The IT Certification Resource Center

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Even as some certification programs grew at an astounding rate, doctor others quietly slipped away. Evidence of the value of certification is strong, and the new watchword for exam cheaters who would dilute that value is beware.

What's happened over the past year in the world of certification? You already know the bits that affect you directly, but there have been plenty of moves and shifts that affect the state of certification as a whole and its value to IT professionals and their employers. Whether you've already earned a certification (or three) or are still assessing the opportunities offered by certification, understanding the position of certification in the IT community will help you define your future certification efforts.

From 1998-2000, certification exploded into our consciousness and onto hundreds of thousands of resumes. Its initial appeal lay in its ability to add an extra sparkle to a resume that would quickly catch the eye of potential employers -- a way to demonstrate self-motivation, professional competency, and knowledge of the latest technologies. And it did so without requiring an additional two to four years of formal schooling. Often the necessary learning could be accomplished through self-study. Pretty good return for an investment of a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars.

In 2001, the beacon of certification continued to shine brightly, although perhaps with a steadier, less consuming flame. Over the past year, certification has begun to settle in as a well known, accepted way to credential expertise. It's not just the hot new thing anymore. IT professionals and their employers have a better understanding than ever before of what certification can and can't bring. Certification vendors have learned that creating and managing a certification program is not something to be done on a whim, or to create a quick new profit center; it takes time, commitment, and organization.

The following notable developments occurred in the certification marketplace during 2001.