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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 29)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA's revamped Association of IT Professionals is nigh, it's capstone time for Microsoft data science students, and more.

CompTIA Rarin' to Relaunch Association of Information Technology Professionals


CW 7 19 dude on phoneCompTIA ChannelCon is just around the corner at the end of July and it may be that the stars have finally aligned for the promised relaunch of the Association of IT Professionals. CompTIA announced its acquisition of the venerable industry group (founded in 1951) in January, and the slightly rebranded CompTIA Association of IT Professionals has been on the launch pad for a while now. A new post this week to CompTIA's IT Career News blog outlines some of the rewards that members can expect to reap once the old/new career support association is officially off and running, including access to job search tools, career networking opportunities galore, free usage of select training materials, discounts, and more. Membership, as the Met Life people used to say, has its benefits. You can hook yourself up to all of that goodness for just $99 per year, and if you act quickly, there's a $20 early-bird discount available, which knocks the price down to a cool $79. "Soon" is still the latest word as to when the golden door will finally open. As hinted above, however, ChannelCon is an auspicious date on CompTIA's annual calendar, so the jump from "coming soon" to "now available" could be about to happen.


Are Microcredentials the Solution to Certification Overload?


Getting an IT certification is an ambitious undertaking whether you're tackling the basics or delving deep into the arcane knowledge nested at the top of someone's certification pyramid. Indeed, getting started can seem so intimidating to some that they abandon the journey altogether before taking its first step. For that very reason, many aspiring IT professionals may be comforted by the growth of a relatively recent trend that uses digital badging to break up traditional certifications into bite-sized pieces that are each affirmed with their own badge. Microsoft Learning has been moving in the direction of so-called "microcredentials" for a while now, and Oracle Certification cast some light this week on the increasing popularity of this new step-by-step approach. Just like Melinda Mae, in that poem by Shel Silverstein, IT learners may soon be able to eat the certification whale one bite at a time.


Doctor Who and the Problem of Women in Information Technology


Did you hear the one about the new star of long-running BBC sci-fi staple Dr. Who? If you've been away from Twitter for the past several days, of if you don't have much interest in keeping track of the latest pop culture developments, then the still-unfolding passing of the torch from incumbent series star Peter Capaldi to the next dapper Doctor may have escaped your notice. The show doesn't really have much to do with IT or certification, beyond the its passing association with "science," but there's a compelling industry angle nonetheless that popped through in a post on Monday to the IT Insights Blog maintained by training and certification provider TestOut Continuing Education. You may have noticed that we're playing it a little coy here, but everything should fall into place once you click over and have a read. Sometimes even a show that solves most of its problems with a sonic screwdriver can impact how we think about problems in the real world.