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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 30)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CBT Nuggets recommends a fistful of "recession-proof" certs, Certification Magazine tours the United States of IT, and more.

Protect Your Tech Career with These 'Recession-Proof' Certs


Is there a certification that can save your IT career?Tens of millions of workers got clobbered earlier this year by the collapse of the U.S. economy precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There's no guarantee of recovering or restarting the careers that got put on hold, but one thing that could help, whether you're intending to reskill completely, or just to reinvigorate your existing skill set, is getting a certification. Before you go getting just any old certification, however, you might want to consider reloading with one of five highly-affordable tech credentials deemed "recession-proof" in a new post this week to the official blog of IT training provider CBT Nuggets. There's no certification that guarantees employment in a flourishing economy, of course, let alone in an environment where millions of individuals are competing for jobs, but the recommendations put forth by blogger Knox Hutchinson constitute a solid list, especially bearing in mind that each of his selections has an exam cost of less than $400. Two of the certs listed are managed Cisco, and the others are offered by Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and CompTIA.


Woz U Teams Up with University of Phoenix for Apprenticeship Program


While we're on the topic of seeking out transformative learning opporunities with the goal of re-entering the workforce, a new partnership announced this week aims to help tech novices bolster their skills and education. The University of Phoenix, the grandaddy of modern for-profit institutions of higher education, and Woz U, a technology learning institute launched in 2017 by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, have created an apprenticeship program aligned with the U.S. Department of Labor to help individuals advance their qualification and preparation to enter technology jobs. The goal of the program is to help individuals learn while at the same time working in STEM jobs and collecting a salary. Woz executive Chris Coleman said in a press release announcing the new program that it will help people advance their skills and find employment while also shrinking the tech industry's probelmatic and long-established hiring gap. "Truly offering relief to this talent-starved industry, at scale, requires collaboration from the private, education, and government sectors," Coleman said. "This apprenticeship model is the game-changer we have all been looking for."


CompTIA: All Tech Workers Are Data Stewards


If you are an information technology (IT) worker, then somewhere along the line your job either directly or indirectly intersects with data curation and data protection. That's the point that James Stanger, chief technology evangelist for tech industry association CompTIA, wanted to make when speaking to a group of tech workes about information security. Stanger got some kindly no-nonsense blowback over his choice of the word "custodian" to describe the role that every IT worker has in the overall labor of data assurance and wrote a new post to the CompTIA blog to explain himself further. If you work in IT, then it's probably worth taking the time to read through what Stanger has written and think about your own position in the data food chain.


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