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 These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.
It was the noted paleoherpetologist and philosopher of the human condition David Coverdale who observed that sometimes living life means a solo repetition of various things that one has done before. "Here I go again on my own," Coverdale said. "Walking down the only road I've ever known."
Certified IT professionals frequently live in a "here I go again" kind of world, where your can't spend too much time dwelling on what you just accomplished, because there's always more to do, more to learn, and more to prove. Take IT certification, for example: You barely have a year or two to rest on your laurels before it's time to get certified all over again.
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 2023 (be sure to scroll down the page).
We also asked survey respondents how many of them were planning to get at least one new certification in 2023. Some of those who had a clear-eyed vision of the road ahead have no doubt already accomplished their aims. And for those who have procrastinated, well, there's still time before the calendar turns over to 2024.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given that we directed this inquiry toward a bunch of certified IT professionals, nearly 85 percent of those surveyed (84.2 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 2022. Maybe everyone was (or still is) feeling especially ambitious about 2023, because 31.3 percent of respondents did not get any new certifications in 2022, a stark contrast to the 15.8 percent who admitted that would probably be the case in 2023.
An impressive 51.4 percent of those surveyed got either one (33.2 percent) or two (18.3 percent) new certifications in 2022. Among the remaining slightly more than 17 percent of respondents, 8.6 percent got three new certs in 2019, 3.9 percent got four new certs, 1.9 percent got five new certs, and a hard-working 2.7 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:
Planning to Get At Least One New Cert in 2023 (84.2 percent of all respondents)
Got no new certs in 2022: 25.7 percent
Got one new cert in 2022: 36.3 percent
Got two new certs in 2022: 19.5 percent
Got three new certs in 2022: 9.2 percent
Got four new certs in 2022: 4.1 percent
Got five new certs in 2022: 2 percent
Got six or more new certs in 2022: 3.2 percent
Planning to Get No New Certs in 2023 (15.8 percent of all respondents)
Got no new certs in 2022: 60.9 percent
Got one new cert in 2022: 20.6 percent
Got two new certs in 2022: 9.2 percent
Got three new certs in 2022: 5.5 percent
Got four new certs in 2022: 1.8 percent
Got five new certs in 2022: 0.8 percent
Got six or more new certs in 2022: 1.2 percent
So, among those planning to get no new certs in 2023, that decision represents a continuation of the status quo for a little less than two-thirds. And most of those planning on no new certs in 2023 who did actually certify last year only got either one or two credentials.
On the other side of the coin, among those who are planning to get certified in 2023, a notable 25 percent actually took the year off from certification in 2022. On the other hand, there's a large group who will indeed be traveling a familiar road: Roughly 75 percent of those planning to get certified in 2023 did actually get a certification or certifications in 2022, with most claiming either one (36.3 percent), two (19.5 percent), or three (9.2 percent) new credentials.