Certification Magazine Salary Survey 2015: Interest in IT certification still strong

Certification Magazine Salary Survey 2015: Interest in IT certification still strong

Have you heard the one about the year that personal incomes shot up into the sky like a Fourth of July firework? That’s every year if you work in IT, but 2015 was especially notable. Welcome to the most lucrative IT compensation numbers we’ve ever seen — salaries are big this year.

It’s partly because of a shift in how we calculated them. You’ll see a lot of six-figure tallies when you turn the page to our bigger-and-better list of the top 75 salaries in this year’s survey. The overwhelmingly largest single group of Salary Survey respondents are American IT professionals. So we calculated U.S. salaries and non-U.S. salaries both separately and together to offer a more balanced overall salary picture.

Salaries are going up

Source: Certification Magazine Salary Survey 2015

The three-year trend in overall salaries, however, as shown in the graphic on this page, is that IT compensation everywhere is picking up steam. Overall employment is also even better than it was last year. When we checked at the end of 2014, almost 92 percent of those surveyed were employed full time. At the end of 2015, that number rose by almost five percent.

Of the more than 11,700 IT professionals who responded to this year’s survey, 96.2 percent are employed full-time, versus just 1.1 percent who don’t presently hold employment of any kind. (Part-time employment, sabbaticals, retirement and school enrollment accounts for the rest of our IT crowd.)

If you have IT-certified skills, then there’s very little reason to find yourself plowing through job search sites, unless maybe you’re looking for a job that’s even better than what you have now. The boom in the Internet of Things, the urgent and ever-present need to secure and protect sensitive data, and exploding demand for IT infrastructure are just some of the pressing reasons why the world needs more certified professionals.

Opportunity knocks, but employers are practically banging down the door of those who have certain IT skills. And while salary growth may not be as certain as death and taxes, it’s close. An impressive 62 percent of those we surveyed got a raise in 2015, compared to just 6 percent who took a pay cut.

The pay increase was small for some. Among those reporting a raise, 23 percent saw their pay climb only incrementally. A robust 40 percent of respondents, on the other hand, got an increase of between 3 and 6 percent, while 17 percent had their pay go up by between 7 and 10 percent. That leaves nearly 20 percent of those surveyed who really rang the bell, getting a larger-than-10-percent salary boost.

And while there are many different factors that determine salary, IT certification is certainly playing a role. Roughly 35 percent of those surveyed received a raise in the first year after getting their most recent certification. Out of that group, almost 70 say that certification was a key factor in getting a raise, while 8 percent attribute the raise directly to adding a cert to their list of job qualifications.

There’s much more to tell than we have room for in print, and we’re not stopping here. Keep your eyes glued to CertMag.com in the months ahead, and we’ll check in there with new survey data every week.

TABLE TALK : Is your cert worth more than it used to be? There’s a pretty good chance of that. Not every IT certification gains in value from one year to the next, but quite a few of them do:

Change in certification values from 2014 to 2015

Reposted with permission from Certification Magazine. View the original article here.


2016 IT Hiring Trends and Salaries are on the Rise

2016 IT Hiring Trends and Salaries are on the Rise

As reported in the 2016 Salary Guide for Technology and IT published by Robert Half Technology, “A demand and supply imbalance that has affected the IT hiring market for years will likely continue in 2016.” There are so many IT-related positions that are being created in the United States employers often must wait months to staff these roles. Many of these positions are staying open because candidates aren’t even applying. According to the report, “It isn’t just the shallow pool of available talent contributing to the lack of response; it’s that many candidates don’t have to look very far – or at all – to find their pick of employment opportunities. Highly skilled and experienced IT Professionals, even those who aren’t actively seeking jobs, often receive multiple offers. And the employment offers are fiercely competitive: Above-market pay and other attractive financial incentives are common, and offers may include stock options, flexible work schedules and other perks.” Suffice to say that the IT job sector is doing extremely well.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, average national salaries in the IT sector in the U.S. for 2016 are well on the rise — especially in IT administration, database administration, web development, mobile application development, and security.

