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Certification Watch (Vol. 19, No. 41)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft provides clarification regarding its recent certification shakeup, Red Hat issues a call for presentation proposals, and more.

Microsoft Learning Offers Further Details Regarding New 'Streamlined' Certification Paths


Young woman thought process is streamlinedAs noted in this space two weeks ago, Microsoft Learning recently announced a major overhaul of its top-tier certifications, the MCSE and MCSD credentials. In a nutshell, 13 certifications got the axe and were replaced by a lean-and-mean five (5) new credentials. That level of dramatic decimation is bound to leave some people scratching their heads, and Microsoft Learning honcho Larry Kaye picked up the topic again this week with some much needed answers to suddenly topical questions. For example, "What the (heck), Larry? Seriously, what the (heck)?" That particular issue in not addressed in Kaye's 12-question rundown, but there's plenty of good information for anxious Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs). For example, Kaye's answer to Question 8 will be of interest to many: "Shouldn't Exam X or Certificaton Y also be included in your new streamlined paths?" The gist of Kaye's response is, "Whoopsie, turns out we missed a few," so the situation, at least for the moment, is still a bit fluid. Speak up now, agitated MCPs. It would seem that Microsoft Learning, at least for the moment, is giving ear (and thoughful consideration) to your concerns.


What to Expect When You're Expecting — A CompTIA Certification Exam


When it comes to preparing for and passing a certification exam, there's no silver bullet or magic formula that will guarantee success every time. You see a lot of the same advice given by different expert sources, so there are probably some core truths floating around out there. The most important thing, however, may be to find what works for you and stick to it. Some of what works for you may be encapsulated in a new post at CompTIA's IT Career News blog that offers a seven-item sampler of tried-and-true test prep strategies. Blogger Matthew Stern sorts his suggestions into two broad categories, tackling instructor-led training options first, followed by the top options for self-guided study. (That's probably the first question to ask yourself: Do I learn better when someone else walks me through a topic, or when I tackle its intricacies on my own?) The self-study heading weighs the merits of such reliable options as books and e-books, courseware, and online labs or other simulated IT environments, while the teacher-present category gives due consideration to workforce development programs, traning centers, online courses, and colleges. Whether you're relatively new to certification, or simply looking to shake up your established routine, there's good food for thought here.


Cisco Learning Network Recaps Twitter Summit on IT Security Issues


Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? (That's NCSAM for the acronym crowd.) The folks at Cisco Learning Network know, and last week they conducted a far-ranging Twitter Symposium to invite serious discussion of security issues. Just in case you were out of the loop last week, Talking Tech with Cisco blogger Gary Pfitzer posted a handy recap on Monday, taking a stroll through some of the biggest topics for discussion to emerge from the online powwow. Moderators kicked things off with the relatively benign query "Why is it so important for everyone to do their part" to serve the cause of cyber awareness, and the proceedings unfolded from there. The official hashtag for the discussion is #CiscoChat, so if you notice something in Pfitzer's rundown that you'd like to investigate further, that should help you pick up the trail.


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