CCSK in the Wild: Survey of 2018 Certificate Holders
Blog Article Published: 10/09/2018
Even as more organizations migrate to the cloud, there’s still a concern as to how well those cloud services are being secured. According to an article by Forbes “66% of IT professionals say security is their greatest concern in adopting a cloud computing strategy.”
As you embark on your quest to fill this skills gap, you may benefit from learning how other professionals have used certificates to expand and validate their cloud knowledge. In this blog we are going to explore how Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) is being used in the wild. As the first step into this exploration we surveyed current holders to ask them how their certificate impacted their job, career and overall professional development. A summary of findings from the survey, job board postings and testimonials is shared below.
Topics we’ll discuss in this blog:
- Survey Findings
- CCSK in Job Postings
- Overview of Testimonials
Of the individuals who had successfully passed the exam, over 40 percent reported that the CCSK helped directly progress their career- either via a salary increase, promotion, or new job/role.
In some cases CCSK holders were given new responsibilities and moved from a more generic security role into a cloud-focused position. Specialization is a key, whether it be through a certification or other learning program. Mike Rosa, Sr. Director Public Sector Security at Salesforce affirmed this saying, “The CCSK sets me apart as an expert in Cloud Security, not a security generalist. The world is moving to cloud, and my resume should reflect this change.”
Another common way the certificate helped was building credibility with clients, and helping individuals work within more specialized roles. Since it offered proof of knowledge and established trust, respondents reported being able to better serve their clients' needs.
One of the more tangible benefits of a certificate is the possibility of a salary increase. Taking a look at those who reported a salary increase, we saw that 15.61 percent saw an increase between 8 percent to 10 percent. Below you can see the distribution of individuals who received an increase in salary of some kind.
Types of Jobs
What types of jobs do a CCSK holders have? We found that 22 percent of the people who received a promotion were promoted into a managerial, VP/Director, or Executive role. Titles varied, but the graphic below lists the top keywords listed in respondent’s job titles.
What types of complementary certificates did they hold or pursue? Of the people who took our survey, 52.46 percent also have their CISSP. Certificates and certifications focus on a select area of knowledge, and earning complementary certificates can be valuable. Below are some of the other certifications commonly held.
The flipside of this question also yielded interesting results. When asked which other certifications people intend to pursue we received mixed results. The percent interested in earning their CCSP was over 30 percent compared to the 15 percent who already held their CCSP when they took the exam.
As you may already be aware, one year of experience for the CCSP is covered by earning your CCSK since the two certificates complements each other. Whereas the CCSK is more tactical, the CCSP has more of a strategic focus. You’re free to draw your own conclusions, but if you’re interested in learning more about the differences between the two, you can read CCSK vs CCSP: An Unbiased Comparison.
Job Board Searches
A question we often get is whether or not employers are looking for the CCSK and how frequently it shows up in job boards. For job postings, HPE recently conducted a search of posts listing cloud certifications as a credential. They conducted the search for the CCSS, CCSP, PCSM and several other cloud certifications on the market. Below is a summary the results they gleaned for the CCSK.
February 2018 Job Search
These results vary depending on location and time of year, however, it gives a good estimate of what to expect. In an informal search during October, we discovered the following results for the United States.
October 2018 Job Search
The amount of postings went up, but the actual number of listings varies throughout the year. As with all things, it is best to do your own research before determining if the CCSK is right for you. Job titles listed included: Network Security Engineer, Security Consultant, Information Security Cloud Governance Engineer, Cloud Security Architect and Sr. Security Engineer, to name a few.
Overview of Testimonials
Last but not least we collected written feedback on how earning the cloud certificate specifically helped in people’s jobs or career. To make it easier we grouped the responses into the following categories.
Survey Testimonials Revealed
- How their career progressed
- How CCSK helped build credibility with clients
- What makes the CCSK unique from other certificates.
- How it helped them on the job
- Benefits of a vendor-neutral certificate
In following blog posts we will be exploring some of these topics more in-depth. For now we’ve listed snippets from testimonials we received that give you an idea of what people said.
How has the CCSK helped progress your career?
Whether or not you opt for a cloud certification there are plenty of ways to learn more about cloud security. A couple of free resources that CSA has available for you to use include: CloudBytes webinars, research artifacts and the CCSK Prep-Kit.