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Certification Watch (Vol. 18, No. 37)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, (ISC)² stands up for minorities, Microsoft challenges you to demonstrate your Windows 10 awesomeness, and more.

(ISC)² Pledges Minority Support


Brady Bunch cube of facesThough we don't usually think of it in these terms, women are probably the most glaringly underrepresented minority group in the worldwide IT industry. Depending on where you live in the world, however, ethnic minorites also get the short shrift. In the United States, African Americans and Latinos combined represent less than 11 percent of the total cybersecurity workforce. That's according to a recent media release from industry group (ISC)², which curates some of the most pretigious cybersecurity certs in IT, including the industry-leading CISSP. (ISC)² is making plans to address the lack of diversity in cybersecurity at a first-time event hosted by the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals. The inagurual ICMPC National Conference of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals will be held in March of next year in Washington, D.C., and (ISC)² officials will be on hand to discuss the ongoing underrepresentation of key groups in cybersecurity at a time when the demand for trained security professionals is already through the roof and increasing by the day. Full details of the conference have not yet been announced, but there's a website to help interested parties keep track of the details as they're disclosed.


Cisco Beefs Up Social Sharing Tool at Cisco Learning Network


Cisco has put a lot of effort and devotion into creating a robust online community at Cisco Learning Network for the army of IT pros who already hold, or are in pursuit of, Cisco's many IT networking certifications. If you're seeking Cisco certification, then you can find an unusual level of support and collegiality by getting involved there. Earlier this week, Cisco Learning Network blogger Brett Lovins made a brief post to announce that CLN has recently upgraded the social medial sharing tools for community members. If the Cisco Learning Network is new to you, then you may also enjoy viewing the video included in Lovins' post that gives a two-minute overview of what Cisco Learning Network is and how it can help with your certification pursuits.


CompTIA Certs an Integral Presence at Western Governors University


In addition to lecture hall, homework, and study groups, the back-to-school months at most universities are marked by things like dorm parties, campus activities, and athletic events. Of course, that's only if you're at a brick-and-mortar school. And, yeah, that term probably sounds peculiar when used to describe what is overwhelmingly the predominant worldwide model for post-secondary education. Online universities are up-and-coming, however, and one of the longest-tenured is Salt Lake City-based Western Governors University, online since 1997. A new post at CompTIA's IT Careers Blog highlights the WGU model this week, including how well-suited it is to IT certification. Because it is "competency based," WGU uses certification testing where possible in lieu of more traditional final exams. So for some WGU students, CompTIA certification could both determine their standing in school, and also provide an instant calling card for that post-graduation employment search. It's not the norm yet, but there may be a time in the near future when, in certain circumstances, certification and college curricula are virtually indistinguishable.


Let Your Oracle Flag Fly at OpenWorld and JavaOne


It's not quite time to pack your bags yet, or make sure that the cat got dropped off at the pet hostel. The zero hour for kickoff of the OpenWorld and JavaOne conferences, colocated in San Francisco and hosted simultaneously by Oracle at the end of October is, however, creeping closer. At the end of last week, Oracle Certification blogged about some of the benefits available to attendees at the upcoming all-in-one mega-event. For example, you can get a certification exam voucher for just $100 by taking advantage of special offer for conferencegoers. There are accelerated training sessions available for early-bird arrivals to San Francisco, as well as prizes, ribbons and more. Look, if you end up being the only person at OpenWorld who didn't get a certification ribbon, well, don't blame us.


Microsoft Issues Windows 10 KIPI Challenge


The gauntlet has been thrown! Think you know Windows 10 backward and forward? Are you one of the early adopters who's been messing with the beta since before last Halloween? Microsoft Learning is double-dog daring you to show your stuff. The latest version of Microsoft Learning's "Know It. Prove It." Challenge officially got underway earlier this week on Tuesday. The challenge must be complete through Microsoft Virtual Academy, and will test your knowledge of the Windows 10 development and management tools. Everyone who completes the KIPI challenge before Oct. 15 will be entered to receive a special trip to Redmond, Wash., for a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Microsoft corporate campus. Yes, it's not Disneyland, but it probably beats hanging out at, say, the corner malt shop.


Got a Cybersecurity Cert? Go Get Surveyed


The latest salary survey from the good folks at Certification Magazine is presently underway. No, it's not the big one (which is still to come and likely to materialize at the end of October), but the topic is certainly a winner. This survey addresses cybersecurity certifications. We've all heard that security certification is presently hotter than a fur coat in July, but what does that really mean for your career prospects? We can all find out together, if enough certified IT security pros head to and take the survey.


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..