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Certification Watch (Vol. 17, No. 19)

News about exotic IT employment scenarios, cheap building up your portfolio of skills for the Internet of Things, and more.

Rocky Mountain IT Employment High


Downhill SkiingThe layman's view of IT employment is plagued by stereotypes. Actual computers are everywhere present in real life, but people don't tend to think of IT jobs in quite the same way. "I work in IT" conjures visions of office towers and cubicles, or hippy-dippy corporate campuses with nap pods and free lunch at the cafeteria, or toiling away in a vast server room with the internet literally at one's fingertips. That's why it's fun to get the occasional reminder that IT is literally everywhere. Including, as detailed in a recent post at CompTIA's IT Careers blog, high in the mountains of Colorado. Featured in the post is Robert Blanchard, director of helpdesk and IT support operations for Aspen Skiing Co., which handles the computerized equipment at a handful of top-dollar ski resorts. One thing Blanchard is careful to prioritize is out-of-office time: He rotates his staff, so that everyone gets the added benefit of a little crisp mountain air while making house calls to fix malfunctioning equipment.


Tips From Microsoft Certified Trainers


What's the best way to get advice about preparing for certification? There probably is no one method that supersedes all others, but old pros almost always have good advice. Along those lines, there's an engaging new feature at Microsoft Learning's Born To Learn blog, which invites Microsoft Certified Trainers to offer certification advice to noobs. The most recent post features advice from MCT Nate Stammer, who got his first Microsoft cert in 2000, and currently has "about 20" certs altogether. Among the advice Stammer doles out to first-time Microsoft certification candidates is to carefully read over the list of objectives before beginning to prepare for an exam. First-timers frequently fail to prepare for certain objectives, Stammer says, because they aren't aware of all the material that will be covered by the exam.


Say Goodbye To Database 10g Certification


Billy Joel could probably make that sound more lyrical, but with or without sentimental flair, Oracle's Database 10g certs are being put out to pasture in March next year. Hence, Oracle Certification has issued a friendly reminder to those who are currently working on completing a Database 10g credential. It's time to pick up the pace (and we don't mean picante sauce, like in those one old commercials). OU has posted a list of retiring exams to help certification ditherers get their ducks in a row before Database 10g officially takes up its rocker on the porch at the Old Certification Home.


Stand In The GAP With A Security Certification


Security certifications continue to be among the hottest credentials in IT. So anything you can do to improve your odds of grabbing a security cert is worth pursuing, right? IT security association (ISC)2 wants to help spur the growth of security certification, so it's partnering with College of Southern Maryland to take its security expertise into college classrooms. Southern Maryland is taking steps to immediately incorporate (ISC)2 training materials into its classroom as part of the security consortium's Global Academic Program (GAP). Over the next few years, the college plans to continue building its cybersecurity program, until students have the option to choose among five courses geared toward different security certificaitons. There's also a benefit to (ISC)2, which requires its certified professionals to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) units as a condition of maintaining certification. Now those professionals will be able to meet those requirements by participating in programs at CSM.


Beef Up Your Internet Of Things Skills


If the early bird gets the worm, then what does the early IT pro get? The privilege of still being employed, of course. The Internet of Things is upon us, and has been for some time, but we're still in the early stages of connecting everything in the world to the internet. So if you act now, you can still get in on the initial build-out. Hence, we direct your attention to a recent post at Cisco Learning Network's Certifications for Success blog. Guest blogger Roberto De La Mora raises the point that new skill sets are still being defined for IT networking pros who are working to build and maintain new networks. De La Mora points in particular to Cisco recently introduced Industrial Networking Certificaiton, which trains networking pro to work in heavy industry (mining, energy production, manufacturing and so forth). If that's not the right cert for your interests or existing skills, stay tuned and poke around a bit. As the need for networking knowledge explodes, there are bound to be more and more certifications available.


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..