IT Certification Council Looks Ahead to Brave New World of IT Certification

Change is here

The writer of the Christian hymn Abide With Me laments the uncertainty and inconstancy of life in a fickle world with the lyric, "Change and decay in all around I see." Fear of change is certainly a relatable human emotion, and change can lead to bad outcomes.


On the other hand, however, change frequently leads to positive outcomes. Change can absolutely be a force for good, driving innovation and pushing individuals and groups to exceed limits and leap over (or smash through) barriers. And change isn't always passive, either, somoething to be resisted or overcome.


People often drive change in the pursuit of greater knowledge, better solutions, and so forth. To whatever extent it's true that the world is "what you make of it," change is an implicit condition of the human experience. All of which is to say that the view put forth in a new white paper from the IT Certification Council, is bound to make some people nervous and others excited, or at least intrigued.


That's because the IT Certification Council, a nonprofit IT certification thinktank fostered by some of the biggest IT companies in the world, is looking down the road at the future of certification, and predicts that change is both already with us, and waiting around just about every next bend in the road.


Titled The Trends that Will Affect the Certification Industry by 2020, the new document addresses one of the foremost drivers of change straight off the bat. Whether you love or hate the X, Y and Z generations, newcomers to the IT field are already impacting the focus and composition of IT certifications simply be being far more familiar with technology, and fluent in its use, then their IT predecessors.


Trends argues that, "The certification industry must adapt to the next generation of IT professionals. With the adoption of technology in our everyday life, the technology competencies of the new generations are more advanced than ever before." Whereas IT certification in prior decades was targeted largely to working professionals, college, high school, and even middle school students are already part of the landscape in 2016.


There's also a case to be made that the broad-based and all-encompassing certs of yesteryear will soon be replaced by credentials that focus on specific job roles and train certification candidates to deliver market-ready IT solutions. As put forth in Trends:


"In order to meet employer demand, IT professionals are seeking job-specific certifications that will give them an edge within the marketplace. Also, the creation of specialized certifications saves professionals time and money. As the IT workplace and the requirements of staff evolves, certification owners will need to shift to adding role-based certifications rather than product-based to their programs."


Digital badging is another certification innovation that is both already here, and already changing. Whereas much of the initial work on badges and badging standards focused on convenience and vertification, badging has now begun to take on a secondary purpose that may become it's new organizing principle.


Trends predicts that badging will drive interest in certification by engaging the next wave of IT professionals in the pursuit of various different skills and experiences. And that badges could eventually function as something like an aggregate resume that lets employers zero in on exactly the professional they want to hire, based on that individuals badge-verified skills and accomplishments:


"Imagine a point in time where we have digital badges for achievements across a broad spectrum of topics, difficulties and experiences available in one accessible, searchable location. A central repository that is connected to every badge issuer (schools, work, volunteer work, sports, community organizations, etc.) could aggregate, categorize and apply logic to each accumulated achievement.

"It would be possible to identify which candidates might be more (or less) likely to perform successfully in a specific job scenario, in a specific industry, region or company based on summation of their badges."


All of that, and we haven't even touched on the topic of IT certification's evolving assessment tools and parameters. If you're catching the vision, then visit the ITCC library for more great ideas about certification, or go straight to the Trends white paper.

Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
About the Author

GoCertify's mission is to help both students and working professionals get IT certifications. GoCertify was founded in 1998 by Anne Martinez.