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Certification Watch Volume 14 #2

Certification news regarding certification for virtual trainers, new virtualization certifications from VMWare, Cisco Security Specialist options, and news regarding CompTIA, Brocade, and The Open Group.

Certification Options Expand for Virtual Trainers

Since CompTIA added a Virtual Classroom track to its CTT+ (Certified Technical Trainer) designation in 2008, it's been the lone credential (that we know of) with a focus on distance training - until now. Last week Cisco launched the Cisco Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist. Interestingly, the new certification is not about delivering Cisco-specific training, or even IT-related training, and promises to be vendor- and platform-neutral, although it does rely on Cisco's WebEx platform as part of the testing process.

To become a Cisco Virtual Classroom Instruction Specialist, a candidate must first pass a computer-based multiple choice exam (#640-132) and then submit a WebEx recording of themself leading a virtual classroom session, which will be scored. The initial exam is already available and costs $150. The price for the practical portion (the recording) has not been set yet, but it is slated to for release on March 15th. Training is available, virtually via WebEx of course, for $1395.

Further details are available on GoCertify.com and through Cisco's website.

VMWare Adds Desktop Virtualization Certifications

VMWare, which already offers datacenter virtualization certifications, is now rolling out a complementary slate of desktop virtualization certifications. The new three-tier VMware Desktop certification is designed to recognize individuals with the technical capabilities and deployment experience to deliver desktops from the datacenter as a managed service. The exam for the first certification - VMWare Certified Associate - DT, is already available in beta format. An exam blueprint and FAQ are available on the VMWare website. The Professional and Advanced Professional levels are still in the works.

If you missed our recent round-up of virtualization certifications offered by VMWare and others, be sure to check it out.

CompTIA Study Examines Employer Views on Certification

CompTIA's newly released study, Employer Perceptions of IT Training and Certification, reports that employers place considerable value on professional certifications as a hiring tool, but not as much as they place on actual work experience, which is exactly as it should be. The study also found that 6 in 10 companies in the IT industry encourage employees to pursue IT certifications, and 8 out of 10 HR professionals - i.e. those who often do the hiring - surveyed believe that IT certifications will grow in usefulness and value over the next 2 years.

The study also identified issues that may be holding back the value of IT certification. For example, there is such a variety of IT certifications out there that it can be difficult for hiring managers, especially those in HR rather than IT, to compare their relative worth. We can confirm that, as HR professionals are known to utilize GoCertify for some of their research. To read more excerpts from the study, view CompTIA's official press release.

Cisco Adds More Security Specialist Certifications

Earlier this month Cisco introduced three new Security Specialist certifications, nearly doubling the number of Cisco Security Specialist designations available. No new exams were created; instead, new certification titles were attached to individual exams that are already part of the CCNP Security program. The new designations are:

- Cisco Firewall Security Specialist (2 exams)
- Cisco IOS Security Specialist (1 exam)
- Cisco VPN Security Specialist (2 exams)

Cisco Security Specialist certifications are for IT workers who are skilled in specific, focused security areas but don't necessarily have broad security knowledge. For example, an employee on the road who can't connect to the company VPN doesn't necessarily need the advanced skills of a someone with CCNP Security - a Cisco VPN Specialist can probably resolve the problem. Since the Specialist exams consist of subsets of the full CCNP Security credential, they also serve as stepping stones toward the higher credential.

Candidates must earn the CCNA Security credential before pursing any of the Security Specialist certifications. A list of all 6 Security Specialist credentials is available on Cisco's website.

A Few More Tidbits from the World of IT Certification

- The Open Group announced it has reached a milestone of over 15,200 TOGAF certifications granted worldwide. To read more about this accomplishment and what it signifies about the importance of open standards today, read Garry Doherty's posting to The Open Group blog.

- On February 14th, Brocade released its new Brocade Certified Network Designer (BCND) exam. BCND exam objectives can be viewed on the Brocade website.

- TIBCO will release its new ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks 5 exam on March 7, 2011. Exam objectives and TIBCO sample questions are already available online.

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. .

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