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Certification Watch (Vol. 16, No. 4)

News about getting off the ground with CompTIA, pilule the latest inductees to an exclusive band of brothers, new certs at HP, and more.

Do You Have Your Head in the Cloud?

If Horace Greeley were alive today and had chosen to work in IT instead of journalism, then his famous advice to Josiah B. Grinnell would surely have instructed the younger man to get in over his head, so to speak. That is to say, "Go to the cloud, young man." New data from IT trade association CompTIA affirms that cloud computing is where the action is, with roughly 90 percent of companies having at least a toe in IT's new rainmaker.

CompTIA is preparing to blast into the troposphere itself, with plans in place to begin offering a new cert, CompTIA Cloud+, on Oct. 1. CompTIA blogger Janet Pinkerton reports that salaries for cloud specialists are on the rise, and has tips for IT professionals and graduates looking to make a soft landing in the burgeoning cloud employment sector.

I'll Get More Certifications When I'm Dead

It's a frequent question in the mile-a-minute, go-go-go, can't-talk-text-me world of IT. Who has the time to stop or pause whatever else is going on and bang out a new certification? If you eyeballing any Cisco certs, then there's help available. The IT networking giant recently debuted Cisco Learning Network Premium, a subscription-based service that makes time stand still. Yes, not really. Instead, it helps you create a study plan, blows open the door to specialized study resouces, and provides you access to a searchable library of cert-tastic information.

Don't take our word for it: If you'd like to find out more about the new service, then head to Facebook Sept. 17 for a chat with Learning@Cisco spokesperson Julia Routhier.

Converged Storage: HP Doubles Down

Data, data everywhere, nor any drop to (come back to this later). Like Coleridge's ancient mariner, data storage professionals have an albatross around their necks: how to optimally and effectively store data while keeping it available for rapid access by applications. Converged storage, that's how. And to keep you abreast of the latest developments in the field, HP is kicking off the month of September with two new certifications, one that's an offshoot of the popular ASE cert, and the other that's in the ATP cert family.

Both of the new programs are designed to help cert holders stay ahead of the data storage curve. The HP ASE — Storage Solutions Integrator V1 is rated "expert" by HP, and anyon who has the HP ASE — StorageWorks Integration cert is a few strides ahead of the pack. There's also the HP ATP — Storage Solutions V1, rated "professional," which doesn't build on any exisiting certs.

But Do They Know the Secret Handshake?

The few, the proud, the holders of the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) cert. At its recent VMworld gathering in San Francisco, the virtualizaton and cloud tech giant added nine new cert holders to its VCDX ranks, bringing the total number to just 119. VCDX is the cream of the VMware certification crop, and candidates who achieve it must successfully present and defend a thesis-like final project.

Once you're in, you can post your bio (photo included, but not required) to an exclusive VCDX directory. It sounds sort of like being invted to dine in the secret restaurant at Disneyland. (Yes, there's a secret restaurant at Disneyland.)

Superheroes of Certification

Superman doesn't need any certifications, but anyone who saw that computer in The Dark Knight that keeps tabs on everyone in Gotham probably surmised that Bruce Wayne, or at least tech guy Lucius Fox, must have a few acronyms in his back pocket. Now, however, Microsoft Learning has employed two real-life certification superheroes to promote sound test-taking principles (and hopefully do other, slightly more cool stuff) via its Born to Learn blog. Yeah, the costumes probably need a little work.

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..