This spring, Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro issued their “2015 IT Skills & Salary Report,” representing the third time that the two have partnered on the annual survey that was begun by Global Knowledge in 2008. As part of the report, 9,611 IT professionals in the United States and Canada were polled on an abundance of issues of interest to our community. Here, summarized by me in question-and-answer format, are some of the more riveting results to emerge from this year’s effort:

 

Urgently Needed Skills:

Q:  What tops the list of skills most needed by IT teams?

A:  IT security

 

Q:  What other skills are in hot demand by IT decision makers?

A:  Network engineering, systems engineering, IT architecture, and network operations

 

Q:  What percentage of IT decision makers are experiencing notable skills deficiencies on their teams?

A:  36 percent

 

Q:  In what area do one out of every five IT decision makers have trouble finding skilled talent?

A:  Cloud


Value of Training and Certification:

Q:  What is the top reason offered by IT decision makers for the skills shortage they encounter?

A:  “We have not invested enough in training to develop the skills we need.”

 

Q:  How many technical professionals agree with the statement “Balancing my work with the need for training is important”?

A:  More than two-thirds

 

Q:  What percentage of respondents saw an improvement in their own or in their team’s effectiveness upon completion of certification training?

A:  70 percent

 

Q:  What group of IT pros was most likely to seek professional training during the past year?

A:  IT security professionals (90 percent!)

 

Q:  What three certification providers ranked as most popular by those surveyed?

A:  CompTIA, Microsoft, and Cisco


Salary:

Q:  What areas rank high in terms of average salary?

A:  IT architecture ($US108,201), cloud computing ($101,957), and IT security ($101,539)

 

Q:  How much more on average do decision makers tasked with overseeing IT operations make in comparison to their staff counterparts?

A:  42 percent more

 

Q:  What Cisco certifications ranked highest for mean salary?*

A:  CCDA ($99,701), CCNP Routing and Switching ($97,038), and CCNA Wireless ($87,187)
*Note that, to make the salary list, a certification needed to be held by at least 100 survey respondents.

 

While the rate of salary increase among those surveyed was fairly flat this past year, 75 percent of all respondents did receive an increase. In addition, 80 percent received a bonus, which is the highest percentage reported in the eight-year life of the survey.

 

In all, these statistics do show that there is plenty to get excited about when looking at a career in IT. To dig into this survey further for more intriguing details, click here. And, while you’re here on the Cisco Learning Network, take some time to learn about the training you can get in Security and Cloud, two of the areas highlighted in the “2015 IT Skills & Salary Report.”