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Certification Watch, Vol. 24, Issue 3

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA identifies top in-demand IT skills, Certification Magazine ponders whether you can have too much of a good thing, and more.

Sussing Out the Top In-Demand IT Skills of 2021


What are the tech skills employers want most in 2021?There is a steady demand for skilled (and certified!) IT professionals across almost every sector of the modern business realm. The more you know about a given IT topic (or topics), the easier it will be for you to find work. Some IT skills, of course, are more valuable than others, based largely on where the industry is headed. So it's helpful to get some advice from time to time about what bearings to set and follow in your career growth and skills development. This week, that advice is coming from tech industry association CompTIA, which featured a post on its official blog this week that lists 17 high demand IT skills. Machine learning tops the list, so if you're looking for an area of focus for continuing professional education (CPE) in 2021, then there's a strong option right off the bat. As noted by blogger Jessalynne Madden, "There are many skills that fall under the heading of machine learning. IT pros should start with software engineering, system design, computer science fundamentals and programming." The related realm of artificial intelligence is next, followed by cloud computing, with data science and programming languages rounding out the Top 5. Wherever you decide to put your focus, be sure to consider the value of using certification to both acquire new skill sets and shore up existing ones.


IT Professionals and the Importance of Lifelong Learning


While we're on the subject of career growth and perfonal development, it's worth taking a moment to reflect that certified professionals pursuing an IT career path should expect to have at least a part-time focus on education throughout each new year. Even if you're not embarking into a new area of expertise or attempting to acquire new skills in 2021, you should still plan to spend time learning. It's the nature of IT, as outlined in a new post to the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and governance association ISACA, that you have to learn to stay in the field. Guest blogger Sandy Silk, Director of IT Security Education and Consulting at Harvard University, recalls benefitting from a learning mindset at her first IT job: "With the confidence and support of my first managers, I completed classes in telecommunications and networking, learned the OSI model, wrote technical and business-rule security test cases for QA, achieved my first industry certification, and helped implement a disaster recovery site using thin-client technology." Information technology is constantly evolving, and your professional skills set must evolve to keep pace.


Masters of the (Information Technology) Universe


Speaking of career IT professionals who have never stopped learning, we stumbled across a fun nugget at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) certification website. It's probably been up there for months (years?), but it was new to us this week, so we're passing it along for your edification. HPE has posted a PDF document that shares the story of two lifelong learners, each of whom has earned a total of four Master ASE-level certifications. Both Julio Yamawaki and Perry Szarka have devoted an impressive level of time and effort to certification. It's worth checking out their stories if you like reading about feats of certification. As HPE puts it: Achieving Master ASE status is a significant accomplishment. Holding multiple Master ASE certifications is even rarer. And at the top of the pinnacle stand an extraordinary few with four Master ASE certifications. These are some of their stories."


Let Them Eat Certifications


You can never have too much cake, or too many certifications.We'll wrap up this week with a nod to a recent post at, the official website of Certification Magazine. The CertMag team checks up on various trends each year connected to its annual Salary Survey. For example, does holding a lot of IT certifications mean that you'll earn a higher salary than peers with fewer professional credentials? The dots don't connect straight across, of course, but it is interesting to compare the respective average salaries of people whose tall of active certifications stands at 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth (the CertMag team measures from 1 to "16 or more"). President Harry S. Truman apparently once said that the only thing better than cake is more cake — does the same hold true for certifications? You be the judge.


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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