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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 13)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA enters the controversial world of online certification exams, ISACA encourages security pros to think like a hacker, and more.

CompTIA Offers Project+ Exam Online, Answers Questions Abount New CSA+


Online study and training conceptOnline certification testing, particularly in the case of Microsoft Learning, has been a thing in IT for a couple of years now. It's also a controversial topic, primarily because of concerns about security, regarding both cheating on exams and the theft of exam questions and answers. CompTIA is either throwing caution to the wind, or else the leading IT industry association, along with new testing partner ProctorU, is confident it has a strong answer to the security question. That's because on Tuesday, CompTIA announced a major new direction in test delivery with the release of its first online certification exam. The newly-refreshed Project+ exam is the first CompTIA exam to be made available online (exclusively in the United States and Canada, at least for the time being), but CompTIA isn't stopping there. CompTIA officials say that other exams will soon follow.


One such exam that could soon be offered online is the test for CompTIA's still-brand-new Cybersecurity Analyst+ (CSA+) credential. Intended to occupy a middle ground between the foundational Security+ credential and the expert-level CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) certification, CSA+ debuted earlier this year in February. On Monday, CompTIA posted a CSA+ FAQ of sorts at its IT Career News blog, offering answers to common questions that have been raised over the past month as word of CSA+ has begun to spread through the IT certification community. You may have wondered, for example, whether passing CSA+ will renew a soon-to-expire Security+ certification. (The answer: Yes it will.) Some preparing to attempt the CSA+ exam have asked about the availabilty of study and training materials. (Limited study materials are available, but some help can be found here. Also, CompTIA's CertMaster online training tool will have CSA+ training content available later this year.) Essentially, if you've wondered something about CSA+, there may already be an answer to your question.


Micosoft Learning Offers New Low-Hassle Recertification Option


Nationwide, the multibillion dollar insurance firm that is "on your side," recently attracted attention for its series of "Life comes at you fast" advertisements. Information technology comes at you fast as well, a reality that many an IT professional is abundantly familiar with. The rapid pace of technological change is, in fact, one of the primary rationales for recertification, the periodic renewal procedure that's a fixture of many (though not all) IT certification programs. Now Microsoft Learning has a new policy in place to address the anxiety of staying current, by offering annual recertification as a perk to MCPs who feel that they're struggling to keep up. If you are a Microsoft Certified Professional, and feel that it makes sense to keep your skills sharp by renewing your certification every year, well, now you can.


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