Salary Survey Extra: What is your most recently earned IT certification?
Posted on
April 21, 2022
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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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Sometimes in life the more that you do something the easier it becomes to continue to do that thing. The human physiologist and cultural commentator William Martin Joel once speculated about the existence of a theoretical auxiliary reserve of energy and willpower that he described as being like a “wind.” As Joel once wrote, “Don’t forget your second wind.” He further postulated that “sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in.”

Since most IT certifications require the credential holder to periodically recertify, the certification process has built-in propulsion that carries your ambitions forward. As long as you keep learning, momentum carries you forward. Along those lines, one of the questions we ask each year in our Salary Survey is for each survey respondent to identify their most recently earned certification.

For some people that may be the only certification they've ever gotten. Or it may be a credential that finished off a run of certifications several years ago. In other words, that one question by itself is not necessarily indicative of which certifications have a lot of current and active interest. For many survey participants, on the other hand, certification is something that comes around every year, or couple of years.

That’s why we also ask survey respondents how many new certifications they've earned in the past year. And roughly 65 percent of certified IT professionals who responded to our 2022 Salary Survey earned one or more new certifications. About 30 percent earned two or more. So we can make at least a partial comparison that does give some indication of which IT certifications are attracting high levels of interest among certified professionals.

To start out with, here's the unfiltered list of most recently earned certifications. These are the Top 25 responses:

1) (ISC)² CISSP
2) (ISC)² CCSP
3) Okta Certified Professional
4) ISACA CISM
5) CompTIA Security+
6) ISACA CDPSE
7) (ISC)² SSCP
8) (ISC)² CISSP Engineering
9) Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst
10) (ISC)² CISSP Management
11) Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
12) Okta Certified Administrator
13) CompTIA A+
14) EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
15) (ISC)² CISSP Architecture
16) ISACA CRISC
17) ISACA CISA
18) Amazon Web Services Certified Cloud Practitioner
19) Cloudera Certified Associate Administrator
20) (ISC)² CAP
21) (ISC)² CSSLP
22) CompTIA Network+
23) IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert
24) Okta Certified Consultant
25) AXELOS ITIL Foundation

Now let's limit our search to only responses given by survey participants who actually earned a certification in the 12 months prior to the survey. Here's what that list looks like:

1) (ISC)² CISSP
2) (ISC)² CCSP
3) Okta Certified Professional
4) ISACA CDPSE
5) (ISC)² CISSP Management
6) Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst
7) ISACA CISM
8) Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
9) (ISC)² CISSP Engineering
10) Okta Certified Administrator
11) (ISC)² SSCP
12) CompTIA Security+
13) Cloudera Certified Associate Administrator
14) Amazon Web Services Certified Cloud Practitioner
15) (ISC)² CISSP Architecture
16) Associate of (ISC)²
17) IBM Certified Advanced Technical Expert
18) Okta Certified Consultant
19) ISACA CRISC
20) (ISC)² CSSLP
21) CompTIA CASP+
22) EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker
23) IBM Certified Solutions Implementer
24) Cloudera Hadoop Data Platform (HDP) Certified Administrator
25) Cloudera Hadoop Data Platform (HDP) Certified Developer

Some of the ordering of the list has changed a bit, but there's a lot of common ground between the two lists. So maybe it's fair to look at either list if you want to know which credentials are currently popular among the global community of certified IT professionals.

Perhaps there are a lot of IT folks out there who just missed the "past year" cutoff when they were taking the survey, but are still earning the same certs as most of the rest of our respondents. At any rate, if you're looking for a certification that's currently (or at least recently) of interest to a lot of certified IT professionals, then this is a reasonable place to start your search.

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. Subscriber to CertMag here.

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