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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 12)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft puts out a call to tech support professionals, CompTIA ennumerates 10 critical skills for today's IT professionals, and more.

Microsoft Wants Input from Help Desk Professionals


Tech support guy works with cablesIt's more or less a vital survival skill in the modern business realm that workers of every stripe have at least a basic understanding of computer hardware and software. Yet though we put computer technology even in the hands of toddlers in 2017, we're still not to the point at which there's no need for people whose professional expertise is helping others to manage the tech tools required to carry out their day-to-day jobs. So it makes sense that Microsoft Learning is looking to add a new career path especially for "support professionals" to its training and certification realm. To get the new program off the ground, Microsoft Learning is recruiting real-word tech support workers to come to its Redmond, Wash., campus in April and spend a week providing input. So if you're a skilled tech support SME (subject matter expert) and you want to get a rare glimpse of the nuts-and-bolts groundwork required to create new IT training, then clear your calendar for the week of April 17-21. Also, you have to take the Support Professional survey, so that the Microsoft Learning folks can determine whether you have the level of expertise they're looking for.


Cisco Releases Annual Report on State of Information Security


The first quarter of the calendar year is generally a fruitful time for annual reports that direct attention to this or that IT realm. Networking titan Cisco pitched in on the general hue and cry last week with the release of its Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. This is the 10th anniversary edition of the report, which for 2017 draws on data from a survey conducted among 2,900 Cisco customers worldwide. Also included in the report is data harvested from the 5,000 Cisco employees who work on the company's various security projects. One of the key findings of the survey was that companies cite a variety of limiting factors that cause them not to adopt the newest and most advanced security solutions. Cost was the biggest contstraint, cited by 35 percent of survey respondents, followed by product compatability (28 percent), complications related to certification (25 percent), and lack of skilled workers (25 percent). Also of note, the study found that most firms use a mix of security products and implement solutions from different security providers: 55 percent of security professionals surveyed use products from at least six different vendors.


Dear Diary: Oracle Certification Offers Free Certification Journal


Companies frequently encourage participation in various programs and initiatives by offering free stuff to anyone who agrees to join in. Oracle Certification wants to encourage certified professionals to share stories of personal triumphs that have arisen from getting certified on one or more Oracle technologies. Such word-of-mouth testimonials are generally viewed as being worth their (figurative) weight in (metaphorical) gold, but it's relatively rare for customers to spontaneously make such sentiments known. Hence, Oracle Certification is offering to gift qualifying certified professionals with an official Oracle Certification journal in exchange for their personal anecdotes. So there you have it, Oracle Certified Professionals. If you've been wishing that you could have a leatherbound notebook close at hand to jot down all of your secret hopes and aspirations, well, here's your chance.


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