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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 38)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA weighs the value of its own A+ certification, ISACA chats with a true blue (er, white) ethical hacker, and more.

CompTIA Assesses Its Own A+ Certification


CompTIA is promoting the value of its own A+ credential.The A+ computer software and hardware certification offered by tech industry association CompTIA has been around for more than 25 years. Computers and technology have changed a lot in that time, and the A+ itself has changed (the current A+ exam is the 10th iteration). Not as much as it needs to, or possibly even in the right ways as it should, some would argue. For many years, A+ was among the premiere credentials in all of IT certification, and it still has a (largely) sterling reputation. On the other hand, has A+ certification lost some of its luster? One place you might not expect to see that question referenced, even obliquely, is the official CompTIA blog. Yet a post purporting to answer the question of whether A+ is "worth it" appeared at the official CompTIA blog this week. To be sure, blogger Emily Matzelle isn't really probing whether A+ has shortcomings that should be addressed, so much as answering her own rhetorical question emphatically in the affirmative. Matzelle's post is detailed and thoughtful, however, and if anyone out there is weighing the question of whether or not to pursue A+ certification, then it would be worth taking the time to consider her argument.


Should You Become a Systems Engineer?


The crew at, the official website of Certification Magazine, frequently discuss various jobs available to information technology (IT) professionals. Their "job profile" series (which includes pieces from most print issues of the magazine itself) offers a fine window in various niches of the IT industry and is a great resource for those preparing to enter or switch to a career in IT. The latest entry in the series breaks down the day-to-day responsibilities of a systems engineer, as well as going into detail about what the expectations are likely to be of someone applying for a position, and what educational background would be helpful.


Dell Offers Digital Badges for Certification


From the "Probably Not Technically New, But New to Us" file, we happened to spot an announcement (or more likely a reminder) this week of the fact that the Dell Technologies Proven Professional certification program is offering digital badges to tech professionals who earn its certifications. Relatively recent acquisitions by Dell have notably enlarged the number of products and technologies addressed by its certification program — of particular note is the fact that Dell absorbed the former EMC Proven Professional certification program a couple of years ago — and the incorporation of digital badges (in partnership with Acclaim and parent company Credly) is another notable upgrade. At present, there are 71 different digital badges available to certificants.


Microsoft Highlights Certification and Learning Opportunities at Microsoft Ignite


Like essentially every other tech organization planning to hold a conference in 2020, Microsoft went digital with its annual Microsoft Ignite gathering this year. The two-day event is already in the books, so to speak, but that doesn't mean that you can't still partake of the goodness. Since the whole shebang was virtual this year (and free of charge, to boot), there are still ample opportunities to "participate" by viewing video of the sessions. Alex Payne, general manager of Microsoft Worldwide Learning, took to the Microsoft Learn Blog on Tuesday to highlight key sessions for attendees (and post-event participants) interested in certification and learning.


ISACA Chats with Ethical Hacker


What does it take to succeed as an ethical hacker?So-called "ethical" hacking has become an area of exploding interest for many in the cyberescurity realm. There's a degree of cachet to calling yourself an "ethical hacker" that doesn't necessarily accrue to people whose title is just, say, "cybersecurity analyst," or even the more glamorous "penetration tester." For those who are interested in what ethical hackers actually do, there's a fascinating, if too-brief, post newly available at the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA this week. The post, a frank conversation between ISACA Now and "FC," a "well-known ethical hacker and social engineer" who has been working in the field for more than 20 years, offers an intriguing glimpse into one person's experience of carrying on inside a profession that has attracted a great deal of recent interest, both from potential employers and future workers.


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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