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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 9)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Certification Magazine says that your boss just might be happy to pay for you next cert, Oracle Certification ponders the high cost of cheating, and more.

Can't Afford Your Next Cert? Talk to Someone Who Can


talking to the bossWe all know that certification isn't free. (Or is it?) You can certainly find ways to save on study and training, and sometimes get discounts on the cost of the test itself. But getting through the whole process from start to finish without spending a nickel? Good luck with that. You might think about hitting up a friend or relative for cash. Or you could always ask your boss to just, you know, have the company pay for the whole shooting match. Come again? It's not as crazy as it sounds, according to a new feature at the Certification Magazine website. There are actually several good reasons for employers to pitch in. Making an investment in your certification now, as a matter of fact, could save your employer a quite a bit of money down the road. Employees are assets, after all, and the more a business does to improve an asset, the stronger its overall return. There's more to in that that — check out the article for full details — but even just a nutshell synopsis might get the wheels turning in your manager's head.


What's Your Skill Development Plan?


Certification is largely about making yourself more valuable, or at least more effective and efficient, in the workplace. A huge part of that growth comes from building on your existing knowledge and skills and getting better at ... well, everything. On the other hand, it's easy to get stuck in a rut, and become really good at completing familiar tasks without ever challenging yourself. In the self-betterment vein, there's an engaging post this week at the ISACA Now Blog that trumpets the value of "technical skills development." The post focuses in particular on IT auditors and the work that they do, which is a huge area of emphasis for ISACA. The principles discussed, however, can be applied it just about any IT discipline. One point that particularly stands out is that you can't just expect your skills to get better with time. They will improve through repetition and familiarity, to some extent, but you have to actively plan and take steps if you want that growth to accelerate. Maybe it's time to ask: Is the canoe of your IT career drifting on the current, or are you paddling vigorously to reach the next landmark?


Infosec Insights Aplenty from CompTIA


There's a strong whiff of cybersecurity in the air this week at CompTIA's IT Career News blog. One post assesses the fallout from a Polish banking breach, tying it to security principles addressed by CompTIA's new CSA+ security credential. CompTIA also has its certification chief, James Stanger, check in from the annual RSA conference in San Francisco, a key event in the cybersecurity world. Stanger says that many of the threats that got the most airtime at RSA are familiar bugaboos that the IT world has been struggling to stamp out for years. That's a state of affairs that was doubtless discussed at a recent webinar moderated by Stanger, which is summarized in yet another new post. The webinar, held at the end of January, is availble as both a slideshow and in video-on-demand format, and the post emphasizes a few of the key points to whet your information security appetite.


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