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Certification Watch: Vol. 24, Issue 16

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA explores ways to prepare for and pass your next certification exam, IBM trumpets the value of certification, and more.

CompTIA: There's More than One Way to Pass a Certification Exam

 

There are plenty of ways to prepare for (and pass) a certification exam.Just as with the skinning of the proverbial cat, there is more than one way to prepare for — and pass! — a certification exam. There may even be more than seven ways to study up and cross the finish line with a passing score. Seven is the lucky number, however, for a new post this week to the official blog of tech industry association CompTIA. Freelance contributor Matthew Stern outlines seven different methods to help you master new concepts and then prove your mastery by passing a certification exam. Stern's seven study methods of high successful certification candidates (so to speak) are divided into two broad caterogies: instructor-led training and self-study training. The forms of instructor-led training under consideration are guided online learning, workforce development programs, training centers, and college courses. The forms of self-study training explored are e-learning, virtual labs, practice exams (Stern labels this category "exam prep"), and "books, e-books, and online content." So that's, hmm, eight distinct categories, with three types of preparation crammed into that eighth category. And yet, the blog post itself is still headlined "7 Ways to Prep for a CompTIA Exam." Hmmm. Don't let the headline throw you, though: There are similar options available for almost any IT certification exam out there. This is broadly applicable advice.

 

The Clock Is Ticking on Your Microsoft Certification

 

From the "Get Off My Lawn" Department, here's a reminder that Microsoft Learn announced a new recertification policy at the end of 2020. A Dec. 15 post by Alex Payne, general manager of Global Technical Learning for Microsoft, revealed that Microsoft's specialty credentials and role-based certifications will be on a one-year recertification timeline starting in July. Payne also announced that recertification, or "renewal," could be achieved taking and passing a free online exam. One year is a far cry from the three-year recertification cycle that prevails across most of the industry — there are even still some IT certs out there that don't require recertification at all. All of the cranky certification grandparents out there are definitely not going to be happy about this change, which came to light again this week via a reminder post for anyone who had forgotten to tie a string around the old finger: June 30 will be here before you know it. Microsoft is at least extending an olive branch to credential holders by offering its online renewal exams free of charge. Recertification has long been viewed by many seasoned IT professionals as a scurrilous cash grab, but even your cranky certification grandpa can't complain about free renewals.

 

IBM CTO Provides Video Endorsement of Certification

 

Newcomers to the IT profession may sometimes wonder whether IT certification is a worthwhile endeavor. There are a fair number of seasoned IT types who pooh-pooh the educational importance and career value of getting a certification. In a new video posted to the IBM Training and Skills Blog this week, Mihai Criveti, IBM Chief Technology Officer for Cloud Native and Red Hat Solutions, begs to differ. Criveti says that he's often asked for career advice and always tries to help. "For IT professionals," he says, "I recommend investing in their skills and personal brand through training and certifications." Criveti says it's simple: Certification can make you better at your current job and prepare your for next one at the same time. Check out the video yourself for his full thoughts on the matter.

 

CertMag: The Kids are All ... Write (Writing Code, That Is)

 

Teaching coding to kids provides important benefits.What's the best way to prepare children for the workplace and educational future that awaits them? Many experts feel that one of the best skills for kids to learn at a young age is how to write computer code. That's the focus of a new article at CertMag.com, the official website of Certification Magazine. For one thing, it's plain valuable for kids to start interfacing with computers early, and for them to develop a foundation for later learning in a key workplace skills. Beyond the direct benefits, however, learning to write computer code also helps kids how to think through and solve problems. Even the ones who don't go on to jump into IT careers will have improved their ability to function across many other professions.

 

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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