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CompTIA Eyes New Certs: Big Data, Python, 'Expert' Tier

Tech industry association CompTIA is contemplating a major expansion of its popular IT certification program. Among the new credentials under consideration are data science certs and a Python security cert.

CompTIA could soon dramatically expand the scope and coverage of its certification program.Tech industry association CompTIA has been issuing information technology (IT) certifications for more than 25 years. In that time, CompTIA has created a strong certification brand that, in particular, emphasizes credentials that verify entry-level mastery of core technology skills.

 

That brand could be about to evolve, according to a new press release that unveils a bold vision for the future of CompTIA certification. In addition to expanding the breadth of its IT coverage, the CompTIA certification program would, if all of the proposed changes take root, create and issue new "expert" credentials.

 

CompTIA notably at present does not have any certifications that fall under the Big Data umbrella, one of the few major IT specializations its certification program does not address. That could change in the near future, with credentials that address the rapidly expanding data science and data anaytics realms.

 

Programming languages in general are an area where not just CompTIA, but the wider IT certification industry frequently comes up short. Some programming languages, like the popular Java language owned by Oracle, have numerous certification options, but many others are largely ignored.

 

CompTIA could soon make its first foray into programming language certification with a niche security credential tied to the popular Python programming language. The proposed Python security cert would add to CompTIA's cybersecurity coverage, the most robust portfolio in the CompTIA certification program.

 

Security has already been a proving ground of sorts for CompTIA: The only expert-level certification that CompTIA has created to date is the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) credential.

 

CASP+ may not stand alone for much longer. In addition to launching new Big Data and security credentials, CompTIA could soon add expert-level credentials across its entire program, bumping up its coverage in areas such as networking, cloud computing, project management, Linux, and hardware/software deployment and maintenance.

 

CompTIA presdient and CEO Todd Thibodeaux said in the above-linked press release announcing the changes that CompTIA has regular discussions with employers, industry partners, and subject matter experts to identify areas where additional certification coverage is needed.

 

"In some instances, a new certification addresses current gaps in skills," Thibodeaux said. "In others, it enables tech professionals to add new skills related to the emerging technologies that are expanding their footprints within companies."

 

CompTIA regularly refreshes its existing certifications — new versions of the A+ and Linux+ certification exams have been launched this year alone. The addition of new certifications, if CompTIA follow throughs on its new proposals, would not disrupt scheduled updates of existing credentials.

 

There are no specific release dates or new certification titles at present, but new certs could be available as soon as next year.