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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 35)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Certification Magazine launches its annual Salary Survey, (ISC)² has a cybersecurity certification program for your business, and more.

Certification Magazine Launches 2021 Salary Survey


It's time for the annual Salary Survey conducted by Certification Magazine.Every year at or about the end of summer, the temperature starts to drop, the leaves on the trees begin changing color, schools reopen, and Certification Magazine starts collecting salary information from IT professionals. As of last week, the 2021 Salary Survey is off and running, with the finish line all the way off at the end of November. If you are an IT worker who has at least one professional certification, then you're eligible to take the survey. And the team at Certification Magazine is even willing to make it worth your while. Anyone who takes and competes the survey can get a free one-year subscription to the digital edition of Certification Magazine. That's four issues delivered straight to your inbox in January, April, July, and October. You can also get a heavily discounted print subscription, if you'd prefer, taking 40 percent off the one-year subscription rate of $20. The survey has about 60 questions — yes, jokers, only one of them is "How much money did you make last year?" — and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Initial findings are published in the January issue of Certification Magazine, with new information disclosed throughout the year at, the official Certification Magazine website.


CompTIA: College Degree Not Most Important Thing to IT Recruiters


There's a running disucssion across the IT industry as to whether it matters, in terms of employability, that you earn a college or university degree. OK, the discussion probably isn't so much about whether it matters — generally speaking, there's broad agreement that a higher education degree is taken as solid evidence of knowledge, skills, and commitment to learning — as it is about how much it matters. IT industry association CompTIA, a frequent participant in the debate over degrees, checked back in this week with a post to the official CompTIA blog that lays out several things that ostensibly matter more to potential employers than a college degree. Not suprisingly, given that CompTIA operates a popular and widely respected IT certification program, the first item on CompTIA's list of things employers pay more attention to than the presence (or absence) of a higher education degree on your CV is whether or not you have earned at least one IT certification. Professional experience, soft skills, a willingness to learn, and a strong degree of determination and self advocacy are also listed. Attending college is at least temporarily problematic while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so this could be a timely message for young workers eyeing an IT career.


Don't Get Bitten by the Ransomware Bug


Speaking of the hallowed halls of higher learning, the University of Utah made headlines a couple of weeks ago for paying out $500,000 to hackers who perpetrated a successful ransomware attack against the Salt Lake City-based institution. That was just the latest attack to spotlight a resurgence in this devious "held at gunpoint" mode of attack, whereby hackers seize digital assets and threaten to destroy them unless a ransom is paid. In a new post to the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and IT governance association ISACA, blogger Larry G. Wlosinski notes that schools have indeed come to be seen as plum targets by ransomware ne'er-do-wells. Wlosinski says that detection of ransomware attacks, response, and recovery are all important, but that all organizations should focus on preparedness and prevention as the best means of avoiding falling under the thumb of hackers.


(ISC)² Offers Security Training Blueprint for Organizations


(ISC)² has a blueprint to help companies organize cybersecurity training for personnel.Humans are generally the link in any chain of organizational security that hackers target most assiduously. No matter how potent your software, hardware, and physical facilities defenses may be, everything can be compromised by a lapse on the part of a single individual. Businesses, government agencies, and other organizations should never overlook the importance of training personnel in cybersecurity best practices. Now cybersecurity professional association (ISC)² is stepping in to help raise the bar. Earlier this week, (ISC)² announced the general availability of an organizational training blueprint to help businesses and other large-scale organizations "develop formal, standards-based cybersecurity training and education programs for employees." If you work for a company or agency that doesn't already have a formal cybersecurity training program in place, then this new blueprint could be a valuable resource.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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