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Certification Watch Volume 14 #3

Certification news regarding a mandatory training requirement for Java and Solaris certifications, medstore cloud computing certification plans from Microsoft, industry research from ISC2, Microsoft Career Factor, and certification on Google Apps.

Oracle Adds Mandatory Course Attendance to Former Sun Certifications

Beginning August 11, 2011, individuals who wish to earn the Java Architect, Java Developer, Solaris System Administrator, or Solaris Security Administrator certifications that are now part of Oracle's certification program will have to meet a new mandatory course attendance requirement. The course must be an instructor-led course (virtual or live classroom) from Oracle's approved list and be administered by an Oracle training partner. There are no self-study options that can be substituted.

Oracle has been requiring training as part of certification requirements since 2002, using the rationale that it improves the value of the certification by assuring a higher skill level among certification holders. Course attendance is required for all certification candidates, even those with a great deal of related work experience under their belt. Individuals who get certified by July 31, 2011, do not have to meet the new requirement. If you're not sure which Sun certification corresponds to which Oracle certification, see our handy list.

Microsoft Reveals Plans for Cloud Certification

Microsoft recently announced plans to launch new certifications and update existing certifications to include coverage of Microsoft cloud services. Of particular note, the new MCPD: Windows Azure Developer credential comes with the requirement that candidates must renew the credential every 2 years – something new for Microsoft, which typically ties certification retirement dates to when it discontinues offering support for the related product. You can read the announcement on Microsoft's new cloud certification page.

Workforce Study Confirms Certification Confusion

Although it wasn't the primary focus of the research, a recent study sponsored by ISC(2) appears to confirm the findings of a recent CompTIA study we reported on last month- that employers and hiring managers are confused by the quantity and variety of professional certifications available and how to distinguish among them. Nonetheless, The 2011 Global (ISC)2 Information Security Workforce Study reports that ISC(2) members earn on average $20,000 more than their non-certified counterparts ($98,600 vs $78,500 annually worldwide), when comparing individuals with 5-plus years of experience. You can download the full study from the ISC(2) website.

Meet the Microsoft Career Factor Candidates

Have you checked out Microsoft's Career Factor yet? This Wednesday March 16 at 10 am PST and Thurs March 17 at 5 pm PST, you can quiz Career Factor participants on their experience and progress toward their goals via Twitter, using the hash tag #CFchat. You can also read GoCertify's suggestions for next season, should there be one, on our blog.

Google Offers Certification on Google Apps

Google recently announced the addition of two professional certifications tied to Google Apps. Testing is conducted remotely through Kryterion and requires the use of a Kryterion Flexible Neck Webcam ($45), which is used to remotely proctor the test-taking session. The Google Apps Deployment Specialist exam costs $100 and contains 98 multiple-choice questions. A study guide is available on Google's website.

The second Google Apps certification is Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer, which is for professionals who provide training and support to schools that use Google Apps for Education. To earn this title, candidates must first become a "Qualified Individual" by passing 6 online exams within 90 days. The exams correspond to the modules of Google's free online training course and cost $15 each.

To step up to the Certified Trainer level, individuals must complete an application, provide references, create sample materials and provide a short video which demonstrates your ability to create and present instructional material.

For more information on professional certifications offered by Google, see GoCertify's Google Certifications page.

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..