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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 6)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Cisco Learning Network is about to get a spiffy new makeover, Dice says IT professionals crave creativity, and more.

Cicso Learning Network Gets New Look


Cisco Learning Networking is about to get a makeover.Just in time for Valentine's Day, Cisco Learning Network, the certification and training hub of computer networking titan Cisco, has a gift especially for you. Well, it's probably only really for you if you are a regular visitor to Cisco Learning Network, but you get the idea. It's been nearly 12 years since the launch of Cisco Learning Network, so it was probably past time to unleash a bold new visual scheme and enhanced website functionality. February is already a month of new beginnings for Cisco certification, what with the pending reboot of the popular associate-level CCNA certification, as well as changes to nearly all other Cisco credentials. According to a recent post to the Cisco Learning Network Learning News blog, the Cisco Learning Network relaunch will happen over the Valentine's Day-President's Day weekend, with a read-only "blackout" period in effect Feb. 14-17. On Tuesday (Feb. 18), the new site will be available. Among the key features that will be available following the reboot are homepage personalization, simplified navigation, improved video streaming, better mobile device performance, and updated community features.


CompTIA Assesses Iowa Caucus App Snafu


It's been more than a week since the Iowa Democratic Party got egg on its face when a specially designed app intended to speed up the process of tabulating Iowa Caucus votes malfunctioned and the news-consuming public was forced to twiddle its thumbs for three or fours days while results were manually tabulated. In addition to embarrassing Democrats both in Iowa and elsewhere, the screwup was a monstrously bad look for Shadow, the company that created the app. James Stanger, CTE (chief technology evangelist) for tech industry association CompTIA, believes that the fallout is even worse, however, than just a process nightmare for Iowa and a PR disaster for Shadow. Stanger, explaining his thoughts in a post to CompTIA's blog, says that negative public perception of the event could ultimately undermine the entire electoral process. It's worth clicking over to the blog to get his full take. Stanger points out, for example, that the people least likely to be blamed for the problem (executives in charge of organizing the caucus) are the ones most directly responsible for it.


The Hand-in-Hand Relationship Between Certification and Education


It's no secret that IT certification, which used to be a process targeted almost exclusively at working IT professionals, has seeped over into the realm of education. Certification is now both a teaching tool and a résumé builder starting at the middle school/junior high school level and continuing on up through the rest of the public and private education realm. A new article at, the official website of Certification Magazine, explores the evolving partnership between certification and education. The Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering, a new high school in Huntsville, Ala., for example, was designed to churn out job-ready students in the hope of attracting cybersecurity and engineering firms to the city. As writer Travis Wilde puts it, "If certifications, IT or otherwise, are not a large driving force in your state’s current educational model, then your state is falling behind in the competition for tomorrow’s jobs."


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