Cert-By-Number: CertMag Posts Salary Survey List
The Super Bowl is tomorrow, and the Academy Awards are on Feb. 28. The New Hampshire Primary will give some lucky Republican presidential candidate a cardiac jolt on Tuesday. 'Tis the season for picking winners, declaring victory, swaggering across the biggest stage available. For those of us who like to get geeked about IT certification, there's another thrill in the air.
At the end of January, the first new issue of Certification Magazine to roll off the presses in 2016 began shooting through the mail, and on Friday the first gusher of data from the Salary Survey conducted at the end of 2015 hit the web. The Salary Survey 75 list of the top certs in the survey was a table covering two-thirds of a page in last year's Salary Survey issue. This year it's a two-page spread in print — and now an eye-catching, browser-busting .jpg online.
The big winner on the 2015 list is PMI's Program Management Professional cert, with an average annual salary in the United States of $147,120. Open Group's TOGAF 9 credential is next ($144,250), followed by the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) cert ($143,210) curated by (ISC)2.
It's probably best to not be too dazzled by the dollar signs. The PgMP, for example, requires a college degree plus 6,000 hours of project management experience and 6,000 hours of program management experience, so just getting the credential (to say nothing of working up to a six-figure salary) requires an intense commitment. You don't get free pom-poms at cheerleading camp, and ther are no gimmes in IT certification, either.
The new Salary Survey 75 has some flashy upgrades, as noted in its particularly flowery introduction. While last year's list merely offered a global average salary for each certification, the new model has a separate tally for U.S. certified professionals, and for certified professionals in all countries outside the United States, in addition to the worldwide number.
According to Salary Survey 75 intro text, the certs listed, ranked by average U.S. salary, are "drawn from the most statistically relevant certs in the survey — those held by the largest numbers of survey respondents." While Certification Magazine conducts smaller surveys throughout the year (a Project Management salary survey was just launched), the annual survey includes several hundred IT certifications.
There will apparently be additional disclosures of survey data in the weeks ahead, including both results already printed in the magazine, as well as new results posted exclusively online.