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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 8)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft lowers the boom on all MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE credentials; CompTIA directs your attention toward 10 emerging tech trends; and more.

Bell Tolls for Microsoft's MCSA, MCSD, MCSE Certs


Microsoft is sending 14 certs into retirement.The writing has been on the wall for a while, but now the axe has finally fallen. Microsoft Learning, the certification and training arm of software giant Microsoft, announced this week that "all remaining exams associated with Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), (and) Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) will retire on June 30, 2020." It's the end of an era for Microsoft, or at least the final period at end of what has been a somewhat drawn-out death sentence. Microsoft began signaling its transition to role-based certifications a few years back, and formally launched its first role-based certs at the Microsoft Ignite conference in September 2018. There has been a gradual ushering of certs not beneath the role-based umbrella into retirement ever since, and now it's time to pull the plug.

MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE certifications that are completed before the June 30 exam retirement deadline will remain active for two years after the curtain closes; thereafter they will be officially deemed inactive. So if you've been working on one of the 10 remaining MCSA certs, or the one (1) remaining MCSD cert, or one of the four remaining MCSE certs, well, all is not lost. Some of the soon-to-vanish credentials align with existing role-based certs, so if you want to transition to the new Microsoft certification ecosystem, there are some options available. The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) credentials remain in full force; an FAQ accompanying the annoucement states that both programs will be unaffected by the MCSA/MCSD/MCSE mass retirment.


ISACA Blogger Advises Rethinking the Cybersecurity Skills Gap


There are not enough skilled cybersecurity professionals to go around. Over and over again, the message from all corners of the cybersecurity sector is that more people are needed now. A post this week to the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA, however, suggests that there may be a golden opportunity in the midst of the well-chronicled scarcity. Blogger Kurt John, chief cybersecurity officer for the U.S. operations of global automation firm Siemens, says that companies should focus on both retaining and developing cybersecurity professionals from among the ranks of existing employees. XYZ Firm's new cybersecurity team, in other words, may already be on the premises — management just needs to find the people who have the capacity to grow into those roles, and start training them.


Certificaiton Magazine Identifies Top U.S. States for IT Job Seekers


Where you, as a skilled IT professional, decide to look for work is a complicated decision. There are many different factors that determine why people end up working in the cities, states, and nations where they are ultimately employed. If you're currently weighing a job offer, however, or navigating some other career transition that involves a potential relocation, then there's some advice available in the pages of the most recent issue of Certification Magazine. A magazine article that appeared this week at identifies the six U.S. states deemed most desirable to IT employment seekers. Even if you're happy living and working where you are, there's no reason not to click over and have a look-see at the choices. Sometimes it's just fun to look at another list and see whether (and to what extent) you agree with what it suggests, right?


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