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Certification Watch (Vol. 18, No. 42)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Cisco touts sky-high security salaries, Red Hat salutes the women of Open Source, and more.

Cisco Says Get a Security Certification ... and Cash In!

 

Dee-bag celebrates good news on his cell phoneIt's (still) National Cyberscecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a state of being that has weighed heavily on Certification Watch for some time now. The drumbeat continues this week with Cisco Learning Network blogger Gary Pfitzer weighing in on skyrocketing cybersecurity salaries. Remember the old NBA Jam video, where you could unlock special sharpshooting prowess if your player made three 3-pointer in a row? "He's heating up!" (After the second 3-pointer in a row.) "He's on fire!" Pfitzer, reporting the nuts of recent CSO Online article, says that cybersecurity salaries have heated up, and are now on fire. Skilled security software engineers are pulling down an average annual income of $233,333. That's some serious cheddar. Not only that, but the already-flaming market is projected to get ever hotter: Demand for skill security pros is outpacing supply so quickly that it's aniticipated there will be a shortfall totaling 1.5 million unfilled jobs by 2015. Pfitzer's advice to anyone looking for a new IT direction: Get a security cert. We concur.

 

CompTIA Takes Note of Most Sought After Security Skills

 

Because it's National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) — wait did we mention that already? Well, it's still true. There is cybersecurity out there, and you should be aware of it. Something else you should be aware of is the top security skills that cyber-aware employers are looking for. CompTIA stepped up to the plate this week with an IT Career News blog post that spells out where cybersecurity skills demand is most intense. Security management is apparently in high demand, with employers on the lookout for professionals who can setup a successful security program and implement it across an entire organization. Security auditing skills are also being sought after, as are expertise in penetration testing and incident handling. The CompTIA piece are points job seekers toward areas where security is among the highest organizational priorities. High finance, for example. ISACA executive Eddie Schwarz, interviewed for the piece, says that bank often devote as much as 15 percent of total operating costs toward providing effective cybersecurity.

 

Oracle Declares Last Call on Recertification

 

In non-security certification news, remember how Oracle caused panic and consternation last year by announcing a comprhensive new recertification policy? Take our word for it — or rather, CertMag's word it — people were severely consternated. The hue and cry died down, eventually, but it may be about to explode all over again, because now it's time to pay the piper. Hit that last link, and you'll see an eleventh-hour reminder from Oracle Certification that the deadline to keep old certs active by recertifying is fast approaching. And by "fast approaching," we mean "locomotive 30 feet from the railroad crossing" fast approaching. (Don't even think about trying to cross in front of that sucker.) The deadline is Nov. 1, meaning that slackers and deadline pushers essentially have one week to get the ol' rear in gear, or suffer the consequences. Don't say that we (and Oracle Certification) didn't warn you, fellas.

 

Microsoft Learning Details Common Complaints About Certification Exams

 

Last week in this space we mentioned a post by Microsoft Learning psychometrician Liberty Munson, wherein she explains the process for challenging a question on a Microsoft certification exam. Which is a thing you can do, but not, apparently, one that people do often. What's far more common, as explained by Munson in an engaging follow-up post, is "candidate escalations," which seems to be a polite way of describing the phenomenon of "whining about the crappy score I got on my certification exam." If you've ever been confused about the way your Microsoft certification exam was scored, or if you just want to chortle quietly to yourself about people whose first instinct is to blame everything on something or someone else, do give it a read.

 

Red Hat Seeks Nomination for Women in Open Source Awards

 

Everyone in IT knows — or at least should know, at this point — that women tend to steer clear of IT as a profession. And the contributions of the trailblazing few who do have jobs in the field are often overlooked or underappreciated. So kudos to Read Hat for its Women in Open Source Awards program, which is currently seeking nominees for the 2016 awards. The honorees are women who "make an important contribution to open source projects and communities, or make innovative use of open source technology." That's a pretty wide net, so there's a good chance that you, as an IT pro, know of someone who should be nominated. There are two awards given, one to a nominee from the Academic realm, and one to a nominee from the Community realm. Futher nomination details and notes about prize packages are available at the link included above.

 

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..