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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 14)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft Learning is talking about a certification revolution, CompTIA knows where to look for work in your (U.S.) state, and more.

New Microsoft Professional Program is Picking Up Speed


Computer professional in data centerThe Microsoft Professional Program was unveiled last year in Atlanta at Microsoft's annual Ignite event. Spurred by the global dual dilemma of the exploding demand for, and shrinking supply of, IT skills, Microsoft Learning created the MPP to help interested parties quickly "skill up" through a combination online courses and hands-on experience. The first MPP track, up and running since October, focuses on Data Science. Last week, Microsoft Learning executive Chris Roy took to the Born To Learn blog to discuss the program's early success. After just six months in operation, MPP has enrolled nearly 40,000 learners and graduated more than 700. The program is set to expand in June, with new tracks addressing Big Data Engineering and Front End Web Development.


Along the same lines, the Born To Learn blog recently dipped into the always relevant topic of keeping tech skills current. After all, just because you got certified and have worked in IT for a few years doesn't mean that you've magically advanced beyond all need to stay ahead of the IT learning curve. Among a handful of thoughful suggestions, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) John Deardurff points out that IT is like exercise. You can improve your overall outcome by pursuing more than one form of fitness. Deardurff uses the example of refreshing your understading of database management: At the same time that you're taking a course or reading a book to achieve that end, double down by studying up on a related field — in this case, data science.


Cisco Learning Network Demystifies Top-Tier CCDE Test


If you're pursuing a career path in network design, then you've probably at least pondered taking aim at Cisco's expert-level CCDE credential. You may even be working toward it right now. Even if you already have it, you may still be interested in a recent post to Cisco Learning Network's Unleashing CCDE blog. The post addresses the assortment of rumors that have taken root regarding the legendarily difficult CCDE practical exam. The practical exam, one of two required to claim CCDE certification, is the grueling eight-hour hands-on lab test. You can't even attempt it unless you've already passed the two-hour written exam. Blogger Elaine Lopes, a program manager for Cisco's CCDE and CCAr credentials, goes into great detail about the practical exam, and probably touches on just about any question you may have.


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