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Certification Watch (Vol. 21, No. 28)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA has a few bright ideas about e-books, Cisco turns some time over to a socially conscious Scottish gaming entrepreneur, and more.

CompTIA: Add Some eBooks to Your Self-Study Toolkit


Add e-books to your self-study toolkit for improved results.At some point in the future — perhaps not the near future, although you never really know how quickly these things will turn — there won't be a special word in the language for a book that lives on a digital device and doesn't have physical pages. That, of course, is because all books will live on digital devices and won't have physical pages. We can just call them, you know, books. Until then, we'll all have to wrestle with whether and when to include a hyphen or a capital B when using the word e-book. Tech industry association CompTIA thinks you should be using actual e-books themselves, regardless of any formal or informal word formulation rules. A helpful post to the IT Career News blog this week lays out a handful of reasons why e-books are ideal tools for study and learning. For example, e-books make it possible for you to snatch up idle moments throughout the day and read a couple of paragraphs, or even a page or two, thereby engaging in what researchers call "microlearning." There's strong evidence, it seems, that microlearning increases both attention (your ability to focus) and retention (your ability to remember).


Tips for Better Test Results from a Top Cert Exam Scorer


Few of us will ever achieve the notoriety of being the best in the world at anything, so it's fun to meet someone who has achieved that lofty pinnacle. Alexey Baksalyar passed security and governance association ISACA's Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification exam in 2017, and got a better score on the exam than anyone else who took it across the length of that entire calendar year. Pretty cool, right? As a guest contributor to the ISACA Now Blog this week, Baksalyar explains his own rationale for pursuing CISM certification, and then offers advice to future CISM examinees. Some of his advice is specific to CISM certification, but there are also several points that are good general rules for anyone staring down the barrel of a certification exam. For example, Baksalyar recommends going through a simulated full-length exam (150 questions, in the case of CISM) several times before sitting down to attempt the real thing. You'll get a sense of how to pace yourself, as well as become familiar with the different types of questions you can expect to see on the actual day of your exam.


Make Time to Contribute to the Growth of Future IT Workers


We hear all the time about the looming skills gap in IT, the problem created by ongoing shrinkage in the general supply of skilled IT professionals at the same that demand for those same workers is booming. A new post this week to the IT and Technical Training blog maintained by the instructional experts at Training Industry suggests that people and companies already engaged in IT can help address the skills gap by participating in mentoring programs. Citing her own experience, blogger Shravanthi Budhi explains that advice, encouragment, and assistance from a skilled professional can the smooth the entry to the IT profession of people on the way. In particular, says Budhi, sutdents at universities can benefit from the guidance and steadying influence of a mentor. Many college and universities actively facilitate mentoring relationships, so if you're a budding IT specialist preparing to graduate and pondering your future, ask school officials about engaging with a mentor.