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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 19)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Cisco Learning Network takes a closer look at the new CCNA, Certification Magazine shines a light on humanitarian computer recycling, and more.

Meet the New CCNA, Same as the Old CCNA ... But Better


The new CCNA from Cisco is ... a lot like the old CCNA.Cisco Learning Network, the certification and training arm of networking titan Cisco, is very excited about the company's newest certification, as expressed this week in a post to the Cisco Certifications Blog. And what dynamic new credential are we talking about? Why, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), of course. As of earlier this year (the last week in February, to be precise), the cornerstone credential of Cisco's popular certification program has a new look and feel. As explained by Cisco product marketing manager Joanna Gardner, CCNA was formerly divided across multiple specializations — a shock to the system, incidentally, that was only a handful of years old itself. So this year's big change was sort of a retreat to the original status of CCNA as a foundational step that prepares networking professionals to branch out in different directions. Gardner walks through the purpose of CCNA and also invites certification candidates pondering the newly revamped credential to participate in a series of webinars created to help outline the changes and ease newcomers onto the right path.


Your Friend Here Is Only Mostly Laid Off


As we've covered in considerable detail here at GoCertify over the past month, the employment situation in the United States and elsewhere is already a waking nightmare for some and is making others profoundly uneasy. There are a couple of different half-steps toward unemployment, on the other hand, that don't entirely sever the relationship between employer and employee, but do leave workers in a limbo-like state. As outlined in a post to the Insights blog of IT employment facilitator Dice, some workers have been furloughed, which in essence means "placed on a mandatory unpaid leave of absence." You've still got your job — provided that the furlough isn't a first step to being laid off — but without working on anything and without receiving any sort of pay or benefits. Blogger Leslie Stevens-Huffman has some good advice for anyone who's been shoved into this uncomfortable position. You may not directly conrol the ultimate outcome, but there are steps you can take to turn things around even while you're sitting on the sidelines and waiting to find out when and whether you'll get called back into the game.


The Benefits of Giving Service to Others


Volunteerism is good for the soul. It's healthy and normal to take the opportunity to look outside oneself and give service to others. Many businesses and other organizations sponsor recurring acitivities to encourage individuals to initiate or participate in service projects. There are many ways that engaging in such selfless activities can be beneficial, but one that's not often the first thing on anyone's mind is the bonds of friendship that can form among fellow volunteers. A recent post to the ISACA Now blog of cybersecurity and IT governance association ISACA describes this particular benefit of volunteering. Guest blogger and Londoner Allan Boardman shares some inspiring and worthwhile words of wisdom about his experience as a volunteer, over numerous years, assisting with Olympic and Paralympic sporting competitions. People often say that giving service is more rewarding to the giver than the receiver, and Boardman provides another heartwarming illustration of the point.


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