Key insights from Global Knowledge’s 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report include the following:
North American-based IT professionals are the best-paid globally, earning an average annual salary of $115,906, which is 36% higher than the worldwide average. The U.S. average salary is $120,491, leading all regions worldwide. By region, EMEA is second in average salary ($67,207), followed by Asia-Pacific ($63,125) and Latin America ($42,468). Compared to 2019, wages are marginally up in North America and Latin America and slightly down in EMEA and Asia-Pacific.
Aside from executives, the highest global salaries belong to IT professionals who work in sales and marketing ($107,082), followed closely by cloud computing ($105,310) and risk management ($104,969). Cloud professionals in the U.S. and Canada earn 33% more than the North American average and 24% more than the worldwide average. Global Knowledge’s Global Product Director for Cybersecurity Brad Puckett isn’t surprised to see high-risk management salaries, as the demand for this particular skill set is growing. “Managing risk is the single greatest cybersecurity goal among highly vulnerable business sectors, specifically finance, banking, retail, healthcare and supply chain management,” Puckett said. “Salaries continue to rise for professionals who can adequately display competencies in this skill.”
Washington, D.C. has the highest IT salaries in the country at $151,896—a 19% increase from 2019. New Jersey, California, Maryland and New York round out the top five U.S. salaries by state. California had the highest U.S. salaries in 2019.
87% of IT professionals hold at least one certification, up from 85% in 2019 and just behind the all-time high of 89% in 2018. Latin America and EMEA have the highest percentage of certified professionals (90%), while North America is below the global average for the second year in a row. Nearly 40% of certified IT professionals earned their most recent certification in the last six months, while a similar number are already pursuing their next certification at the time of the survey.
Cloud computing certifications lead to the highest salaries worldwide, with IT professionals who have earned Google Cloud certifications earning an average salary of $161,484. Worldwide, enterprise architecture certifications (e.g., TOGAF®) are linked with the top average salary ($107,827). Project management, agile and scrum certifications also have global averages of over $100,000 a year. Over half of the Global Knowledge survey respondents have at least one cybersecurity certification, making it by far the most popular category in 2020. Cisco is second (22%) and Microsoft is third (21%).
Cloud computing and cybersecurity make up the five highest-paying certifications in the U.S. and Canada. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect and ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) are numbers one and two for the second straight year. Two other ISACA certifications crack the top 10, with Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) ranking fourth and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) coming in eighth. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate has the third-highest North American salary, up one spot from last year. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, which didn’t make this list in 2019, ranks seventh ($128,620).