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Certification Watch (Vol. 22, No. 20)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA helps you decide which certification to get at different stages of your IT career, Certification Magazine has some career advancement insights, and more.

What's Next for Your Tech Career: Talkin' 'Bout a Certificatiooooon


Certain certs are more appropriate at different career stages.If there really is a time to every purpose under heaven, then it follows that some certifications would be appropriate for the early years of a typical IT career, whereas others would be appropriate for the middle and later years. A new post to the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA expresses general agreement with that sentiment, while setting out some parameters to help guide folks who are wondering when to set foot on various rungs of the certification ladder. For example, blogger Brett Hanley advises that: "If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to pursue IT certifications that acquaint you with how to maximize the use of computers and mobile technology in a business environment." Solid advice. And while the certifications CompTIA itself is best known for tend to cluster in the novice-to-journeyman range of IT career development, there are certainly some credentials in the CompTIA portfolio that are best pursued after a certain baseline understanding of various IT concepts has been established. It probably goes without saying that the specific certs discussed in Hanley post are all CompTIA credentials, but the general advice applies across the IT certification spectrum. Learn to walk before you attempt to run, my young padawan.


Microsoft Certification Exam: Whole Lotta Retirements Going On


Most of the certifications available from Microsoft Learning, the certification and training arm of software giant Microsoft, require the certification candidate to pass more than one exam. So a Microsoft certification exam being ushered into retirement doesn't necessarily indicate that the affiliated credential is also being zotzed. It also means that, unless a certification is about to entirely disappear, then retiring exams are likely to be replaced. Microsoft Learning does a pretty good job of tracking exam retirements and announcing replacements, and the latest evidence is a post this week recapping some previously announced retirements as the actual exam disappearance dates draw near. The post lists upcoming retirements from June 30 through Sept. 30, covering 18 different exams. Seventeen of those exams are being replaced. The lone exception is exam 74-343: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013, which is being given the bum's rush with no replacement announced.


Dice Blogger Lists Signs That You're Being Pushed Out


The kind of retirement where you step away from a career or job is generally self-determined. If an employer wants to part company with a particular employee, the more direct route is simply to fire or lay off that employee. Sometimes, however, an employer wants to have an employee take a hike, but while thinking that the decision to move on was of the employee's own making. It's a particularly devious mind game and one that most often plays out more or less according to the employer's desire. If you're worried that such a tactic is being employed against you, then you may gain some valuable perspective from a new post to the Insights blog of tech employment facilitator Dice. Blogger Nick Kolakowski explains five different symptoms that typically indicate a desire on the part of one's employer to show one the door — without actually showing on the door, of course. It's probably a pretty depressing situation to find oneself in, but Kolakowski also has some advice for employees caught in a downward spiral. You may indeed end up moving to a different job, but the transition doesn't have to be a rocky one.