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Certification Watch (Vol. 18, No. 49)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, there aren't enough CISSPs to go around, the British Computer Society says it's time to give the people what they want, and more.

Where Have All the CISSPs Gone? (Long Time Passing ... )


Were hiring signIn poring over the most recent U.S. employment report last week, GoCertify's own Ed Tittel noted that overall IT employment is actually waning, not waxing. Which seems a little odd, because, well, here's how Ed put it: "In the face of many widely-reported clamorings about a lack of qualified IT workers and a plethora of open positions that employers at least say they’re unable to fill, this has me scratching my head somewhat." Cue another round of widely reported clamorings, apparently, as a post to the Fortune magazine website on Monday claims that, among other symptoms of the IT "talent gap," there are not nearly enough CISSP-certified individuals to fill jobs just in the United States.


Fortune writer Gerrard Cowan says that there are presently 49,493 U.S. job postings for which a CISSP is mandatory. It's possible, of course, that some of those job postings are duplicates — and that many badly spooked U.S. employers are reaching for a sledgehammer, when all they really need is a flyswatter. (ISC)² has done an excellent job of building the CISSP brand, but CISSP is also a top-shelf cert for highly advanced security professionals. You can be a skilled security pro actively employed for a number of years and still not qualify to even take the CISSP exam. It's not necessarily a must-have prerequisite for every cybersecurity job on Earth.


Cisco Says IT Forecast Still Plenty Cloud-y


No. The answer is no. It is not time for everyone in IT to take a flying leap and just get over the Cloud. Cloud computing technology is not just the wave of the future, it is going to be the wave of the future for quite some time. That's probably the key takeaway from Cisco Learning Network blogger Gary Pfitzer's assessment of a new "state of cloud computing" report from telecom giant Verizon. Pfitzer, who posts regularly at the Talking Tech with Cisco blog, says the Verizon report indicates that 84 percent of companies surveyed have increased the cloud usage in the past year. In other words, we're all getting more, not less, swirled into the thickening billows of cloud technology. So if you're looking to get certified in a hot technology and cybersecurity is not your thing, then you should probably be taking a long look at cloud-centric certs.


Microsoft Links Up Azure with Linux, Launches MCSA for Windows 10


Speaking of the Cloud, Microsoft picked up on a hot trend this week when it announced a new certification for Azure, it's proprietary cloud computing platform. The interesting thing about this particular certification is that it involves a partnership with an organization outside the Microsoft corporate umbrella, which is either a Microsoft Learning first, or at least an exceedingly rare occurrence. The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) Linux on Azure credential is being offered in partnership with the Linux Foundation, and acknowledges the reality that many Azure implementations host virtual machines (essentially a computer inside a computer) that are Linux-based. In the words of the old marketing slogan for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, it's two great tastes that taste great together — everybody wins.


In other news of Microsoft, the tech titan has apparently reversed course on a prior declaration that it would not offer an MCSA certification for Windows 10. In fairness to Born to Learn blogger Larry Kaye, who announced on Monday that there will be a Windows 10 MCSA cert after all, his original announcement, in October, that no such thing would happen was qualified with the crucial three-word phrase "at this time." (Or at least it says that now. It's at least possible that the original post has been retconned, as they call it in comics.) And "at this time" does indeed allow for the current reality that, hey, look MCSA: Windows 10 is a thing. Details of the new certification, per Kaye, are scheduled to be released on Dec. 14.


British Computer Society Promotes the Will of the People


Back in 1975, the soul-singin' O'Jays went all the way to No. 1 with the iconic ditty "Give the People What They Want." Barack Obama revived their siren song for his similarly iconic 2008 presidential campaign, and the British Computer Society could become its next popularizer. BCS officials announced this week that, per the results of a recent U.K. survey, 89 percent of residents of Great Britain believe that individuals should exercise full control over two critical aspects of everyday online interaction: 1) what unique descriptive and identifying data is collected about them, and 2) what is done with that data by the organizations that gather it. The BCS has voiced strong agreement with both sentiments and has released a "consultation paper" in preparation for taking next steps toward the end of securing widespread privacy protections. Internet privacy is a looming battleground in other parts of the world, and it's likely that IT organizations (many of which are already beating the drum for individual rights) will increasingly take sides in the months and years ahead.


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..