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Certification Watch (Vol. 22, No. 13)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA is all over the (U.S.) map with IT employment statistics, Certification Magazine helps you pick a path to certification success, and more.

CompTIA Has Mapped Out Your IT Employment Possibilities


CompTIA just released a brand new Cyberstates report.On the annual calendar of Things That IT Organizations Keep Track Of, the release of each year's Cyberstates report by tech industry association CompTIA is one of those dates that is circled and starred. For 2019, that day was yesterday, March 26, when the CompTIA press release site practically exploded with a slew of facts and figures heralding the arrival of Cyberstates 2019. For example, this year's findings indicate that the U.S. tech industry as a whole added 260,865 new jobs in 2018. One of those jobs could have your name on it, and if you need a little assistance finding out where to look, well, there are individual Cyberstates summaries for all 50 U.S. states. The overall Cyberstates estimate of the direct impact of technology on the U.S. economy came in at $1.8 trillion. There are many opportunities available to IT job seekers in the United States, and more are on the way as older workers transition to retirement. The report found that the states with the strongest IT job growth from 2017 to 2018 are Utah (up 4.3 percent), New Hampshire (up 4.2 percent), North Carolina and Nevada (both up 4 percent), and Washington (up 3.5 percent). For the whole-hog report of findings, including one of the coolest interactive tools out there, head to the Cyberstates home page.


The Robots Are Coming for the Other Guy's Job


Sticking like glue to CompTIA for a moment, there's an interesting new post to the IT Career News Blog this week. CompTIA chief tech evangelist James Stanger drops by with a post that considers the future of IT jobs in certain sectors with regard to the dawning age of automation and artificial intelligence. Stanger has recently been in conversation with various teams and individuals split between the IT service management (ITSM, a.k.a. helpdesk and tech support) and cybersecurity sectors and reports that people in both groups think the workers in the other group are likely to be replaced by AI. Stanger thinks that both groups are wrong, and that neither type of IT worker is in danger of becoming obsolete. On the other hand, he notes, workers in both groups should be planning to regularly refresh their knowledge and skills. (Say, you know what helps with that? Think of a word that begins with C and rhymes with "ertification.") It's worth cruising down through the whole post, if only to get a breath of optimism amid the fairly persistent doom and gloom over automation and machine learning.


ISACA Blogger Addresses Challenges of Hiring, Retaining Cybersecurity Staff


Speaking of the not-at-all diminished demand for skilled cybersecurity personnel, a new post to the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA predicts that it's only going to get harder for businesses and organizations to field a thriving cybersecurity team. Almost everyone wants or needs to hired skilled cybersecurity professionals, and most observers and experts predict that the hiring gap is going to be problematic for some years to come. Blogger Chris Dimitriadis says that employers will need to get creative in two key areas: First, he recommends that organizations looks for talented IT personnel (or prospective IT personnel) already on staff and invest in skilling them up to the point of joining the cybersecurity division. Finding talent in-house, however, is only half of the equation. Both homegrown security wonks and workers who come in via traditional hiring methods with have plenty of employment options. Employers will need to experiment and potentially go beyond traditional methods of employee retention to keep top cybersecurity professionals in the fold.