I’m skeptical about Salary Surveys & Certifications. This link was sent to me by Twitter. Top 15 Highest-Paying Certifications in Technology?Industry. I found the source document here. Many of my comments are from page 9 of the PDF. I would like to hear your thoughts and leave a few comments. Leave a comment below.

  • Based on the protocol information on page 12, this data is 2 years old. It is now being shared on blogs. Bloggers make mistakes (I make mine), but let’s not forget to do some research before we reprint it!
  • The average salaries for PMP or CAPM are almost equal? Wha? Is this just me or does this totally contradict the requirements of these certifications?
  • There are many posts that promote the table on page 9 without any context. This gives the impression that “If xxx certification, I’ll have a good shot at landing the average salary table!” This is incorrect! Even if the data are accurate, professionals who have been managing projects for decades can go back and obtain certification. This can artificially increase the average. This can only prove correlation and not a causal relationship. This is evident on page 10 of the PDF. It contains the following statistic:

“In our survey, over half of respondents said that certification had not had any impact on their salaries.” This is self-report data. I would be happier with anonymous salary data from the company. This could include job role/class, tenure with company, years of education, formal education, and so on. Then you can adjust for other variables such as tenure, experience, education, gender [unfortunately, we haven’t eliminated gender bias across all companies yet so this must be controlled for], etc. You can then isolate a stronger relationship between certifications and salaries. Get started to build your PM career. But that’s not my main point. I don’t want anyone to think that getting a certification will make them a millionaire. Do you want to get a certification? If you’re interested, you can see my reasons for passing the PMP exam.

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