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Certification Watch (Vol. 17, No. 27)

In this week's roundup of the latest certification industry happenings, we bring you news about a new cloud certification, direct your attention to a free webinar on the topic of computer-based testing, and more.

HP Upgrades Top-Level Cloud Credential


Cloud masterThe latest thunderclap to come from the boom in cloud certification is an overhauled version of one of the top credentials on the market. HP announced earlier this week that the company has upgraded its top-tier HP ASE - Data Center and Cloud Architect cert. Locking up the new Data Center and Cloud Architect V2 is a snap for individuals who already have Data Center and Cloud Architect V1 — those folks get an immediate upgrade. It's a little more involved for holders of the retired Cloud Architect V1, Cloud Architect V2 and Converged Infrastructure Artchitect V1 credentials to hitch their certification wagons to the latest and greatest, but they do have the option to follow an upgrade path and add Data Center and Cloud Architect V2 to their resumes as well.


They Like It — They Really Like It


In addition to providing a backdrop for Halloween and National Cyber Security Awareness, October was a harmonious month for the number three. The popular Internet and Computing Core Certification, also called IC3, was given a stamp of approval by the similarly three-centric National Coalition of Certification Centers, or NC3. IC3, which is administered by testing-and-training provider Certiport (a subsidiary of Pearson VUE), is a foundational digital literacy credential that provides basic computing background knowledge. NC3 offers stackable certifications in a variety of non-IT disciplines and will recommend IC3 to professionals in those fields as a mean of verifying basic computing competency. NC3 promotes certifications in transportation, aviation, energy and manufacturing, all fields where computers and applications have been integrated into a host of products and services.


CompTIA Reports Continued Success from Rollout of CertMaster


After breaking ground earlier this year with the release of CertMaster, its new adaptive learning tool that helps people get certified, CompTIA continues to draw rave reviews from those who've used the product. A recent entry at CompTIA's IT Careers Blog reports the experience of a Jamaican data entry clerk, 24-year-old Gordon Russell. Russell used CertMaster to prepare for his CompTIA A+ exam, and was particularly pleased with the in-depth explanations that were provided whenever he would give the wrong answer to a review question. He also enjoyed the portability of his CertMaster experience. Since Certmaster is online, Russell could take it with him wherever his laptop PC could get a wireless signal. At present, CertMaster provides comprehensive study materials for CompTIA's A+, Network+, Security+ and IT Fundamentals certs.


Wherever You Go, There Your Computer-Based Test Is


After years of sticking like glue to the tried-and-true testing center model, there's a lot of momentum in the IT certification realm right now around computer-based testing. Pearson VUE, which struck a major test delivery pact with Microsoft earlier this year, seems determined to be a pioneering influence in the accelerating adoption of taking cert tests without going to a testing center. The Microsoft arrangement has already resulted in a computer-based testing option for select MCP and MTA exams, and now Pearson VUE is encouraging others to consider the benefits of computer-based testing. The company will host a free webinar titled "Making the Mark: How Candidate Convenience Can Improve Your Testing Success" on Nov. 26. Registration is requested of those wishing to participate.


Free Practice Exam Available from Microsoft and Pearson VUE


Before we jettison the topic of cool things in certification testing that Microsoft and Pearson VUE are doing, how about a free practice test? That's right, it's a certification BOGO (that's "buy one get one" for any of you folks who don't live in close proximity to a couponer). Until the end of 2014, you can grab a free practice test whenever you purchase an MCP certification exam. And if you do have an MCP exam to schedule, but you don't need a free practice test, then definitely help yourself to 15 percent off at the register.


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..