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Certification Watch (Vol. 22, No. 16)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft announces a pivot toward performance-based certification exams, there's a new Certification Magazine survey in the wild, and more.

Microsoft Levels Up Select Certification Exams


Microsoft is adding performance-based questions to select certification exams.A great many IT certifications exams have always been (and still are) mostly made up of multiple-choice questions where the examinee reads a description of scenario, or concept, or process, or whatever it is, and then chooses which of the (usually) four or more answers available aligns with whatever question is being asked. The time-honored multiple choice format, however, has been criticized for years as testing memorization more than practical skills. Some certification programs have gone against the grain with tests that require the examinee to complete hands-on tasks, and the trend toward such "performance-based" questions has been picking up steam. Now Microsoft Learning is falling in step with this new direction. A post that appeared Monday on the Microsoft Learning blog notes that Microsoft certification exams have begun to incorporate performance-based items (which Microsoft calls "labs"). Microsoft certification guru and psychometrician Liberty Munson writes that "in the very near future, you will have to complete performance tasks in at least one of the exams required to earn any of our new role-based certifications." This is happening, folks. Munson then runs down a list of tips and tricks for keeping pace and pushing through when confronted with a "lab" question. If there's a Microsoft certification in your future, especially if it involves Azure, then you'd to well to check out her post.


Get CRISC-Certified with These Study Pointers


Speaking of tips and tricks that can help certification candidates pass their next exam, cybersecurity and governance association ISACA, currently celebrating its 50th year in operation, has a widely respected certification portfolio and ISACA credential holders frequently report above-average IT salaries. You can click here for some fresh perspective on that tied to ISACA's CRISC certification. And speaking of CRISC, a post that appeared on the ISACA Now Blog at the end of last week offers a wealth of advice for CRISC exam candidates. Guest blogger Adham Etoom shares some of the ways that CRISC certification has benefitted his career, and then runs through a list of tips and tricks to help others prepare for the CRISC exam. He notes that ISACA membership, for example, provides discounted exam rates and unlocks other benefits for certification candidates. He also recommends specific study materials, and includes some general advice that could be applied to any certification endeavor.


Cisco-Certified Dad Recounts Certification Journey


Like a lot of life goals, certification is often a journey as much as it's a destination. And you can frequently learn a great deal from reading about someone else's journey. A recent post to the Talking Tech with Cisco blog of Cisco Learning Network walks through the certification journey of one Jesus Merchan Reina, who earned his Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) credential on his daughter's first birthday. Jesus described his journey to the IT realm in detail, beginning with a close encounter at age 12 when his father bought a computing magazine on a trip to the airport that ended up in then-12-year-old Jesus' hands. An article about binary captured his interest and sparked what has become a lifelong passion for technology.


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