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Certification Watch, Vol. 24, Issue 32

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification, IT executives are getting the biggest IT salaries, Certification Magazine takes a close look at holders of Cisco's new CCNA, and more.

Who's Getting the Most IT Salary?


How much money do IT professionals earn? Stack Overflow knows.For today's first stop, we're taking a page from the "No (Duh), Sherlock" Files, turning to a report from software developer hub Stack Overflow, which conducted a survey of IT professionals in May. You may this hard to believe, but the "job role" that gets the highest level of compensation among U.S. survey participants is "senior executive." The median annual salary for such folks is $177,500, which edges out "engineering manager" ($165,000) by a solid $12,000 per annum. So, yeah, senior IT executives in the United States get more money than anyone else on the standard organizational salary ladder, and the No. 2 slot is a management role. OK, then. The standout job role below the management/executive tier is "site reliability engineer," which landed squarely on $150,000 ($15,000 per annum below engineering manager). (Wondering what a site reliability engineer does? Here's an overview.) There's another steep dropoff after that, down to "DevOps specialist" at $135,000. From there, the decline in the salary curve slows down and the job titles are less broad and more recognizable. Rounding out the top 10 are back-end developer ($133,000), product manager ($130,000), data engineer ($129,250), game or graphics developer ($128,000), marketing/sales professional ($127,500), and data scientist/machine learning specialist ($125,000), and desktop or enterprise applications developer ($120,000). Nothing too stunning in all of that. Even in IT, it would seem, experienced marketing and sales professionals are in line for some serious cheddar.


CBT Nuggets Susses Salaries for System Administrators


Speaking of IT salaries, we've noted before in this space that some of the most interesting salary research out there is the running "honest salaries" series from IT training provider CBT Nuggets. Instead of asking working professionals what they get paid, CBT Nuggets researches job postings to see what employers in various U.S. markets are actually offering to pay for workers applying to fill a given job role. This approach is far from perfect: Many job postings either don't list a salary at all, or list a range of available salaries, or a low-end "DOE" starting salary, without pinpointing a particular figure. It's still an interesting digression from the norm, and is almost certainly a better gauge of what incoming workers can expect to earn in various locales than surveys that gather information from employed professionals. The focus for the most recent entry in the series is the system administrator job role. CBT Nuggets takes three measurements, providing a "low-end average," "average," and "high-end average" for each area described. Across most of the markets researched, the salaries are in a fairly tight range, and most of those ranges don't go any higher than $75,000 per year. For the sake of comparison, the Stack Overflow survey referenced above pegged the median U.S. salary for "system administrator" at $115,000.


CompTIA Shines Spotlight on 'Member of the Year'


We spent a lot of time in this space last week highlighting various discussions of the underrepresentation of women in IT professions. Among the comparative handful of women blazing an IT employment trail, however, tech industry association CompTIA has singled out a truly impressive individual. Wait until you see what 28-year-old Hannah Lloyd has already accomplished in IT just seven short years after beginning a full-time IT career at age 21. The U.K. native was recently named CompTIA Member of the Year for 2021, and it's not hard to see why. It's definitely worth clicking over to the CompTIA blog to read through the brief profile piece there.


Who's Got Cisco's New CCNA Certification?


What do CCNA-certified IT professionals have in common?Over at, the official website of Certification Magazine, one of the intriguing running features is the series of Deep Focus pieces that zero in on all of the participants from the annual Salary Survey who hold a particular certification. A recent Deep Focus pieces features certified IT professionals who hold Cisco's recently overhauled CCNA certification. It's been more than 18 months now since Cisco officialy unveiled the new CCNA and began phasing out the range of predecessor credentials that occupied the same level of the Cisco certification pyramid before that. If you haven't followed the Deep Focus feature, or haven't checked in on the series recently, then this is a good example (with a familiar face, so to speak) of what the series has to offer.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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