Apple Offers New Pair of IT Certs, Along with Training
Apple has released a new pair of certifications, each with its own training and prep materials, with follow-on exams available through Pearson Vue. Exams cost $250 each (or local currency equivalent), but as far as I can tell the training for each of these items is free.
The intent of the courses is to prepare (and certify) individuals to work with iPhones, Macintosh computers, and other Apple devices in a workplace setting. Given their wide use and steady popularity, this sounds like a pretty good combination to me. Worth looking into, anyway, for those not averse to getting involved with workplace care and feeding of Apple stuff.
What’s on the Menu?
There are two courses involved in this offering, both of which fall under a general Support and Deployment Training label. Note that the first course and cert are a prerequisite for the second, so it’s not unfair to consider them a sequenced pair. Here's a bit more information:
Apple Device Support: This one provides a lead-in to (and overview of) the skills, tools, and knowledge IT pros can put to work supporting and troubleshooting Apple devices in a workplace setting. Topics include introductions, guided tours and exercises around tools and services helpful when supporting Macintosh, iPhone and iPad users. Links to an exam prep guide, certification details and course materials (approximately 14 hours of video training) are provided.
Apple Deployment and Management: This one focuses on Apple device deployments within an IT setting, with a special emphasis on managing and configuring iDevices in the workplace using mobile device management tools and techniques. Topics covered include developing a deployment strategy, working with Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager, and using an MDM solution to configure iDevices. As with the preceding item, links to an exam preparation guide, course materials (13 hours of video), and so forth are provided.
Overall, this looks like a great combination of items available to interested IT professionals at relatively low cost. It’s too soon to tell how strong the uptake in the marketplace will be, so let’s look instead at some numbers around iDevice use in the workplace.
iDevice Statistics on Business Use
According to a Statista 2018 survey, about 25 percent of Americans use an iPhone for business purposes. A 2020 Business News Daily story puts the share of American smartphone owners at 47.4 percent, one of the largest marketshares for the iPhone worldwide. That said, this kind of distribution certainly indicates ample opportunities for US readers. Those in other markets will want to consider iPhone market share in their neck of the woods before making their decisions about whether or not to pursue the aforementioned training and certifications.
As far as other iDevices go, MacRumors reports Macintosh market share at around 9 percent for the first quarter of 2022. That means 1 in 10 PCs sold worldwide is a Macintosh, by this analysis. That’s not necessarily indicative of specific company patterns. Some organizations insist on Windows-only PCs; some allow user choices for some job roles; some prefer Macintoshes.
But there are enough Macs in workplace use, IMO, to make these certifications of interest to those companies that do use them (and other iDevices). Little data is available about iPad use in the workplace, though this Google search certainly shows there are plenty of descriptions that explain how to use such a device for and at work.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
By way of full disclosure, I must confess that the first computer I ever bought was a “Fat Mac” model that came into my hands in September of 1984, right after that model made its initial debut. Until 1994, I worked my way through a handful of different Macintosh models that included compact, desktop, and even laptop models.
Later on, in 2009, I would buy a Macintosh Air laptop that I ended up giving to my niece to take to college. I’m still a fan of the brand and the gear, and own an iPhone 12 and an iPad Air 2. I might not be the most unbiased of observers, but I still believe my opinions about the value, utility, and relevance of the new Apple cert and training duo are valid and correct.
You’ll have to decide for yourself, but this is an extremely interesting set of offerings, that could provide a terrific entry point for someone looking to improve their IT skills and knowledge portfolio. It could also be of life-changing — or at least job-finding — value to new workers coming into IT and the workforce for the first time, or for career changers looking to find a way to start a new career in IT.