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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 22)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA says employers are eager to find and hire certified professionals, Microsoft asks for input from helpdesk specialists, and more.

Why Hire Certified? CompTIA Explains IT All


Computer team at work in officeThere's a strong belief around these parts that IT certification is an important factor in hiring decisions. Employers want to hire the best qualified, most motivated applicants, and certification is generally viewed as being a strong indication of both skill and commitment. On the other hand, if you somtimes question the actual importance of certification in hiring, then it will likely interest you to read the brand new post from CompTIA certification godfather James Stanger at the IT Career News blog. Stanger, who heads up the entire CompTIA certification program, reports four specific reasons that hiring managers look for certified professionals. What may be even more interesting to many, however, is the source for his data: Stanger is drawing on findings of a 2015 CompTIA study that examines the general perception of IT certification and training among employers. If you haven't been aware of that research until now, it's worth taking a look to see what sorts of bells go off in the minds of HR personnel when they see a certification on your résumé


ISACA Says: How to Respond to Ransomware


As businesses and organizations continue to sift through the aftermath of the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak, it's logical to take stock of both failures and successes, and see what could potentially be better managed the next time around. Following that same line of thought, guest blogger Cheryl Santor of security and governance association ISACA's ISACA Now Blog has compiled a list of both effective preventive measures, and actions/policies to avoid. Cantor pinned down her recommendations by taking stock of a recent ransomware attack at a company where she worked in 2016. Among her best practices are steps like limiting administrative access on company computers, or providing ongoing security awareness training to employees. Her list of practices to avoid includes allowing employees to access personal e-mail account from company computers. One thing that WannaCry made clear is that many organizations are vulnerable to a ransomware attack, so any checklist like Cantor's is likely to be a source of at least some helpful advice.


Oracle Certification Thinks You Should Become Master of All You Survey


OK, maybe we got a little bit carried away. Oracle Certification does think that you should be planning to become a master. They aren't talking about becoming a Master of the Universe, however, or even just, say, a garden variety Master of Industry. Oracle wants to encourage Oracle Certified Professionals to advance to the highest level of Oracle certification and become an Oracle Certified Master. As noted at the Oracle Certification Blog, gaining an Oracle Certified Master credential elevates the certificant to a rarified realm that is certain to capture the attention of potential or current employers. The reputation of the OCM is well known in tech circles, with many believing that it ranks among the most difficult to achieve of all IT certifications.