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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 48)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Training Industry reminds IT professionals about the importance of soft skills, CompTIA's one-day online tech training conference adds up, and more.

IT Pros Need Non-IT Skills to Thrive


It takes soft skills to succeed in IT."Soft skills" is one of the buzziest of buzzwords in the tech industry these days. The IT bona fides of certified professionals are rarely questioned, but in recent years it has become almost de rigeueur for tech workers to also have excellent interpersonal skills. That trend is the focus of a recent post to the IT and Technical Training blog at Training Industry. Blogger Taryn Oesch notes that the tech workers of yore mostly interacted with each other, and typically spent more of their time engaged with technology than with coworkers. In 2017, by contrast, some degree of IT fluency is part of almost everyone's job description, and IT professionals are key cogs in large-scale projects that require coordination and cooperation among numerous individuals. Effective communication is foremost among the nontraditional competencies now demanded of tech workers, but that's merely the tip of the soft skills iceberg. If you're looking to give yourself a soft skills makeover, then there's good advice here.


Cisco Says Security Certifications Are Where IT's At


(See what we did there? We used "IT" in place of "it" to make a pun. It's like nothing you've ever seen from GoCertify before! Where were we? Ah, yes ... ) There are any number of reasons that cybersecurity certification is a smart direction to take your career in. Seriously, any number. Pick one, and we'll start listing reasons. Over at Cisco Learning Network, the Talking Tech with Cisco blog picked three, and they have three pretty good reasons that you should think seriously about what information security training can do for you. For example, information security certification usually brings with it a pretty high rate of return on your initial investment in traning and exam-taking. Salaries for skilled security professionals are already some of the best in the industry, and potential employers are staring down the barrel of a huge worker shortage, so that salary math is likely to be ever sweeter in the near future.


Go West, Young IT Professional


There's a hot new, um, hotbed of IT employment opportunity, way out west in the United States where it's hot (at least in late spring, summer, and early autumn). Over at the Dice Insights blog of tech employment facilitator Dice, blogger Nick Kowalski is singing the praises of Salt Lake City, the capital city of Utah and also a burgeoning destination for tech employers and workers alike. Among its other assets, Salt Lake City (and the greater Wasatch Front metro area) is rich in millennials, a vital constituent of the tricky alchemy required to lure both established tech employers and energetic startups. As Kowalski puts it, "The influx of a young, educated workforce is a necessary element in any burgeoning tech hub, particularly for startups that need talent willing to work insane hours to transform a concept into a reality." There are other reasons that Salt Lake City and environs are suddenly on the IT map, so if you're looking for a top destination to get your IT career (or company) off the ground, then you'll likely be interested in everything else Kowalski has to say.


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