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Certification Watch, Vol. 25, No. 19

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft is giving certification exam candidates a break, CompTIA provides an analysis of what data analysts do, and more.

Microsoft Breaks the Rules for Certification Test Takers


Microsoft certification exams now permit unscheduled breaks!Congratulations, Microsoft certification exam candidates! The testing team at Microsoft Learn, the certification and training arm of Microsoft, is giving you a break. More specifically, you can take a break the next time that you're in the middle of a Microsoft certification exam. As of May 16, a.k.a. "next Monday," Microsoft Learn is implementing a new certification exam policy to permit unscheduled breaks during testing. The old policy was that you had the request your unscheduled breaks in advance — which sort of seems to defy the unscheduled nature of an unscheduled break, but "when in Rome" and all of that. To accommodate unscheduled breaks, Microsoft has lengthened the standard time for each exam by five minutes, and also reduced the number of questions per exam. Breaks can be taken as needed, and there is no limit on the amount of time per exam that can be spent on breaks. Taking a break does not pause the exam timer, however, and it also prevents you from returning, once the break had ended, to any exam items that you have already passed or answered. Also, you cannot take a break in the middle of certain types of questions. Microsoft was ahead of the curve on adopting and implementing online certification testing, and now they appear to be leading out once again by making online exams more flexible and better attuned to the needs of exam candidates.


Pick a Cloud, Any Cloud


It's a great time to be a skilled cloud computing professional. Cloud services, apps, tools, and process are proliferating and being improved, adapated, and reconfigured with wild abandon. If you have a solid foundation of cloud skills and knowledge, then employers will be practically beating down your door with high-salaried employment offers. The only thing you'll have to choose is where you want to work — well, OK, there is another important decision for cloud technologists. Certification will make your résumé even more attractive. But which cloud provider's certification program should you choose? The team at Certification Magazine explored this question in the recent April issue of the magazine, and you can find out what they have to say over at, the official Certification Magazine website. There are a handful of solid options available, but two of them stand out more than the others.


How Much Cloud Could a Cloudchuck Chuck?


Speaking of cloud computing and cloud providers, there's an interesting new post to the official blog of IT training provider CBT Nuggets that discusses the cloud computing offerings (certification-related and otherwise) of Google Cloud. There's a lot of good information here for cloud technologists, especially including anyone who looked at the previous item and decided that Google Cloud is where IT is at (so to speak). The post has a particularly engaging hook, however, which is blogger Jon Welling asking and answering the cosmic question contained in the title of his post: "How Much Data Is Stored in Google Cloud?" Simple speculation could easily range anywhere between "a lot" up through "a boatload" and beyond. Welling does some simple math and assigns some rather large numbers. If you want to get a taste of the truly whopping capacity of cloud data storage, then be sure to click over and read through what Welling has to say.


What Does a Data Analyst Do?


Big Data woman at desk doing data analyticsBack at the end of February, tech industry association CompTIA opened a new chapter in the history of its popular IT certification program by launching its first-ever certification centered around the IT subset of electronic data. The Data+ credential is the first of four planned certifications that will help verify skills and knowledge related to data storage, data management, data science, and beyond. One of the key job roles in the data sector is data analyst and a new post to the official CompTIA blog explores this key position and gives an overview of the ins and outs of data analyst employment. If you have your sights set on Data+ and data analyst in particular, or data employment generally, then this is a worthwhile read.


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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