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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 10)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, ISACA issues call for greater involvement in addressing the IT gender gap, Certification Magazine has more info about creating your own certification program, and more.

ISACA Blogger Calls for Broader Participation in Recruiting Women to IT


Women having business discussionToday being International Women's Day, this feels like an opportune moment to call attention to the increasingly problematic IT gender imbalance. Security and governance association ISACA recently released a new report titled "The Future Tech Workforce: Breaking Gender Barriers." In particular, the report details five significant roadblocks to increasing the participation of women in the global IT workforce: a lack of mentors, a lack of female role models, gender bias in the workplace, unequal career growth opportunities, and unequal compensation. (In support of that last point, the most recent Certification Magazine Salary Survey found that female IT professionals, on average, earn around $5,000 less per year than their male counterparts.) At the ISACA Now Blog, information security executive Jo Stewart-Rattray said that it's incumbent upon all IT professionals to take a role in making the IT realm a better, more inviting place for women to launch and sustain careers. If you know anything about the sometimes hotly-debated IT skills gap, then it seems readily apparent that one obvious solution is to boost the involvement of women in IT professions to a level well north of the frequently reported single-digit participation percentages.


Cisco Boards the Digital Badging Bandwagon


Attention, all certification program curators: If your organization still hasn't decided that the time for digital badging is now, then you're in danger of being left behind. The convenience and portability of badges is winning over one Big Cheese after another. Per a post at the end of last week to Cisco Learning Network's Certifications and Labs Delivery Blog, Cisco is the latest IT certification player to be called up to the major leagues of digital badging. As others have been, Cisco was drawn to the convenience and greater security of web-enabled online certification markers, the ease of certification verification, and the increased flexibility of tying into employment opportunities. Cisco is the latest to join Pearson VUE's pioneering Acclaim digital badging platform, which already services such IT certification heavyweights as Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, VMware, ISACA, and Teradata.


Oracle Certification to Credential Holders: Digital Badging Better for All of Us


In other news of the digital badging boom, Oracle Certification is also blowing the horn for digital badging this week. Oracle was one of the first to take advantage of Pearson VUE's Acclaim platform, and they appear to be pleased as punch with the results. Oracle Certification blogger Brandye Barrington reports that digital badging helps employers avoid (among other things) the cost crunch of making a bad hire by simplifying the process of verifying claimed IT certifications. Barrington cites research from IT service management bigwig AXELOS, which recently put a number to the cost of hiring unqualified employees. AXELOS data shows that, over the past three years, 40 percent of employers in the United Kingdom spent more than £10,000 (about $12,000 U.S.) on rehiring after bringing in someone who ended up not having the qualifications claimed on hiring materials.


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