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Certification Watch: Vol. 24, Issue 10

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA contemplates the long-running IT gender gap, there's a fast-rising demand for ISACA's CISA certification, and more.

CompTIA Wants YOU ... to Help Close the IT Gender Gap


Women are changing the face of the IT industy ... slowly.Information technology (IT) needs women. The noticeable lack of woman professionals has been a problem in the computer and information sciences field for as long as there has been a computer and information sciences field. Due to a variety of cultural and educational biases, women often don't even take an interest in comptuers and technology, let alone pursue an IT-centered education. In observance of International Women's Day (which fell on Monday this year), tech industry association CompTIA tackles the IT "gender gap" head on in a new post to the official CompTIA blog. The gender gap, it turns out, has a distinct racial slant: Women from ethnic minority groups are even more severely underrepresented in the overall U.S. workforce than women as a whole. And gender discrimination, including pay/promotion inequity and sexual harassment, continues to constrain the presence of women in the global tech workforce. CompTIA has a number of ideas about reformulating the current mixed message — we need more women IT workers, but women in IT jobs are routinely discriminated against — but solving the problem is certain to require a conscientious, concerted, and sustainted effort from the male population that predominates in IT circles.


Get CISA Certified and Step Into a High-Demand Profession


Last week in this space we pointed to a post at the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and IT governance group ISACA decrying the (misbegotten, I tell you!) perception in some circles that the work done by IT auditors is, you know, boring. The image rehabilitation campaign continues this week, with a post that boldly proclaims "IT auditor" to be a red-hot job title in IT employment circles. Writing under the headline "CISA-Certified Profressionals Are More Needed Than Ever: How I Prepared to Join the Club," guest blogger Mirna Boheiri describes rising demand for workers qualified (and, more importantly, certified) to perform IT auditing work. For example, the average salary for garden variety auditors in the United States is just $68,169, while the average salary for IT auditors is $97,731 — almost $30,000 more per year. Boheiri also gives details about her own journey to CISA certification, and lays out some guideposts to follow for other who are hoping to get CISA certified. She also harks back to Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn, who is alleged to have said: "The harder I work, the luckier I get." Wise words.


Hiring Hotspot: IT Project Managers Needed


Lest you suppose that IT auditors are the most eagerly sought of all IT professionals, a new post to the Insights blog of IT employment facilitator Dice deliver up a heaping helping of "au contraire" on Monday. Dice blogger Nick Kolakowski, citing data from tech employment analytics firm Burning Glass, says that IT project management is the most hotly demanded tech skill on the market, outpacing SQL fluency, software development acumen, knowledge of Java, and even software engineering know-how. There are many different project management methodologies — Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Waterfall — and it's crucial to have extensive knowledge of at least one of them. Even more importantly, however, Kolakowski contends that employers are looking to hire project managers who are skilled communicators, can empahtize with others, and excel at team building and ofther "soft skill" elements of project management. Soft skills have steadily gained in perceived important across IT professions in recent years. No matter where you end up working, you'll be well equipped to succeed if you have strong soft skills.


So You Want to Be a Data Architect


What does it take to succeed as a data architect?Data science skills can take you far in the information age. Business, organizations, and governments are constantly in the process of gathering, storing, organizing, and analyzing mountains of data. A key job role in the Big Data food chain is that of data architect. A data architect, as described in a new job profile piece at, the official website of Certification Magazine, is sort of a data management and analysis infrastructure expert, the person who creates all of the IT hardware and software solutions that enable everyone else to do their jobs. If that sounds interesting to you, then definiting click over and give the article a read.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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