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CompTIA Suspends Wireless Certification Plans

For the first time ever, ailment CompTIA has cancelled plans to launch a new certification program that was under development

Earlier this week, the Wireless+ certification quietly disappeared from the CompTIA Web site. When we contacted CompTIA to find out what this was about, they told us that they have put plans to develop a vendor-neutral wireless certification on indefinite hold.

According to Brian McCarthy, chief operating officer for CompTIA, the current state of the wireless industry does not facilitate the development of a foundation level, vendor-neutral certification. "In the discussion process that is the starting point for exam development, our members identified the broad scope of the current wireless industry. We determined that until the diverse audience, individual job roles and number of wireless applications are more clearly defined we need to postpone the development of the exam. It's simply too early to determine a single benchmark," says McCarthy.

"In the meantime," he continues, "we will focus our efforts on our existing foundation-level, vendor-neutral certifications to ensure that they continue to offer a benchmark for best practices and current IT industry standards."

CompTIA currently offers 11 foundation level certifications. Many them were either developed or acquired over the past two years. The latest CompTIA certification, HTI+ (Home Technology Integrator) launched in June of 2002. Administering and updating these certifications is a resource intensive task. It's good to see that CompTIA recognizes the importance of maintaining the quality of its existing programs, rather than rushing on to the next certification opportunity.

CompTIA isn't the only company encountering barriers to a successful wireless certification program; Ericcson's wireless certification program was quietly discontinued last year. A few other non-wireless certification programs have fallen by the wayside as well, so the demise of Ericcson's program may be more of a comment on the certification marketplace as a whole rather than wireless in particular.

But computer professionals still have several wireless training and certification options to choose from. Planet3Wireless is leading the way in the wireless certification marketplace, with a full slate of wireless certification options. The Planet3Wireless program offers vendor-neutral wireless certifications at several skill levels, ranging from entry-level through expert. An instructor designation is also available.

Additional wireless-related certifications are available from several other sources. GlobalNet Training Solutions offers a certified wireless administrator designation, and has a second designation that's slated for release this year. Cisco Systems launched two wireless LAN certifications in October, under its Cisco Qualified Specialist certification program.

As wireless technology grows in prominence, the demand for qualified professionals who can install, maintain, and develop for this medium will only grow. The value of wireless certification as a professional credential will likely grow with it.