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Certification Watch (Vol. 16, No. 11)

News about a certification tuition break for veterans, asthma the ongoing evolution of digital badging, and more.

I Want You — To Get Certified

It's an idea that unites the entire holiday calendar for the rest of 2013. Workforce solutions provider OnForce is honoring the spirit of Veteran's Day, and even Pearl Harbor Day, by giving thanks for military veterans with a special early gift. Throughout the month of November, OnForce is offering to pick up half the cost of one IT certification exam for any of its contractors who are also U.S. military veterans. OnForce helps companies meet IT staffing needs by hiring out its skilled IT service professionals. In addition to assisting veterans with certification, OnForce will also make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project based on the total value of all work done by staffers who are also veterans.

Get Your Head in the Cloud for Better Security

As more and more computing operations migrate to cloud-based environments, it's fair to question the security forecast. Is there stormy weather ahead for your enterprise? (#Cloudpuns, #nevergetsold.) IT governance group ISACA is wants to help speed up the conversation about cloud security before any potentially devastating storm cells develop. Coming up Dec. 4, ISACA will host a one-day, free virtual conference for all interested parties. "Cloud Maturity — How to Solve Your Cloud Security Challenges" will feature several sessions, as well as peer networking and a virtual exhibit hall. Registration for the event is available online.

Analyzing Risk Is Now Certifiable

President Jed Bartlet of TV's The West Wing once blew up a meeting in the situation room at the White House by demanding to know, "What is the virtue of a proportional response?" Risk analysts answer that sort of question in all corners of industry and commerce, and now a major IT association hopes to improve the outcome of risk analyses by setting a new standard. The Open Group, a tech consortium with more than 400 members, announced last week that it has established a new credential, the Open FAIR Certification, to help risk analysts refine and improve their skills. Open Group platinum members include HP, IBM, Oracle and Philips.

I Don't Have to Show You Any Stinkin' Badges

Those who fear and resist change almost always have their say before any new idea really settles in. So it's understandable that digital badging, the new kid on the IT certification block, has taken its share of lumps. But how different, really, is it to validate and certify IT skills using digital badges than by using more traditional means? IT expert Tracey Flynn argues in favor of the new approach in an artcile at TrainingIndustry.com. Flynn says that much of the resistance to badges is from those who fear that certification standards will be watered down in badging's brave new world, but she offers interesting answers to some of those concerns.

Learn By Teaching

It sounds paradoxical. You can't teach something that you don't already know, backwards and forwards. Or can you? Cicsco is taking an intriguing approach to certification training with new live study sessions that are led by members of the Cisco learning community. There are also archived study sessions that have been conducted using the same approach. Both forums are open to registered users of Ciscso Learning Network.

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..