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Certification Watch Volume 15 #2

IT certification news about Microsoft certification's 20th anniversary, a CompTIA certification program re-org, Cisco exam price changes,  Storage+, and more news from the world of computer certification.

Happy 20th Birthday Microsoft Certification!

It's hard to believe that Microsoft certification has been around for 20 years, but it has - certifying over 7 million individuals worldwide and delivering over a million certification exams in the past year alone. To mark this major anniversary, Microsoft recently launched a year-long series of events dubbed "20 Years|20 Ways." Throughout 2012, Microsoft promises "20 different ways for today's technology professionals to support, mentor and guide both peers and potential successors in the importance of training and certification."

Expect some pretty interesting initiatives, starting with a promise to donate up to 5,000 MTA exams (the new student-level credential) to aspiring IT professionals. Yes, it's a great big self-promotion, but they will be helping lots of individuals and communities as well. Plus they've earned the right to pat themselves on the back. Hats off to Microsoft for all the care, nurturing, and tough love they've put into making the Microsoft certification program into the career powerhouse it is today. You can follow along as Microsoft rolls out its 20 ways at the 20 Years|20 Ways website.

Now Serving All: CompTIA Certifications Split into Tiers

You knew it was coming as soon as CompTIA's first advanced certification - CompTIA Advanced Security Professional (CASP) - was announced, and now it has arrived: The CompTIA certification program has been reorganized and repositioned from a collection of entry-level credentials to a multi-level program. Read the full article...

Entry-level Cisco Exam Prices Increased

The cost of taking the exams for Cisco's CCNA and CCDA exams just got higher in the US. The CCNA combined exam will now set you back $295 (up from $250). If you opt for the 2-exam route to a CCNA, taking ICND1 + ICND 2, you'll pay $300 (also up from $250). The price of the CCDA exam has been increased too - now $200 (up from $150). For the latest Cisco exam costs, visit the online list of Cisco exam prices.

Updated CCNA and CCNP Wireless Exams Debut

In other Cisco certification news, updated versions of the CCNA Wireless and CCNP Wireless exams hit Pearson VUE testing centers January 24. The updated exams include expanded coverage of 802.11n and increased emphasis on rich media deployments such as Voice over WLAN and Video over WLAN. The previous exams will remain available through May 11, 2012.

HP Switches to New Test Provider

As of February 1, HP’s transition to a new testing provider is complete. Going forward, HP certification candidates should register via Pearson VUE. Existing unused and unexpired Prometric vouches may be used to purchase exams at Pearson VUE.

New CompTIA Storage Networking Exam Goes Live Worldwide

CompTIA’s new Storage+ Powered by SNIA exam is now available in testing centers worldwide. The new credential is a joint effort of CompTIA and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA. It focuses data storage and storage networking skills and concepts. The certification objectives cover quite a bit of ground, including storage system configuration and administration, including backup and restoration technologies, business continuity, basic troubleshooting, and data availability, among other topics.

IEEE CSDA/CSDP Exam Dates Announced

The IEEE Computer Society has announced two planned test periods for 2012, when candidates can take the Certified Software Development Associate (CSDA) and Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP) exams. The first exam period is May 20 - June 30, 2012, and the second is November 18 - 29, 2012. If you’re thinking of taking these exams, make sure to revisit the objectives before-hand, as the contents of both exams was recently updated.

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..