior specialists, certification has directly impacted their work during much of the time that they've been involved in virtualization. Nearly 75 percent of senior specialists in the survey have worked in a role that directly utilized their certified skills for five or more years.

There's not much collective youth among senior specialists: Just 5 percent are 34 or younger, with 58 percent checking in between the ages of 35 and 44. The 45-and-older crowd is relatively evenly split between those in the 45-to-54 age bracket (21 percent) and those in the 55-to-64 group (16 percent).

Interestingly, not quite half (49 percent)of the certified professionals in the senior specialist crowd are college educated. A notable 19 percent have no more education than a high school diploma, while 32 percent claim post-high school technical training, but no college degree. Among degree holders, most (36 percent) are four-year graduates, though there is a contingent (13 percent) who have master's degrees.

Finally, a majority of the senior specialists we surveyed have jobs with large employers. About 33 percent work for companies with more than 10,000 employees, while 22 percent have between 1,000 and 10,000 coworkers.

If you're self-employed and hoping to land in the virtualization niche, take heart: About four percent of the senior specialists we heard from are their own bosses. And speaking of the Boss ...

MIGHTY, MIGHTY BOSS TONES It's a presidential election year, and one of the things everyone wants to know is, "Who does Bruce Springsteen endorse?" The rock icon first got tangled up in presidential politics when Ronald Reagan made a stab at invoking the spirit of Springsteen's hard-driving "Born in the U.S.A." in 1984, a proposition that the Boss himself rejected.

Hillary Clinton got a more favorable reaction when she used the Sept. 11-inspired "The Rising" during her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama. Springsteen's music has yet to surface on the 2016 campaign trail. Since we like to be ahead of the game, however, we used the Not-So-Serious portion of our survey to ask virtualization professionals what tune they would choose to inspire the voting masses. Here's what we learned:

"Born to Run" β€” 30 percent
"Born in the U.S.A." β€” 30 percent
"Human Touch" β€” 13.3 percent
"Pink Cadillac" β€” 11.1 percent
"The Rising" β€” 8.9 percent
"This Hard Land" β€” 6.7 percent

Original question: If I were a political candidate, the Bruce Springsteen song I would play at my rallies is ...

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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