Assessing the Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report

Guy on phone with laptop excited

Somewhat later in the year than is usual, the annual Global Knowledge 2016 IT Skills and Salary Report has been released (PDF format, registration required). By way of full disclosure, I should mention that I was hired to edit this report and make suggestions for summarizing the survey results it covers.


That said, I exercised neither influence nor shaping on its data, analysis, or content. This survey draws on information from more than 10,000 respondents in North America, plus more than 4,000 other respondents from elsewhere around the globe.


The overall report is definitely worth a read-through, and covers a great many informative and possibly useful trends and data points, as this participant profile graphic illustrates:


Ed T Figure 1 6 24 2016


In a nutshell, what this infographic shows is that, when compared to 2015 results, salaries are down a little (about 3.5 percent), the proportion of respondents receiving raises remains steady at 3 out of 4, and bonuses are slightly up with 2 out 3 receiving them. (Actual bonus amounts, on the other hand, are down by nearly 50 percent!)


The male-to-female ratio is still skewed but improving, and the percentage of respondents with college degrees is up (nearly 3 out of 4 have them). Later on in the report intro, we learn that cybersecurity and cloud computing skills are in highest demand, that network and systems engineering and operations remain high-priority skills as well


IT architecture and security, however, continue command the highest salaries overall. PC Magazine combed through the report to highlight the seven highest-paying IT certifications, which are as follows:


? Project Management Professional (PMP): averaging $112,153 annually
? Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): averaging $112,931 annually
? Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): averaging $120,933 annually
? Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): averaging $121,177 annually
? Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC): averaging $121,424 annually
? Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect - Associate: averaging $123,801 annually
? Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT): averaging $131,443 annually


What blows me away about this list is how many of its 7 slots come from a single sponsoring organization — namely, ISACA, which includes the CISA, CISM, CRISC, and CGEIT credentials within its certification portfolio. This certainly puts them at the top of some heap, and must make them feel pretty good about where they and their credentials are today, and where they're headed in the future.


Dude and lady at laptop in conversation

My favorite part of the survey appears on pages 18 and 19, wherein we learn how professionals stay up to date and see how various methods for keeping skills current stack up against one another, as well as the most typical vehicles for training delivery.


Here's a quick summary of that data, which is quite interesting indeed:


When it comes to overall methods for keeping up with the current and advancing state of one's art, the prevailing methods in order from most to least popular are (average percentages agreeing with items appear in parentheses to the right of each one):


? Researching topics online (85 percent)
? Attending webinars online (65 percent)
? Self-paced e-learning sessions (64 percent)
? Professional face-to-face seminars or conferences (63 percent)
? Downloading white papers or other company/organization literature and documents (59 percent)
? Reading and/or contributing to a blog (50 percent)
? Classroom training (46 percent)


Breaking down how respondents get trained elicits the following responses (ditto previous list):


? Informal learning sessions at work (46 percent)
? Live instructor-led training online (47 percent)
? Joining an online community (38 percent)
? Formal training sessions at work (38 percent)
? Download apps or content onto mobile device (36 percent)
? Posting to or following someone on Twitter or LinkedIn (19 percent)
? Using DVD-based training tools (10 percent)


This tells me that the digital universe has become the source and fountain for learning, training, exploration, and professional activity of all kinds. Classroom training is still nice, but gosh, it's so twentieth century! Nearly all the methods and delivery mechanisms that all respondent prefer and use begin and end at the Internet.


Certification remains an important focus for IT professionals, too, according to this latest report. Nearly nine out of ten respondents have earned at least one professional certification, and ranges from 77 percent for entry-level respondents to as high as 92 percent for IT professionals in executive positions.


Twenty-nine percent of respondents reported earning a certification in the preceding half-year, 40 percent report they are currently working on a certification, and is highest for those in the early stages of their careers (67 percent) declining steadily until you get to those in C-level jobs (44 percent).


As the report notes, interest in certification remains vigorous and continues to grow. Furthermore, some technical disciplines (networking operations and engineering, cloud computing, and help desk) are more inclined to favor certification, while others are less inclined to do so (development, business analysis, and project management).


According to respondents the Top 5 certification categories of interest are CompTIA, Cisco, security, Microsoft, and ITIL plus IT service management.


There's lots of interesting stuff to read and see here. So please, grab a copy and see what else you can find for yourself!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.