The Many Facets of AI in IT Certification
It doesn’t seem like the bloom will be off the AI rose any time soon. Indeed, you can’t spell certification without using the letters A (once) and I (three times). I happened to interview Microsoft’s foremost maven of psychometrics, Dr. Liberty Munson, last week and she, too, is thoroughly besotted with the many ways that AI can play into the certification process.
I just saw that she posted her own completion of the Microsoft SkillUp AI digital badge over on LinkedIn, in fact. If you're looking to lock in solid baseline knowledge of AI fundamentals, then that might be worth checking into.
How Does AI Play Into Certification, Anyway?
According to Dr. Munson, Microsoft is using generative AI as a better, faster way to generate vetted, workable question banks items for certs. Because certs are founded on training materials, practice tests, labs, assessments, and a whole lot more, they provide a perfect body of text for AI to grind through.
Given a detailed description of what constitutes a vetted, workable question item, as well as a large collection of existing questions items, it’s a relatively straightforward use of AI to generate more such things.
Regular turnover in question banks is the best way to defeat brain dumps and other, similar cheat sheets on current exam content, so this turns out to be a simply smashing way to ensure exam integrity and separate those who memorize stuff from those who really understand concepts, tools, problem solving, and other substantial skills and knowledge.
Beyond this direct application of AI to building and maintaining certification exams, there’s substantially more that AI can do to assist with certification. Dr. Munson mentioned that AI can provide proctoring support for exam monitoring, readily flagging "suspicious" versus "merely nervous" behaviors. This lets human proctors step in where they might be needed to fend off or, if necessary, shut down unwanted or unacceptable test-taking behaviors.
Then there’s the use of AI itself within and alongside systems and applications (Copilots of many kinds) that IT professionals can employ to boost accuracy, speed learning, and improve productivity.
This does raise interesting questions around knowing how to use AI well — and perhaps even to use it as part of the certification process itself, for assessment, guided learning, exam practice, and outright test-taking. In short, there are many, many ways in which AI is going to impact IT certification, just as it’s also impacting most other aspects of the entire IT profession.
Have I Got Your Attention Yet?
Want to take this AI stuff for a spin? You should! To that end, please check out this free six-course sequence from Microsoft and LinkedIn. It’s called Career Essentials in Generative AI, and delivers four hours of content in small, bite-sized and easily digestible chunks. Those six courses include:
What Is Generative AI? Basics of the subject matter comprising its history, well-known models, inner workings, key ethical considerations and other topics.
Generative AI: The Evolution of Thoughtful Online Search Digs into distinctions and differences between reasoning and search engines. The basic approach is to expose and explore "thoughtful search strategies" emerging from the fields of generative AI.
Streamlining Your Work with Microsoft Bing Chat Put this eponymous Edge plug-in and/or the new Microsoft Copilot app to work as you go through your daily routine, to boost productivity and use automation to handle routine or tedious tasks.
Microsoft 365 Copilot First Look Through exploration and examples, see how you can use Copilot across the whole Microsoft 365 environment (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Windows and more) to improve your working experience.
Ethics in the Age of Generative AI Because of its speed and power, ethical matters are essential to proper and safe use of generative AI, from creation and modeling to deployment and everyday use. Walk through various scenarios to explore and understand ethical issues and challenges.
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence Take a guided tour of the leading tools and platforms in the AI space, with a special emphasis on generative AI.
Notice that "Badge of Completion" (capitalization mine) at the end of the list? Methinks it’s akin to the very badge that Dr. Munson herself just reported earning. If she thinks it’s worthile, then it may be something to put on your to-do list as well. Cheers!