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Certification Watch (Vol. 16, No. 3)

News about the upward trend in IT certification compensation, medstore the reverse-aging of the tech workforce, a one-day certification training event, and more.

More Bang For Your Certification Buck

Over the last several years, there hasn't been much cause for the average individual hoping to leverage higher pay from amassing certifications to lift up his (or her) chin, and grin, and say that thing about how the sun will come out, um, soon. The long-term trend in certs boosting salary has been a steady decline — until now. InfoWorld tech guru Bill Snyder has been reading the tea leaves, as well as the latest salary data from tech research firm Foote Partners, and reports that IT certifications may be adding value to your paycheck once more.

Base salaries have stayed consistent, but bonuses are picking up, a trend that Snyder expects to eventually gain steam. Some certs are reaping bigger bonuses than others, of course. Among the hottest certs are Open Group Master Architect, EMC Cloud Architect Expert, GIAC Security Leadership, and Oracle DBA Administrator Certified Master.

Microsoft Offers Free Cert Exam Do-Over

What do you want to do today? The answer, for most people, is probably not, "Take a test, of course!" Since the path to every certification ends with an exam, however, there are some days that tests must be taken. That's why, if there's a Microsoft certification exam in your future, then you should try to take it sometime in the next nine months. Effective immediately and continuing through May 31, 2014, Microsoft Learning is offering a free retake to anyone who matches wits with a qualifying Microsoft certification exam.

The free second chance applies only to "regular-priced individual technical exams with a prefix of 070 or 071," as well as the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification exams.

Old Age and Treachery Are Slowing Down

Any baby boomer techies who haven't already retired probably spend a lot of time daydreaming about buying a boat, or taking trips to visit their grandchildren. Even among Generation X, however, the number of workers in tech sector jobs is dwindling. IT trade association CompTIA reports that, by 2020, members of Generation Y will hold a greater percentage of IT jobs than workers from the two preceding generations combined. Guess we won't be needing any more of those bumper stickers and T-shirts, right?

Data also reveal that nearly identical percentages of Boomers, Exers and Y-ites — roughly half of all tech workers in each group — use Facebook strictly for personal communication, while Y-ites are most likely to use Facebook to address both personal and workplace concerns. It's all part of a SlideShare presentation titled Generational Issues in the Workforce.

Brocade Gets Thumbs Up from Cert Holders

Data and storage networking company Brocade is listening to participants in its certification programs. The San Jose, Calif.-based firm released the results of its 2013 Certification Survey last week. Among other findings, almost 99 percent of survey respondents report that information gleaned from Brocade certification training is "highly applicable" to their current job.

Brocade also announced that the company is mothballing its Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Engineer (BCEFE) cert. The BCEFE is set to be retired Oct. 31.

Oracle Invites Cert Holders to One-Day 'Exam Cram'

Rome wasn't built in a day, and even the savviest among us probably couldn't learn everything needed to pass a certification exam in what probably amounts to roughly half of the waking hours of Sept. 22. If you already have an Oracle DBA cert, however, then you may have something to gain by attending the one-day Exam Cram hosted by Oracle University during Oracle OpenWorld Sept. 22-26 in San Francisco. Participants can upgrade their DBA cert to the latest Oracle Database release.

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..