The IT Certification Resource Center

Featured Deal

Get CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft training courses free for a week.
Learn More ❯

Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 45)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA tangoes through Texas with its roundup of America's top Tech Towns, (ISC)² says the cybersecurity workforce is expanding, and more.

CompTIA Touts Top Tech Towns Including Two in Texas


For the second year in a row, CompTIA has dubbed Austin, Texas, America's top Tech Town.Is there about to be a Silicon Savanna deep in the heart of Texas? Tech industry association CompTIA released its annual list of America's top Tech Towns earlier this week, and Texas has two-stepped right to the top of the list, tying down the top two tiers of the tally. Last year's big winner, Austin, retained its No. 1 ranking. Right behind, however, is the big D that Mark Chesnutt does not mean in his 1994 hit song. (Dallas. We mean Dallas. Even thought that is not what Mark Chesnutt means. He means divorce.) Rounding out the Tech Towns Top 10, in order, are Raleigh, N.C.; San Jose, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Seattle, Wash.; San Francisco, Calif.; Atlanta, Ga.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Denver, Colo. CompTIA reports that the tech industry is thriving despite the challenges of COVID-19, citing as evidence the more than 3.7 million new IT job postings that have popped up across the United States over the past year. The COVID pandemic has caused changes, some of which may not change back, even as the global economy recovers. As noted on the CompTIA blog: "A recent CompTIA membership survey among tech firms shows that 65 percent believe their company will be letting more employees to continue working remotely over the long-term, post-COVID-19."


Microsoft Explains Its 'Keep Certifications Relevant' Mentality


Over at the Microsoft Learn Blog, longtime Microsoft certification guru Liberty Munson launches into a mini-dissertation about Microsoft's commitment to continually burnishing its certification portfolio with these words: "Microsoft is committed to reviewing certifications regularly to help ensure that they remain relevant and technically accurate and that they’re assessing the skills needed to thrive in a cloud-based world. Our reviews help ensure that we’re evaluating the right skills for a given job role — and only what needs to be evaluated for that particular role." Broadly speaking, that's probably the operating philosophy for most IT certification programs out there. What's interesting and engrossing about Munson's post is where she goes from there, diving deep to create a detailed picture of Microsoft Learn's comprehensive and holistic approach to ensuring that Microsoft certifications continue to serve the needs of certified professionals. If you're curious about what makes a top-tier certification program tick, then click on over for an interesting and informative read.


Certification Magazine Salutes Longtime IT Educator


At the end of September, a high school in a small town in Alabama suffered a surprising and upsetting less when beloved educator Rick Shirley, a longtime technology instructor at the school, passed unexpectedly at age 52. Few public servants work harder or are more dedicated to improving society than teachers, and the loss of any experienced educator is much bigger in its impact than the death of just one person. Over at, the official website of Certification Magazine — which published a profile of Shirley in its January issue — tech chronicler Calvin Harper (also a contributor to GoCertify) penned a moving tribute to Shirley. Anyone out there who has fond memories of a favorite high school or college tech teacher should take a moment to read about Rick.


(ISC)² Has Some Good News About the Cybersecurity Hiring Gap


There are more cybersecurity workers out there than there used to be.There has been hand-wringing for most of this decade about the growing "hiring gap" across all sectors of IT. The cybersecurity hiring gap has been especially troubling, since most experts agree that hackers and malware are mutiplying and become more sophisticated. The dangers are greater than ever, even as there continue to be fewer trained professionals available to address them. There may actually be some progress on that front, however: cybersecurity professionals association (ISC)², which conducts annual research into the state of cybersecurity hiring, says that the global cybersecurity workforce is growing. As noted in a press release announcing findings of the group's 2020 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, "For the first time, the study indicates a year-over-year reduction in the cybersecurity workforce gap, due in part to increased talent entry into the field and uncertain demand due to the economic impact of COVID-19." We're probably not out of the cybersecurity hiring woods, by any stretch, but it's good to know that we are making progress.


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..

Privacy Policy Update

We have updated our Privacy Policy to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)