A Familiar Name Comes Up In a Best IT Certs Survey
Editor's Note: Ed got his wish. (Read on to gain a full understanding of what that means.) Not long after he submitted this column, Business News Daily did, in fact, revise the URL and byline for the article in question.
As I prepare to write my weekly column for GoCertify, one of my usual starting points each week is news.google.com, where I use "information technology certification" as a search string. Imagine my surprise this morning when, while following up on said search with an interesting item titled "Best IT Certifications to Help Your Career," I found a BusinessNewsDaily item titled "Best IT Certifications for 2023." (See updated link above.)
As I thought to myself, "Gee, this doesn't look half bad," I glanced at the byline and saw my own publicity headshot staring back at me. "Whoa!" I thought further. "I'm pretty sure I haven't been near this since 2018 or thereabouts. Let's see what we've got here."
Remembrance of Things Past ... and Present
Sure enough what I found is an updated version of the copy I created back then, with all the links and info caught up to their latest corresponding incarnations. The article contains essentially the very same recommendations I made back back in the day, with a little bit of polish applied to add a contemporary sheen.
Each of the sections in the story is more or less the same it was when BND stopped paying to maintain the series, but with new links to more current versions of things where they have been either updated or superseded by newer equivalents. Let me recite the categories covered, so I can use that for ammunition in upcoming discussions and questions:
Best database certifications
Best SAS certifications
Best Cisco certifications
Best Dell certifications
Best mobility certifications
Best computer hardware certifications
Best Google Cloud certifications
Best Evergreen IT certifications
Best IT governance certifications
Best system administrator certifications
Best ITIL certifications
Best enterprise architect certifications
Best CompTIA certifications
Best Oracle certifications
Best business continuity and disaster recovery certifications
As I see it, there are two ways to tackle this set of categories. One is to look at their contents. The other to look at the list and see what's in there that perhaps shouldn't be present any longer, and then to see whether there is anything missing.
I'll leave it to my GoCertify readership to work through the article and see what you all think about the coverage there. I'll simply observe that it's still surprisingly relevant and accurate, if a bit dated here and there. (Some of it remains spot on, as for example you'd expect for the "evergreen" category. Yep! They're still evergeen.)
The only glaring omission is under the CompTIA heading where for some odd reason they failed to include A+. That's still the biggest credential of all in their portfolio as far as I know.
Categories and Scattergories
There are a few things that are sadly wanting in this list. By itself, listing Google Cloud and Oracle certifications is just the edge of the cloud, so to speak and doesn't include the biggest players. Indeed, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud (all also in the Top 5 Public Cloud provider rankings) have eminently worthwhile and respectable cloud certification programs that range from technician to architect tiers.
Totally missing in action, but on everybody's minds and lips nowadays is artificial intelligence, machine learning, and all the other AI-based stuff that's changing the IT landscape as we know it right now (see my Sept. 23 column right here at GoCertify for more info on this centrally important but still-emerging field in IT).
I'd also expect to see some things showing up in this list today — if I ran the zoo, to quote Dr. Seuss — that play into the massive field of IT infrastructure. More specifically, where is the coverage of SDN and networking technologies and datacenter technologies (especially storage, compute, networking, GPU-based AI, and a whole lot more).
I'd also expect to the see major virtualization players getting all kinds of coverage as well.
Old Wine in New Bottle May Get Foxed
The problem with taking a snapshot from the past and refreshing it is that what's inside the snapshot may or may not remain relevant. Even updated, some things of major concern in 2018 may not be top of mind any more in 2023 and beyond. But what's more important is the cool and important new stuff that's come along since the snapshot was taken, and that really is top of mind — for today and tomorrow.
Let this be a topic to think about as you read and digest recommendations from even highly trusted sources. (Sources that look a lot like me, for example, to my chagrin.) Read the whole thing, and see what it says, then see what you think.
Look at the fine print, too: the concluding line for this BND article reads "Ed Tittel also contributed to this article." As far as I can tell that means they took my 2018 words and changed them to remain sort of valid in 2023. I wish they'd credited the person who actually did that work.
Shoot! That person should have gotten top billing and just dropped my name in passing at the end. As I send a cease and desist letter to the publisher, in fact, that's what I'll suggest!