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Certification Watch (Vol. 23, No. 20)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, an ISACA blogger passed his CISM certification on the first try (and you can, too), CompTIA predicts the future of IT employment, and more.

Nail Your CISM (Or Another Certification) in Just One Take


What's the best way to prepare for a certification exam?A certification exam, like any other exam, is not a sure thing. There are plenty of ways to prepare for an exam, and most people put in some degree of prep time, but you aren't ever guaranteed to pass no matter how well prepared you are. There's no shame in needing more than one attempt to pass a certification exam. On the other hand, some people do pass their certification exams on the first attempt. One such individual is Adham Etoom, a project manager and risk management professional who discusses his experience taking the CISM certification exam curated by cybersecurity and IT governance association ISACA in a new post to the ISACA Now Blog. Etoom pulled it off, he writes, despiting have a relatively short window of time in which to prepare. He outlines the materials he studied, as well as sharing study tips and describing the experience of actually taking the exam. Etoom's more generalized study tips, like making a plan to follow while studying, are broadly applicable, of course, and and CISM, or Certified Information Security Manager, is a high-level certification. If there's a certification exam in your future, then some of Etoom's ideas will almost certainly benefit you.


Pick a Certification, Any Certification


Most certification programs, even those with a tight focus on a particular vendor's products, offer more than just one credential. Sometimes it's fairly clear which of the available options is best-suited to a given candidate, but larger certification programs can sometimes feature an overwhelming array of possibilities. One area of broad focus for Microsoft Learning, the certification and training arm of software titan Microsoft, is Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform. There are quite a few Azure certifications available, so it will likely be helpful to many that a new post this week to the Microsoft Learning Blog offers extensive advice for anyone wondering which Azure certification is best-suited to their career. "Career" is a key word here, given than Microsoft recently converted its entire certification program to provide credentials that are tailored to real-world job roles instead of credentials that focus on general knowledge. For example, most of the Azure certifications are specific to either system administrators, developers, or data and AI experts. (There are some "cross-profession" credentials, so the old way of thinking about certification hasn't entirely been tossed out.) If you've been confused about Azure certification, then this article will almost certain be helpful.


Does Your Certification Make You Bad to the Bone?


Most people probably don't associate IT certification with being "tough." If there's one profession in IT that has some roguish elan to it, on the other hand, then it's probably the line of work pursued by so-called "ethical" hackers. In that sense, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential managed by EC-Council is probably as "bad" as you can get and still be certified. CEH is the latest cert to be featured in the ongoing Deep Focus series of articles pumped out by the team at Certification Magazine. The Deep Focus articles dive deep into the pool of repsondents from the most recent Salary Survey who hold each of the featured certifications. Each article reveals trends among those certified professionals, like what their formal educational background is, or what their level of satisfaction with their current salary is. For example, more than 95 percent of CEH holders who participated in the 2020 Salary Survey have full-time jobs. That sort of thing.


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