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Certification Watch (Vol. 19, No. 36)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Cisco ponders whether certification is the same thing as work experience, Microsoft certification holders get some good news, and more.

Getting a Certification = Working in IT ... Yes, No, Maybe?


Apprentice and trainer work experience conceptIn the cost-conscious global business realm of 2016, getting a foot in the door in any profession takes both patience, skill, and probably a degree of wily inventiveness. There is, increasingly, no such thing as a paid internship and entry-level IT pros are frequently counseled to volunteer their skills in the name of establishing a work history and gaining professional credibility. Along the lines of making each investment of your time count, Cisco Learning Network's VIP Perspectives blog has an interesting new post that addresses an intriguing question. Namely, could time spent studying for and passing a certification exam be counted as work experience on a résumé? The argument to be made is that getting a cert requires problem solving, tech research, practical application of skills learned, and experience working with a team (class or study group). Those are all qualities that employers actively seek out, and a successful certification candidate could arguably claim to have succeeded in all four areas. You might not want to claim those successes as "employment background," say, without being prepared to discuss the subject thoroughly, but it's a clever proposition. And it would mean getting even more value out of each certification.


Take Your IT Language Skills to the Next Level


Have you ever noticed how quickly dandelions and bindweed can take over an untended lawn or garden patch? That's nothing compared to the speed at which jargon proliferates in the IT realm. Whether it's the ever-rising tide of acronyms, or the rapid-fire assignment of new meaning to familiar terms, tech professionals create almost as much new language as new software. A "handshake" means one thing in the world where most people live and work (two people clasp hands as a gesture of greeting or respect), and something else entirely in the digital realm (an exchange of signals that establishes a connection between two networked devices). The British Computer Society feels the pain of IT outsiders (or even insiders) who struggle to parse references to WIMP or FAT, and is now offering a solution. As of Sept. 1, the brand new 14th edition of the BCS Glossary of Computing is available to one and all. Let's face it: Even those us who work in IT can barely keep up: A handy reference guide is just the thing to help you stay abreast of discussions at the office that occasionally veer into unfamiliar territory.


Annual Certification Magazine Salary Survey Soon to Commence


It's football season again, and we all know what that means: Lots of people are about to lose money betting on sports. Speaking of money, however, the change in the weather and shift in the sports climate also means that it's almost time for the annual Salary Survey hosted by Certification Magazine. Indeed, there's a placeholder page now up at announcing that the survey will commence on Sept. 26. That's still a couple of weeks off, but getting closer by the day. If you have a current IT certification (any IT certification), then you're eligible to take the survey. And anyone who takes the survey can also take his or her pick of rewards for completing it: 40 percent off the cost of a one-year print subscription to Certification Magazine, or a one-year digital subscription that's 100 percent free. Remember, the survey won't actually be available until Sept. 26 ... but it's never too soon to put a reminder in your calendaring app of choice.


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