ISACA Blogger: How I Got ISACA's 'Fab 4' Certs in Less than One Year
Let's not mince words: Earning just about any four IT certification in 10 or fewer months is impressive. Now what about earning all four of the core certifications – Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) – offered by cybersecurity and governance association ISACA within that same time frame? Whoa. That is beyond impressive. That is, as the kids like to say, some next-level (stuff). You can read all about it thanks to a humbleblog posted to the ISACA Now blog last week by one Sourya Biswas. Biswas completed his eye-opening quadrifecta over a 10-month window that closed earlier this year. After giving a fairly standard YMMV caveat, Biswas walks through his motivation and preparation, followed by a list of takeaways from his experience, and some exam day tips. For example, if you're preparing for one of the ISACA exams, Biswas recommends testing your wits against the battery of Q&A databases available for each credential. If you can consistently answer at least 75 percent of those questions correctly, he writes, then you're probably ready to tackle the actual certification exam.
CompTIA Blows Up Average Annual Salary 'Myth'
The makers of lists that report industry salaries, both inside and outside the IT realm, must grapple with a fairly obvious problem. All of the individuals who meet a given criterion – they all have the same job title, or they all hold the same certification – don't all earn the exact same compensation. You can't pick one person's salary to represent the entire group, and it's generally wildly impractical (both for the person reporting the information and the person consuming it) to simply state every salary of every individual in the group. That's why we generally talk about average salaries and/or median salaries. It provides generalized information that is based on real numbers and gives a point of reference. So it's not really in any sense a "myth" to say that, for example, computer programmers in the United States have an average annual salary of $(your data here). People often misinterpret average annual salary data to mean things it doesn't really mean, but that's their mistake, not some myth-perpetuating error on the part of the entity that reports the data. All of this is a long-winded way of saying that a recent post to the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA that purports to "bust" the "myth" of average annual salaries is maybe throwing a little (or a lot) of shade where no shade is actually warranted. Hey, stupid people: "Average annual salary" does NOT mean "minimum amount of money that every single person in the same category is guaranteed to earn regardless of any other factors." Aww, look. We just busted a myth!
Dice Survey Reveals IT Pros Want Bigger Paychecks
Speaking, as we just were, of organizations that gather and report salary data, there's new data available from IT employment facilitator Dice that suggests the IT employment market may have taken a turn in favor of workers. When jobs are scarce and unemployment is high, workers who have jobs tend to stay put and take their (real or imagined) lumps. When unemployment is low, on the other hand, and jobs are plentiful, then workers have a heightened degree of freedom to seek greener pastures. Which is what Dice says many IT professionals may be planning to do. Citing its own research, Dice says 45 percent of IT pros anticipate switching jobs this year. Not only that, but 68 percent of those potential switchers want to be paid more than they are currently earning.
So You Want to Be a Computer Technician
The first employment stop on the IT career path of many tech workers, often made while said individual is still in school or otherwise climbing an educational ladder, is to serve in a tech support or help desk position. Such employees, often more broadly described as computer technicians, can be found at organizations large and small, both inside and outside the IT industry. Computer technicians are expected to master a variety of skills and keep pace with various evolving technologies. It's an adventurous role. And, for the benefit of any inclined to seek out that particular adventure, there's an excellent new article at CertMag.com, the Certification Magazine website, that offers guidance and advice. Many people make computer support a career destination, and not merely a stepping stone. But even if you have bigger IT ambitions than just responding to frustrated end-users or building out company IT infrastructure, jumping in with both feet as a computer technician can provide a solid foundation on which to build a bigger and better IT future.
That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the GoCertify News Editor.