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Certification Watch (Vol. 18, No. 36)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, the British Computer Society stands up for women, CompTIA reports on high school certification benefits, and more.

U.K. Research Reveals Paucity of Women in IT Leadership


Woman uses laptop on trainIt's a widely researched fact that women have a far smaller presence in the IT realm than men do. You can slice up IT however you like, and you will find that men predominate wherever you look. The problem is acknowledged across the IT realm and many groups are working to reverse the trend. This week, the British Computer Society said women are largely absent from leadership roles at IT firms in the United Kingdom. BCS research reveals that just 17 percent of the nearly 1.2 million U.K. IT workers are women, despite the fact that women account for 47 percent of the total U.K. workforce. And while the tide is turning in the IT realm as a whole, it's still pretty lonely for women who rise to the highest levels of the IT pyramid: Just one out of every 10 U.K. IT managers is a women. The gender gap isn't just in the hiring line, either. BCS officials report that women, on average, earn roughly four-fifths the salary of men who work in comparable IT jobs.


(ISC)² to Focus on Women at Upcoming Security Congress 2015


Speaking of the miniscule presence of women in IT, cybersecurity is a field with low female participation even by normal IT standards. (ISC)², one of the foremost security certification organizations in the world, intends to address the disparity at its upcoming annual conference. Research by (ISC)² reveals that just 11 percent of cybersecurity professionals worldwide are women, a number that (ISC)² CEO said in a statement to media is "staggeringly low." (ISC)² has plans to reach out to women at its upoming Security Congress 2015 event, with a special general session led by IT security executive Galina Antova, as well as a number of smaller drill-down sessions that will directly address the ongoing underrepresentation of women in IT security careers. Among the topics to be addressed are "Studies on Women in the Security Workforce" and "How to Attract and Retain Women in the Industry." Security Congress 2015 will be held Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 in Anaheim, Calif.


Cisco Certs and Labs Team Wants to Check In with You


If you've been involved in the learning community at Cisco Learning Network, then you may want to take advantage of a new opportunity to contribute feedback on recent exam design and delivery developments. Last summer, the Cisco Certs and Labs group launched a campaign to interface more directly with its public. The Certs and Labs team is reponsible to design, develop, document and deliver Cisco certification exams. Using social media, blogs and surveys, the Certs and Labs employees have been making a concerted effort over the past year to involve certification candidates and employers in the creation and delivery of improved certification products. The outreach is ongoing, and if you'd like to be involved, then there are a number of ways of making your voice heard. If you've ever felt that a certification exam didn't do what it ought to do, then be sure to make your voice heard. The Certs and Labs team is actively soliciting your input.


CompTIA Says Certifications Not Too Cool for School


With an autumn chill in the air and leaves about to change color everywhere, there's a back-to-school mindset in effect everywhere you turn. IT industry association CompTIA wants to remind high school students that certification can play a powerful role in preparing them to enter the workforce. Even just a decade back, there wasn't much of a niche for certification in high school, but the times have definitely changed. In 2015, certs are not just commonplace in high school, but they've even started to filter down to some middle school students. CompTIA's trumpets the good that can come of high school certification participation in a new post at its IT Careers Blog that focuses on the experience of students at two schools in Indiana. High school certification success stories are becoming more and more commonplace, so don't expect this drumbeat to die down anytime soon. If you are a high school student, or know a high school student, then spread the word: Certification is for everyone.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..