In IT Administration:

  • Mobile Applications Developers in 2016 earn $115,250-$175,750 - an increase of 8.2% from 2015 to 2016.

In Database Administration:

  • Data Analysts in 2016 earn $74,500-$114,500 - an increase of 5.6% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Database Administrators in 2016 earn $95,750-$142,750, an increase of 5.6% from 2016 to 2016.
  • Database Developers in 2016 earn $103,250-$153,250 - an increase of 5.7% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Database Managers in 2016 earn $118,000-$170,500 - an increase of 5.9% from 2015 to 2016.

In Web Development:

  • Web Designers in 2016 earn $67,000-$112,250 - an increase of 5.8% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Web Administrators in 2016 earn $68,750-$106,250 - an increase of 3.9% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Front-End Web Developers in 2016 earn $79,750-$111,250 - an increase of 6.1% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Web Developers in 2016 earn $78,500-$129,500 - an increase of 6.4% from 2015 to 2016.
  • E-Commerce Analysts in 2016 earn $88,000-$129,500 - an increase of 5.7% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Senior Web Developers in 2016 earn $111,250-$154,000 - an increase of 6.6% from 2015 to 2016.

In Security:

  • Network Security Administrators in 2016 earn $103,250-147,000 - an increase of 5.3% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Systems Security Administrators in 2016 earn $105,500-149,500 - an increase of 6.1% from 2015 to 2016.
  • Data Security Analysts in 2016 earn $113,500-160,000 - an increase of 7.1% from 2015 to 2016.

To review the complete Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2016 for Technology and IT, please go here.


4-Year Degree - Not the Only Path to Good Pay

4-Year Degree - Not the Only Path to Good Pay

In a recent article posted by Mark Schneider in the Wall Street Journal (Wall Street Journal, A Bachelor's Degree is Not the Only Path to Good Pay by Mark Schneider, June 3, 2015, 7:06 p.m. ET), he mentions that a 4-year degree is often promoted as "the ticket" to high wages and a good career. Although partially correct, what most do not know is that current market research shows that short-term credentials, such as a 2-year degree or industry certifications, can also yield high wages and a good career. Mark points out that "salary statistics indicate that workers with these short-term-education credentials can make as much as—or even out-earn—those with a traditional four-year degree."

Would now not be a good opportunity to let everyone know that there is more than just one path to a good-paying career, especially those students who can not afford a 4-year degree? And, for those that can in fact afford a bachelor's degree, short-term credentials such as industry certifications have proven to be an excellent supplement to a 4-year degree.

We are seeing a trend in the marketplace that more students are now seeking these “sub-baccalaureate” credentials. As such, the number of these short-term credentials is now growing faster than the number of bachelor's degrees that are being earned. Mark points out that between 2008 and 2013 (the latest year for which the U.S. Department of Education has reported data) the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded grew by 18%, while the number of associate degrees grew by 38%, and the number of career-focused certificates granted grew over 40%. So the market has now shifted.

This does not mean that a 4-year degree is not a worthwhile endeavor. It simply means that many students and professionals simply do not have the money, time, or energy that it take to pursue a 4-year degree and now there is an excellent alternative for those students.

We found it interesting that market data collected from the Department of Education in Colorado in 2014 on graduates from all Colorado public colleges and universities showed the median income in 2014 of those holding a 2-year degree in applied science to be $54,146, 10 years after graduation. This was almost identical to the median income of $55,287 for those holding a 4-year degree also 10 years after graduation. They were neck-in-neck with each other.

If you were to ask a student today what they want out of college, most would say that they want a good career with good pay. If you were then to ask them what they consider to be "college", most would say it is a 4-year degree. As Mark points out, "We need to break the bachelor’s-degree addiction by showing students that the bachelor’s degree isn’t the only path to strong earnings."


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