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Certification Watch, Vol. 24, Issue 8

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft Learn shares a handy glossary of IT certification terms, CompTIA discusses "seldom-discussed" tips for IT employment success, and more.

Defining and Discussing Certification with Microsoft Learn


What does 'certification' mean to you?The expression "inside baseball" is sometimes used to refer to the minutiae or esoteric details that belong to a system or group; it's the stuff that geeks love and most other people aren't even aware of. We're also reminded of a phrase popularized by former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, "Words have meaning." Both apply to a recent post to the Microsoft Learn Blog by certification guru Liberty Munson, who shares her thoughts under the headline "What does it all mean? Definining key certification concepts." Much like the world's most famous failed nun, Munson starts at the very beginning — a very good place to start — by defining a "certification" as being "an independent evaluation of knowledge and/or skills." That's not all, of course: Munson spends about a third of her post fleshing out the concept of certification, before moving on to other related terms and ideas. For anyone who is new to the IT certification sphere, this is a great way to get acquainted with what certification is, how the process of becoming certified works, and how the purpose and composition of a certification exam are related. Certification beginners should also bookmark Munson's post for future reference; her explanations are a great resource for anyone for whom knowledge of the terms discussed is not second nature.


ISACA Now: Some Certifications and Skills More Valuable Post-COVID


Living through the onslaught of COVID-19 has made it a rough year for just about everyone in some way or another, but that doesn't mean that the pandemic has had only negative effects. Over at the ISACA Now Blog of cybersecurity and IT governance association ISACA, IT employment and salary guru David Foote points out a silver lining to the still-looming pandemic clouds. While a number of IT job titles and specializations have gotten a kick in the teeth from pandemic-driven economic depression, Foote says that turnaround started to happen for key IT specializations and certifications before the end of 2020, and he thinks that further growth is on the horizon. In particular, Foote discusses a number of areas where ISACA skills and certifications have become more valuable, particularly including the realm of GRC (governance, risk, and compliance). There's bound to be debate in coming months over whether we're truly seeing a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, but it's good that there are already positive indicators in some respects.


High School Students Are Getting IT Certifications


The "youthification" of certification has been ongoing over the past decade. High school students have even been encouraged to pursue certain professional IT credentials, with both Cisco and Microsoft (among others) having launched educational efforts specifically designed to engage pre-collegiate learners. Even with the IT education landscape evolving, however, it's still a tall order for a 16- or 17-year-old to prepare for and pass a professional IT certification exam, to say nothing of paying the associated exam costs. Any teacher could be forgiven for looking at a roomful of typical teens and not holding out much hope for a high degree of certification success. For any teacher who has been there, an energetic pep talk awaits at, the official website of Certification Magazine. An article from the January print issue takes the teenage certification bull by the horns, and the outlook is relentlessly optimistic. If you're dubious that today's high school students can tackle certification exams, then you owe it to yourself to give this article a chance to persuade you.


CompTIA Breaks the First Rule of Fight Club


Sometimes things that go without saying need to be said.No, not really. That is to to say, tech industry association CompTIA did not talk about fight club. Except that, in a way, they kind of did. A new post to the official CompTIA blog this week purports to, well, discuss "seldom-discussed" IT employment tips. (So yeah, that was a pretty tortured and roundabout linkage, but you can see how we kind of got there, right?) Guest blogger Jason W. Eckert breaks down six rules for career growth and development that represent the sort of unspoken wisdom that people who have it often assume that other people already understand on an intuitive level. Stuff like "Don't accept constructive criticism from everyone." Hey, sometimes things that go without saying need to be said. It's a thoughtful post, and worth your time (and a click of your mouse).


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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