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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 1)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA and CertMag have put out year-end greatest hits compilations, ISACA revamps the job practice particulars of its CISM credential, and more.

Last Call for 2016


2016 turns over to 2017For everyone in the throes of Calendar Change Hangover (CCH) — still writing "2016" on personal checks, and stuff like that — we aren't attempting to make things worse by dipping back into the Year That Was. On the other hand, who can keep up with everything that happens in a year, right? And don't you sometimes wonder when you're looking at a cool article how many other people have read it? At the end of December, IT industry association CompTIA posted a recap of the 10 most heavily trafficked articles to appear on its IT Career News Blog in 2016, and over at, the official site of Certification Magazine, they've done the same. CertMag also has a recap of the year's biggest IT and certification news headlines, and who doesn't love reading one of those? If nothing else, you have to see whether you agree about which stories to crop up in 2016 were the "biggest," right? Also, since we can tell that you're dying to know this, here are the Top 5 Most Read issues of Certification Watch from from 2016, in descending order: No. 13, No. 15, No. 4, No. 8, and No. 30. You're welcome.


Must Love Information Security


OK, now that we've laid 2016 to rest, it's time to adopt a forward-facing posture and nag you about your New Year's Resolutions. Specifically, we're looking to call out any female IT professionals who would like to either embark on or advance a career in cybersecurity during 2017. There's a great opportunity for all of you from information security association (ISC)², which curates a number of notable cybersecurity certifications, including the industry-leading CISSP credential. From right now until March 9, (ISC)² is accepting applications from female IT pros with an interest in its 2017 Women's Information Security Scholarship program. The scholarship program will dole out $40,000 worth of scholarship grants intended to help women find their footing in the booming cybersecurity industry. As in most IT disciplines, women are vastly underrepresented in the cybersecurity field, and (ISC)² is hoping to combat the looming cybersecurity worker shortage by drawing women into the profession. Details about scholarship eligibility and the application procedure are available online.


Engaged IT Employees Are Productive IT Employees


There's a nugget of workplace wisdom in the humorous byplay involving Mr. Waturi (Dan Hedaya) in the sorely undervalued 1990 romantic comedy Joe Versus the Volcano. In the background of an early scene in the film, cranky Mr. Waturi, the manager of sad sack Joe (Tom Hanks) repeatedly barks into a telephone, "I know he can get the job. But can he do the job?" As hinted at by Mr. Waturi, employers across the employment spectrum often struggle to motivate their employees. It's not enough to hire someone who's capable. In order for that person to achieve maximum productivity, they have to stay engaged in their work. Guest blogger Larry Alton takes an IT-specific approach to that very conundrum in a post that appeared this week at the ISACA Now Blog maintained by security and governance association ISACA. Alton offers three keys to motivate IT employees, the first of which is to promote a relaxed work environment. Dress codes and company rules, Alton argues, should never be so restrictive that IT workers feel like they have to become someone else in order to do their jobs. What's your take?