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Zeroing In on Certification

Posted by TestOut Staff on

Everybody likes numbers. (Especially that one counting guy from Sesame Street who likes to count. What's his name? That guy seriously loves numbers.) Numbers are often used for comparison, to help us choose between two different options. And sometimes they can quantify otherwise hard-to-define variables like performance or satisfaction. Most data is about numerical definitions and quantifications.


One of the more popular numbers over at Certification Magazine is 75. Each year when they do their annual Salary Survey, the CertMag folks create at list of 75 certifications, ranked in order of average annual salary. (The 75 certs are chosen based on how many survey respondents claim them. If there's a large pool of individual in the overall survey population who have a particular credential, then it's likely to make the list.

The Salary Survey 75 list is a fun snapshot of IT certification salaries. Where else, for example, could you tell at a glance that the average annual salary last year (2016) of an IT professional in the United States who has Cisco's CCNA Routing and Switching certification was $107,770? CompTIA's A+: $82,270. CISSP from (ISC)²: $133,820. Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect (Associate): $134,320. See? This stuff is fun.

On the other hand, beyond the satisfaction and smugness typically associated with "power list"-type rankings, what do you really learn from the Salary Survey 75? As we said above it's more of a snapshot than a portrait. That's why it's pretty cool that the CertMag team has started to dig a little deeper this year, offering a series of Salary Survey "Deep Focus" articles that provide more extensive information about certification holders.

We mentioned the new series in February when TestOut's own PC Pro credential was featured, but it's worthy of further consideration. You can scroll through all of the Deep Focus articles here, with 11 entries in the series so far and more to come by the end of 2017. You can find out cool things like how much education the holders of a particular certification tend to have, or what their typical standing on the company org chart is.

If you haven't checked out the series already, then it's worth investigating. And somebody pass the word along to that counting guy from Sesame Street. There are so many numbers here that he might never go back.

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