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Certification Watch (Vol. 17, No. 29)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification industry happenings, we bring you news about how certification can solve your staffing crunch, the rise of so-called coding academies, and more.

Finding IT Professionals (Very) Close to Home

 

Job huner with laptopMany, if not most, IT employers agree that it's already hard — and getting harder — to find good help. There's a fairly broad consensus among tech companies in particular, and all firms looking to fill IT positions generally, that there are many more jobs available than skiller workers to take them. There's probably no one solution to the problem, but a recent post at CompTIA's IT Careers Blog makes an interesting suggestion. Some of the people that hiring managers are already looking for, the post contends, may already be on the job. Well, not that hard-to-fill IT job. People already beneath your corporate roof, on the other hand, may be able to "upskill" using certification and other training tools to leave behind more easily replaceable roles and take on some of those hard-to-fill IT positions. The post specifically addresses resources available in the UK to retrain employees, but it's an idea that could be applied anywhere.

 

British Computer Society Hosts Cybersecurity Panel

 

If you'll be in London on Thursday and you've been dying to ask a tough cybersecurity question, then you're in luck. Cybersecurity Summit 2014 will be in full swing, and the British Computer Society is ready to provide answers to tough cybersecurity questions. BCS officials are cohosting a special Ask the Experts panel at the summit, which is being held at London's QEII Conference Center. BCS exec Jon Buttriss said in a press release announcing the panel that cybersecurity should be foremost in the minds of leaders at every business and organization. "Having appropriately skilled IT and cyber security professionals in your team to deal with these issues is vital and helps to build customer confidence in your business," Buttriss said.

 

Cicso Learning Network Helps Cisco IT Pros Get Geeked

 

Nurd alert! Cisco Learning Network has been busily overhauling its website, and there's another new development now available to proud members of the Cisco certification community. As they engage with other learners, Cisco certified professionals can acquire tokens for their online profile that announce their accomplishments and proficiencies to their peers. Community members who interact at various levels accrue "points" that are ... good for something? It's not entirely clear. At any rate, the points system encourages some people to deepen their level of engagement with others, and Cisco Learning Network is helping out by rewarding participants with cooler badges and icons than before. So if that's your thing, then hey, one more reason to hang out at Cisco Learning Network.

 

All Your Tweets Is Belong to ... Everyone

 

Having a presence on social media is practially an unwritten rule for many IT pros, so the announcement made by Twitter this week that all Twitter users can now seach every tweet in the history of mankind (yes, tweets have only been around since 2008, but still) is sure to be cool for some, and perhaps a little unnerving to others. Celebrities, whose Twitter accounts get "hacked" by pranksters with alarming regularity, are probably foremost among those not thrilled at the prospect of every random thought they've ever tweeted being suddenly more accessible than ever before. (Just a few weeks back, NBA star Damian Lillard was uncomfortably reminded of less-than-dimplomatic remarks he made about LeBron James on Twitter three years ago.) It's one more reason for IT pros to be judicious about social media, which is often used by employers to vet potential new hires.

 

Pearson to Offer Linux Certification Training Videos

 

Video courseware can be one of the most effective means of learning new material for your next certificaiton. A new set of training videos created by noted Linux expert Sander van Vugt could be an important piece of the puzzle for your next Linux cert. The new courses developed by van Vugt and offered through IT training provider Pearson VUE are heavy hitters. The objective is to help certification candidates take aim at two well known Linux certs, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE). Van Vugt cautions that certification candidates should be prepared. Preparing for both Red Hat exams, he said, will require eight-to-10 hours of practice a week for at least one or two months, on top of substantial familiarity with Linux from regular work experience.

 

The Rise of Coding Academies

 

With (as noted above) skilled IT pros in demand just about everywhere you turn, any and every suggestion of ways to bolster the IT workforce is on the table. One idea that could help rapidly swell the ranks is the advent of specialized training schools that cram both basic and advanced IT skills into students' brains as quickly as possible. One illustration of this new trend is the boom in "coding academies," which offer relatively inexpensive (and fast-paced) classes targeted at specific job-ready computer programming skills. An article in The Indinanapolis Star this week (linked above) gives an interesting localized overview of a practice that's catching on across the country. So is there a chance that specialized academies, particularly is the hiring results are good, may supplant some certifications in the minds of skill-hungry aspiring IT pros? It's certainly something to watch.

 

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..