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Computer Certification: The Year 2001 In Review

Rising Exam Costs

Exam prices have crept upward. Early in the year, Cisco raised the price of its CCIE qualification exams from $200 to $300, and the hands-on lab from $1,000 to $1,250. Later, most other Cisco exams were bumped up from $100 to $125. Microsoft recently announced plans to raise exam prices from $100 to $125 on Jan 4, 2002. New certifications launched this year feature exams costing between $125 and $150 each. In years past, $100 was the norm. Brainbench's free online certification program has largely been retired and replaced with a for-pay exam model.

Nothing is getting cheaper. Although the price jumps are substantial, many certification vendors have kept their exam prices unchanged for years, so the increases are not unreasonable. Given the value that certification delivers, the higher exam costs are unlikely to significantly deter certification candidates.