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Certification Watch Volume 11 #13

Certification news regarding the latest word on Microsoft's Second Shot promotion, a "Take 2" offer from Citrix, the scoop on the new CompTIA Security+ exam, a Sun Java beta, and new certifications from Sun and Apple.

Microsoft Second Shot Gets Even Better, Rewards Success

The Microsoft Second Shot program, which offers candidates who don't pass a certification exam a free retake, now promises that if you do pass that exam on the first try, then you will receive a 25% discount on a different exam. You must take the first exam by December 31, 2008. The discounted exam can be taken any time through February 28, 2009. You won't get a free retake of the discounted exam, so make sure you pass it on the first try! This is a great promotion, and anyone pursuing Microsoft certification should jump on it. You need to register for the Second Shot program to get the voucher needed to take advantage of this opportunity.

Citrix "Take 2" Offer - A Little Different

Citrix is jumping into the exam retake swimming pool with a new promotion that offers candidates the option to pay extra for their initial exam voucher in exchange for the opportunity to retake the exam if needed without paying the full price the second time around. This program adds $25 to the cost of "Tier 1" exams and $45 to the cost of "Tier 2" exams. Since this is a trial program, vouchers must be purchased by December 31, 2008, and both initial and retake exams must be taken by January 31, 2009. If you're interested, the fine print can be found on the VUE website.

New CompTIA Security+ Exam is Live

An updated version of the exam for CompTIA's entry level Security+ designation has recently been released and is available through Prometric and VUE testing centers. According to CompTIA, the new exam places more emphasis on how to address specific security issues rather than just recognize them. Topic areas covered include systems security, network infrastructure, access control, assessments and audits, cryptography and organizational Security. CompTIA certifications do not require renewal in order to retain certification, but if you want to make sure your skills are up to date, it's worthwhile to test yourself against the new objectives anyway. An upgrade exam (called bridge exam by CompTIA) that tests only the differences between the previous exam and the new one is also available. The 2007 exam will remain available through July 31, 2009.

Free Sun Beta Available

Ambitious Java programmers may wish to test pilot the exam for Sun Certified Developer for Java Web Services 5 (SCDJWS). This beta exam starts October 31, 2008, and will run through November 21, 2008. You must register before November 7 to participate. Objectives and registration information for this exam are available on Sun's website.

New Sun Identity Manager Certification

A new designation from Sun Microsystems, named the Sun Certified Integrator for Identity Manager 7.1, is for enterprise software integration specialists with extensive job-role experience who design, deploy, and implement Sun identity management solutions. According to Sun, candidates should be familiar with two deployments and/or have at least six to twelve months of experience before attempting this exam. The exam costs $300, has a 90 minute time limit, and consists of 56 multiple choice questions, amazingly, less than half of which (24) have to be answered correctly to pass the test. Full objectives can be found on Sun's website.

New SAN Certification from Apple

Apple recently added a certification covering the administration, integration, and implementation of Apple's storage area networking (SAN) file system for Mac OS X. The Xsan 2 Administrator designation is a one exam certification. The exam contains 78 multiple choice questions and has a 2 hour time limit. Passing score is 75%. Apple suggests the book Apple Training Series: Xsan 2 Administration (Peachpit 2008) as the primary reference for preparing for this exam. A list of skills covered is available on Apple's website (PDF).

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..