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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 16)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA cracks open a case of employment data with its annual Cyberstates report, an ISACA blogger enumerates the cybersecurity lessons of COVID-19, and more.

CompTIA Assesses IT Employment in All 50 U.S. States


CompTIA has released its annual Cyberstates report.As America grapples with possibly the worst unemployment crisis it has ever faced, tech industry association CompTIA is attempting to pump out some sunshine with the annual release of IT employment data gathered for its Cyberstates project. Fraught timing aside — as well as potential inaccuracy, given that most of the data now being released was gathered prior to the current avalanche of unemployment claims — the Cyberstates report is always interesting, and worth exploring to glean insights about the ongoing evolution of the IT employment landscape in the United States. Listed among the report's "key findings" are bullet points like the net total IT employment in the United States of 12.1 million, or the IT industry's $1.9 trillion economic footprint. Cyberstates also comes equipped with an interactive employment map to help job seekers find the best places to look for work. There are more people employed as software and web developers in the United States, at 1.6 million, by more than double the total number who fall under the next largest employment category (740,286 individuals employed as systems and cybersecurity analysts). There's a great deal of fascinating data to dig through.


CompTIA: Which Is Best for Beginners, A+ or ITF+?


Speaking, as we were, of tech industry association CompTIA, there are frequent discussions in the IT realm of what constitutes "entry-level" skills and knowledge. CompTIA has two different certifications that, each in its way, prepare people to enter the IT field. The A+ credential, covering basic knowledge of (and interaction with) hardware and software is generally thought of as being a foundation-level credential, something to layer other certs on top of. The IT Fundamentals (ITF+) credential is generally thought of in much the same way, but with the level of preexisting IT knowledge and skills dialed down considerably. If you've ever pondered the IT field and wondered which cert might be right for you, then there's a great new article at the CompTIA Blog that breaks down the differences. The article includes a handy infographic (depicting a path to the summit of a metaphorical IT mountain) that highlights six key differences between the two certs (and is PDF downloadable). There's also a solid (and brief) discussion of what you should know before attemping each of the two certs, as well as a breakdown of what is covered by each.


Certification Magazine Outlines CompTIA Project+ Requirements


It's a bit of an all-CompTIA all-the-time Certification Watch this week. Over at, the official website of Certification Magazine, this week brought the final installment of a four-part series dissecting the Project+ project management certification. Project+ may not have the industry clout and widespread recognition of PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP) cert, but it does offer an IT-specific path to a hotly-demanded and highly-valued skill set. Over the past four months, CertMag contributor Emmett Dulaney has taken a step-by-step tour through the four Project+ knowledge domains, laying out what certification candidates need to know in order to succeed. There's lots of good information available to anyone who is interested in becoming Project+-certified.


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