Salary Survey Extra: Virtualization certification and education
Posted on
July 22, 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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.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 is the impact of education on IT virtualization salary?

Certification and higher education are not mutually exclusive aims. There are those in the IT crowd who frequently draw a battle line between the two, arguing for the merits of one above the other. More often than not, however, education and certification are complementary career bastions, standing side-by-side as the foundation of a productive and fruitful professional journey. It's possible to enjoy success in IT with one and not the other, but you're almost always better off with both.

Whenever we do a salary survey, we collect information about education. It's an interesting point of reference for a number of different items. This time around, while poring over the results of our recent Salary Survey PLUS: Virtualization, we became intrigued by the potential correlation between salary and education. For many people contemplating attending college, or returning to school in pursuit of an advanced degree, the potential for increased earning power is a key motivating factor.

So we crunched some numbers and here's what shook out. For all U.S. virtualization professionals to participate in the survey, the average annual salary without taking education into account is $94,560, while the comparable figure for international respondents is $72,390.

Among all U.S. survey respondents, those who have a bachelor's or master's degree report an average annual salary of $101,910. If you separate the two from each other, virtualization professionals who have master's degrees ($107,250) emerge comfortably ahead of those who have only a bachelor's degree ($99,840).

Among those who have completed various technical training, but hold no college degree, the salary number falls to $81,500, while those with at least a two-year college degree are doing a bit better at $86,710. There were no U.S. respondents who claimed no higher level of formal education than just a high school diploma.

Looking outside the United States, higher education appears to have a similarly positive impact on compensation. The average annual salary for virtualization professionals with either a bachelor's or master's degree is $91,440. Master's degrees, on the other, don't appear to have comparable clout elsewhere in the world, delivering a mere $83,060 in average salary, compared to the $94,730 figure enjoyed by holders of bachelor's degrees.

Virtualization professionals who claim no formal education in excess of a high school diploma are doing just fine on the international scene, with an average annual salary of $53,750. Technical training (without a college degree) nudges that number a little higher, up to $54,170, while a two-year degree pushes it up to $65,280.

A PRINCE OF A FELLOW Many observers have remarked that 2016 feels like an especially grim year in terms of the number of notable and/or well-known individuals who have passed out of this world and into Hamlet's undiscovered country. In the Not-So-Serious portion of our previous Salary Survey PLUS, we invited respondents to remark upon the death of ageless and eccentric rock icon David Bowie.

So it seemed only fitting, when launching the next survey, to ask about the passing of ageless and eccentric rock icon Prince Rogers Nelson. Though they thrived in different era, both men left an indelible mark on the realm of pop culture, each by pursuing his singular muse with a daring disregard for musical convention. How did virtualization professionals react upon learning of Prince's untimely demise?

Here's what we found out:

Dude had some great songs. I "liked" all of the memorial posts on Facebook and favorited some tweets. — 40 percent
Prince was still alive? — 16.7 percent
Never heard any of his music, but I sure do like his tennis rackets. — 15.1 percent
The world has lost a monumental thinker and visionary artist. I shaved m y head and wore sackcloth and ashes for a week. — 11.2 percent
I guess Commander Zorbatron of the Galactic Empire finally called him home. — 10.3 percent
Prince was the shiz. I "blazed a J" and gave all of m y 45s a spin. — 6.7 percent

Original question: What was your reaction to the death, on April 21, of Prince?

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