CIW Certification Revamps for the Modern Web Professional

When I think of CIW, I think of the vacuum-packed t-shirt you see pictured below. I received this highly-compressed garment back in 2001, as part of a self-study product package for the CIW program. Back then, CIW stood for Certified Internet Webmaster, a training and certification program primarily focused on web-based technologies and best practices.

 

Aarons CIW T-Shirt

Behold! An artifcact of ancient IT certification eras past!

 

As it turned out, I did not earn a CIW certification back then, although I would successfully go on to achieve CompTIA's i-Net+ credential — a designation that CompTIA tossed on the scrap heap of discontinued certs several years ago. Thus, does the wheel turn.

 

Today, CIW stands for Certified Internet Web Professional. It's a subtle distinction, but one that reflects the program's ongoing evolution to stay relevant to the Internet of 2015. The CIW program is currently managed by Certification Partners, the same group that manages the Convergence Technologies Professional (CTP) program. The CIW program is still largely centered on Internet-based technology, but has expanded its offerings to offer more complete coverage of the web industry.

 

The 2015 CIW program is made up of these certification tracks:

 

? Web Foundations
? Web Design
? Web and Mobile Design
? Web Development
? Web Security

 

As its name suggests, Web Foundations is the entry-level certification track. There are three domains in this track: Internet Business, Site Development, and Network Technology. Each of these domains has its own exam and certification. If a candidate passes all three exams, they qualify for the CIW Web Foundations Associate certification. There is also a 3-in-1 exam that, if passed, earns the same top-level certification.

 

The Web Design certification track is more advanced, and candidates for this track should have some previous web design experience. The two domains in this track are Web Design Specialist and E-Commerce Specialist. Again, each domain has its own exam and related certification. (This is true for all of the CIW tracks that follow, save for the last one.) Passing both exams earns the CIW Web Design Professional certification.

 

The Web and Mobile Design track has the largest number of individual domains of all the CIW certification tracks. Web and Mobile Design is still fairly new to CIW, and some of the exams for these domains are still under development as of this writing (Oct. 2015). One domain exam, Advanced HTML5 and CSS3 Specialist, is currently available. Another domain exam, User Interface Design Specialist, is scheduled to be released in December.

 

Here is a list of the remaining domains, which are slated to appear in the first half of 2016:

 

? Data Analyst
? E-Commerce Specialist
? Mobile Application Developer
? Multimedia Specialist
? Social Media Strategist

 

Candidates who pass all of the individual exams (once they are all available, of course) will earn the CIW Web and Mobile Design Professional certification.

 

The Web Development track is for candidates with intermediate-to-advanced web dev skills. There are three domains in this track: JavaScript Specialist, Database Design Specialist, and PERL Specialist. Earn all three certifications, and you receive the CIW Web Development Professional designation.

 

The Web Security certification track is different from all of the others. Instead of being split into unique domains, the Web Security track consists of three certification levels:

 

? Web Security Associate
? Web Security Specialist
? Web Security Professional

 

The first level certification is earned by passing the CIW Web Security Associate exam, as you would expect. It gets a little unique, however, when it comes to the next two levels.

 

To earn the Specialist level, candidates must show proof of holding a valid credential from a list of qualifying IT-related certification programs. To earn the Professional level certification, candidates must hold two valid certifications from the qualifying list.

 

The Web Security qualifying certification list is fairly large. Here are some examples from the list:

 

? CompTIA Security+
? EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
? GIAC Security Expert (GSE)
? ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
? Microsoft MCSE and/or MCSA
? Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

 

A link to the full list of Web Security qualifying certifications can be found on this page on the CIW site.

 

CIW certification exams are offered through Pearson VUE test centers worldwide. The retake policy for these exams is a 24-hour waiting period before a second attempt, and then a 30-day waiting period for any subsequent retakes. CIW does not enforce a certification expiration policy, but they encourage cert holders to take new versions of their exams as they are released.

 

More information about the CIW certification program is available online.

 

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About the Author
Aaron Axline is a freelance technology writer based in Canada.

Aaron Axline is a technology journalist and copywriter based in Edmonton, Canada. He can be found on LinkedIn, and anywhere fine coffee is served.