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Certification Watch, Vol. 24, Issue 5

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, (ISC)² refreshes the domains for its CISSP certification, Microsoft Learn divulges its special recipe for creating a certification, and more.

(ISC)² Announces Refresh of CISSP Exam Domains


(ISC)² has updated its flagship CISSP certification.There are only a handful of true brand-name information technology certifications, and possibly none at all that carry a high degree of awareness outside the IT sphere. One credential that emplyers definitely ask for by name, however, is the popular Certified Information Security Systems Professional, or CISSP, offered by cybersecurity professional association (ISC)². There's no resting on one's laurels when that level of product visibility is at stake, and (ISC)² has completed an overhaul of its signature certification that will take formally take effect on May 1. (Also incoming later this year, on Aug. 15, is an overhaul of the Certified Authorization Professional, or CAP, certifcation, which verifies expertise in risk management.) Aside from updating and revising the content of the exam, the team at (ISC)² has only minutely adjusted the weighting of its different domains. None of the eight CISSP exam domains has been renamed or eliminated in the pending refresh, and the weighting of domains has only been adjusted in two instances: Domain 4, Communication and Network Security, has shrunk from 14 percent to 13 percent; while Domain 8, Software Development Security, has expanded from 10 percent to 11 percent. The last CISSP refresh occurred in 2018.


Microsoft Learn Delves Into the Certification Creation Process


From time to time, various certification programs carry out a Wizard of Oz-like drawing back the curtain to reveal the process by which professional IT certifications are created. The CISSP announcement linked in the previous item has some good nuts-and-bolts information about how the CISSP update was carried out. Over at the Microsoft Learn Blog this week, senior product marketing manager Karina Ung gets deep into the certification creation weeds in a post with the headline "What Goes Into Creating Microsoft Certifications?" For example, the first step in creating (or updating) a certification it to conduct a thorough job task analysis, or JTA. As Ung puts it, " A JTA is the process of identifying the core skills needed for success in the job role(.)" This is especially critical for the Microsoft Learn team, which has slowly but surely move role-based certification (or verifying skills that professionals need to perform a specific job role) to the forefront of the long-lived Microsoft certification program. Dissecting the process of creating a certification is somewhat of an inside baseball proposition, but if you like behind-the-scenes details, then you will enjoy reading this post.


CompTIA Takes "Day in the Life" Look at Cybersecurity Professionals


It's been a pretty good week overall for digging into the details of how things work in IT. Over at the official blog of tech industry association CompTIA, blogger Emily Matzelle offers a glimpse of the day-to-day doings of various cybersecurity professionals. Matzelle examines the responsibilities and tasks likely to feature in the typical workday of a cybersecurity specialist, a threat hunter, a vunlerability analyst, and a cryptanalyst. Not coincidentally, those are four professional cybersecurity roles that align with skills verified by four different CompTIA certifications: Security+, CySA+, PenTest+, and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP). If various cybersecurity job roles and specializations tend to run together and overlap in your head, then this may help create a clearer picture of some key services that cybersecurity professionals provide and the functions that are a part of filling that role.


Dude, Where's My (Flying) Car?: Predicting the (Near) Future of IT


Where will technology take us in 2021?Before we close out this week's Certification Watch, let's jump over to, the official website of Certification Magazine. Each year in the January, the magazine team includes a speculative article from someone among its pool of writers that attempts to forecast trends that might leave a mark on the IT landscape in the coming year. The trends piece from this year's January issue has now appeared on the website. The six areas of trending technology for 2021 are wearables (digital enhanced clothing), human agumentation, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, virtual reality, and qbits (or quantum bits). There are new and interesting developments in technology every year, and this is a fun benchmark to heighten awareness of areas where change and growth are occurring quickly.


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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