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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 23)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, certification testing may be falling behind the technology curve, an ISACA expert explains how to cruise through the CISM exam, and more.

Is Your Certification Exam Smarter than a Search Engine?

 

Multiple choice bubblesThe world is a decidedly different place than it was in the 1920s and '30s. Certainly this is true in terms of information technology (although it might surprise some to learn that, even back then, IBM had been around since 1911). So why are we still using testing schemes that were developed when the Great Depression was at the forefront of current events to measure IT prowess in 2017? That's one of the questions at the heart of an article posted last week at CertMag.com that explores the widening gulf between modern learning and increasingly outdated testing methods. Tech writer Aaron Axline (whose work is frequently also found here at GoCertify) frames the article by referring to a handful of questions from current certification exams and experimenting with answering them via simple web searches. When the answer to (almost) any real-world IT question is a just a few clicks away, is testing memorization of facts still the best means of validating IT skills? There's some worthwhile (and entertaining) food for thought here.

 

New Microsoft Learning Certifications Tracks Now Available

 

You heard it here first: Two weeks ago, Ed Tittel discussed the pending launch of two new Microsoft Learning certification tracks. Now you can go sign up and start making progress toward new certification accomplishments in Big Data and Front-End Web Development. As the calendar turned over from May to June at the end of last week, Microsoft Learning officially cut the ribbon on the newest additions to its Microsoft Professional Program (MPP). Both study tracks are supported by online training courses and emphasize hands-on, performance-based learning exercises. The creation of the new tracks mirrors the successful launch of the first MPP offering, in data science, which has been taken up by more than 60,000 individuals to date, with more than 1,100 having already completed the program. Completing the program means mastering a capstone project — as opposed to passing an exam — but the end result has a familiar ring to it. Upon successful completion of their studies, individuals are rewarded with "a digitally sharable, résumé-worthy credential that confirms mastery of these functional and technical skills."

 

Cisco Launches Continuing Education Program for Top-Tier Certificants

 

As most of us know or suspect, life is often better for those at the top. In this particular case, it's about to get a little bit better for Cisco certification holders who have pressed forward to the pinnacle of the Cisco certification pyramid. Beginning this week, Cisco-certified professionals who have Expert-level credentials like CCIE or CCDE will have the option to recertify by completing Continuing Education alternatives to the normal course of retaking the certification exam. Available options for Continuing Education credit are all Cisco training courses. Cisco's hope for the program is that those seeking recertification will be encouraged to branch out and explore new aspects of Cisco technology, thereby expanding existing skill sets: "The program is intended to encourage candidates to diversify their skill sets in order to make them more valuable to their organization and the industry as a whole while maintaining the integrity of the Cisco brand."