The title of this blog post, just so you know, is a trademark violation. OK, technically it probably isn't, since we aren't using said title to market a brand or sell merchandise. Since words and phrases can be trademarked, however, we'd have to license the usage of "strength in numbers" from the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association if, for example, we wanted to charge you to read our ruminations and pontifications. Or maybe we'd only be violating the trademark if the point of charging you to read this blog post were to sell oversized foam fingers, say, or t-shirts. It's complicated.
Here's something that's not complicated. Our friends at Certification Magazine are conducting their annual IT certification Salary Survey. And any of you who have at least one current IT certification need to stop reading and go take the survey. The point of the Salary Survey is to gauge the impact of certification on IT career success, especially as it relates to compensation (naturally — it is a salary survey, after all). There's more to it than that, and many more questions to be answered than just the expected ones about income, bonuses, raises and so forth.
Getting back to the title of this post for a second, your participation matters because, especially when it comes to surveys and statistics, there really is strength in numbers. The more people who take the survey, the more reliable and representative the data will be. Smaller quantities of data means more generalizations, diminished ability to target specific credentials or particular groups of individuals, and generally less reliable conclusions overall. Representative samples don't necessarily have to be large, but size does matter and bigger is almost always better.
Besides, the Certification Magazine crew isn't just asking them to do you a solid. Provided that you're eligible to take the survey, and you take it all the way to the end, you can get a pretty sweet reward: A one-year subscription to the digital edition (four total issues) of Certification Magazine free of charge, or a one-year print subscription at 40 percent off the normal rate of $20. Not only that, but your free (or discounted) subscription will kick in with the January publication of the Salary Survey edition of the magazine. That's the big one!
It's sort of like subscribing to Sports Illustrated and having the Swimsuit Edition be the first thing to show up in your mailbox. Not really like that at all, in a strictly pictorial sense, of course. But in the sense that it's the wildly most popular issue of the magazine to be released each year, yeah, it is kind of like that. So remember: Strength in numbers and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. And go take the survey today.