Finally, A Meaningful Collation of AI Certifications
Today's IT workplace is an interesting niche to live in. And few things about IT tools, technology, platforms, and such are collecting more accolades, enthusiasm, hype, and investment than artificial intelligence. Only 3 months ago I wrote another column here titled The Current Dearth of AI Certifications Seems Likely to Continue.
It came out of an earlier item (from May 19) called The ChatGPT Gold Rush Is On. I'm not inclined to denigrate my own work, but when I wrote the "dearth" story I was coming from a perspective of slim pickings, many not terribly compelling or attractive. Things can change fast, however, especially in the IT realm.
Today, I'm pleased to observe that Aminu Abdullah at eWeek has put together a stellar survey and ranking piece dated Sept. 27 that overcomes my previous hesitations and discomforts. It's titled 10 Top Artificial Intelligence Certifications 2023. Those interested in using AI in an IT context — And who isn't these days? (More on this at the end of the story) — should definitely give Abdullah's article a read.
Rankings In Context, Rankings in Relevance, Rankings in Motivation
I'm not going to summarize or repeat the eWeek story here, other than to cherry-pick certain interesting odds and ends. What I would like to say, though, is that this story represents the kind of ratings and rankings for training and certification that interested readers really need.
It doesn't just trot out a bunch of certs and/or courses and proclaim them to be the best of their kind. Instead, it provides lots of detailed descriptions of what's under consideration, and then provides its rationale for how the items chosen made the grade, and what gives them at least potential — if not yet actual — merit, value, and job-related relevance.
Then it provides detailed descriptions of the items chosen, so that readers can better understand what's covered; what's involved by way of time, effort and cost, experience and other pre-requisites (where applicable); and more.
One more thing I like about the eWeek story is that it discusses a number of important topics to help readers evaluate and assess its recommended certs, courses, and such. These appear in the tail end of the story in sections entitled "Benefits of AI Courses and Certification," "How to Choose the Right AI Certification Course," and "... Which AI Certification is Right for You?"
Aside from reflecting my own typical approach to providing readers with that very kind of information, these sections provide ammunition to help justify the time, money and effort people must invest in any kind of certification or testing- and education-driven self-improvement project. They're not bad for helping you to explain yourself to family members (when you go missing for study, prep and testing) and employers (when you come asking for financial, moral or time diversion support).
Adbullah's recommendations based on career roles and paths are especially interesting, too.
Another Major AI Milestone Strikes This Week
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Microsoft released a CU Preview update for Windows 11 22H2, and a Release Preview update for Windows 11 22H3 for Business Insiders. Both included built-in support for Copilot, a ChatGPT-driven AI "companion" available through a built-in app one can park at the desktop.
AI is no longer "coming soon to a desktop near you." For many users, it's within reach on your desktop right now. It's making a huge difference for me in my everyday role as a writer who covers Windows internals and especially the Windows Terminal environment, including scripting and customization inside PowerShell, Command Prompt, Ubuntu bash, and more.
IT pros (of which I consider myself at least a distaff instance) are using AI in some ways already. But we're about to see it recast the very basics of how we work, and what we work on. To me that makes AI training and certification even more compelling than it was already, and it was already pretty darn compelling, indeed.
Do yourself a favor and start digging in: You'll be doing it eventually anway, by hook or by crook, so why not get a head start?