Microsoft Professional Program Gets an Expiration Date
Microsoft has never been shy about shaking things up at Microsoft Learning, the certification and training arm of the Seattle-area software titan. Microsoft certifications have been a pillar of the IT certification industry for as long as it's been an industry, but there have also been plenty of changes in that multidecade span. The latest certification innovation to get backtracked into oblivion is the Microsoft Professional Program, which is slated for cancellation as of Dec. 31. It took just a few short years for Microsoft brass to decide that the Microsoft Professional Program, launched in 2016, was a wrong turn. The original intent of the MPP, as laid out in soon-to-be-obsolete publicity materials, was to help build up the global IT workforce: "Recognizing a shortage of qualified individuals to fill the growing need for specific job roles, Microsoft Professional Program is a new way to learn the skills and get the hands-on experience these roles require." The MPP cancellation announcement makes it clear that Microsoft is still a big believe in the value of IT certification, but the company will now encourage tech professionals to add to their skills via Microsoft Learn.
ISACA Blogger Has Bold Take on Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Cybersecurity awareness training is often put forth as a much needed first step to creating a more secure environment in workplaces around the world. Yet Kris Martel, CISO for Emagine IT, writes in a recent post to the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA that, essentially, we've gotten past the point where mere awareness training can meaningfully improve cybersecurity. Indeed, Martel argues, cybersecurity awareness training, where it is used at all, has become rote and unengaging by its very repetition. Not only that, but cybersecurity awareness training has also raised awareness among digital malefactors of what potential victims are being taught to thwart their designs. We've essentially shown the bad guys, Martel says, how not to attack us. The solution, as Martel sees it, is to promote better cybersecurity hygiene by teaching workers the rudiments of hacking. Teach a man to phish, and he'll be much less likely to be phished by someone else. It's a cool concept and would certainly make for more stimulating awareness training.
Teaching IT Skills by Directly Involving Learners in IT Tasks
There are many schools around the United States (and in other parts of the world) where students get advanced computer technology training by doing actual IT support and IT service work. There's a fun story of the birth of such a program in a recent post to the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA. Blogger Matthew Stern relates the curious case of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, Tenn., where a bored student poked a hole in the school firewall so that he could play an online game during classes. School IT personnel quickly recruited him to the then-nascent IT apprenticeship program. Such programs are typically a win-win scenario, lightening the IT support and maintenance load for school officials while helping students learn valuable (and employable) skills at the same time that they are deepening their understanding of information technology.
CertMag.com Turns Cert Spotlight on CompTIA's Security+
As ruminated upon last week by GoCetify's own Ed Tittel, there are now more than 500,000 individuals worldwide who have a Security+ certification from tech industry association CompTIA. Also last week, the crack staff at CertMag.com, the official website of Certification Magazine, turned its Deep Focus microscope on Security+. The Deep Focus series picks one credential each week from the magazine's annual Salary Survey 75 list and zeroes in on Salary Survey respondents who hold that certification. The Deep Focus features provide a fascinating cross-section of Salary Survey statistics. For example, in addition to a very large contingent of U.S. tech pros who hold Security+, Security+ holders from 24 different nations participated in the Salary Survey last year. And among all Security+ holders who participated in the survey, more than four out of every five have completed some level of college or university education. More than 95 percent of the Security+ holders who responded to the survey have full-time jobs – and so on, and so forth. This is just one example of the Deep Focus series, which usually produces around 50 such deep-dive spotlights per year. If you're not familiar with it already, it's worth checking out.
That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the GoCertify News Editor.