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Digging Into Windows 10

Just last week, another build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview -- Build 10041 -- popped onto the landscape. I've been working with it desultorily at times, and with intense focus at others, but always, always I've been struggling to find good sources of information. I'd like to share some of the results of my searching in this blog post, to help other "early adopters" like myself get ready for a new slate of MS certs sure to show up in late summer or early fall when Windows 10 hits the "General Availability" milestone.

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By Ed TittelCommentsMarch 25, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert, MCSE, Microsoft, MCSA

Leaping Into Fuller (IT) Employment

Driving home from my Tuesday night pool league last night, I found myself listening to US Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott on the "Tavis Smiley" show, as they explained their legislative agendae as the only African-American members currently sitting in that august governmental bodies. One very interesting item that came up in the conversation is S.2234 the LEAP Act (Leveraging and Energizing America's Apprenticeship Programs), wherein I learned that South Carolina (Tim Scott's home state) currently leads the nation in creating and supporting such programs.

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By Ed TittelCommentsMarch 18, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert

It's Hard to Overstate the Value of Good Communication Skills in IT

This past week I've been OOO (out of the office), where I served as an expert witness in a patent suit. If there was one lesson I took away from that experience as I watched the 8-person jury struggle to absorb an amazing amount of technology information and patent law, it was the vital importance of clear communication in making things understandable and accessible as a prelude to taking action.

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By Ed TittelCommentsMarch 14, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert

Great New Materials Available for Just-Released Network+ Exam

As I read over the announcement from CompTIA earlier this week that the latest version of the Network+ exam (N10-006) became available on 2/28/2015, I found myself wondering: "What do we have ready for this latest iteration?" As I dug into the PITC site and started checking things out, I found myself pleasantly surprised. The short answer to the question is "Plenty!" but you'll have to read on to get details and pointers.

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Free SQL Server Online Training from MVA Available

MS has just rounded out a full slate of free online training courses for the SQL-related MCSA and MCSE certifications. That's a collection of materials that's hard to beat, and the price is right, too. Check them out if you're interesting in or already using SQL Server in the workplace. Find all the links you'll need in the paragraphs that follow.

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By Ed TittelCommentsFebruary 25, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert, MCSE, Microsoft, MCSA

About Global Knowledge's 15 Top-Paying Certs for 2015

15 Top Paying Certifications for 2015It's mid-February as I write this blog post, or about the usual time at which Global Knowledge has ace instructor John Hales describe the findings of their annual salary survey as it relates to IT certification. The new Top 15 list has a lot in common with last year's list but offers up some new items as well. For me, what's missing is as interesting as what's present, so I'll offer up some ideas on that as well.

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MS Press Offers Free Azure eBook

Azure is Microsoft's online cloud platform, which the company uses itself to host OneDrive, databases galore, datacenters, email services and more. It supports all the major Windows Server platforms, and is suprisingly powerful and affordable. Right now, MS Press is giving away its lead-in Azure title, free for the downloading.

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A Different Take on the Value of IT Certification

In the past year or two, I've read stories about children as young as five years old earning IT certifications, with plenty more examples of middle  or high school aged teenagers notching up some interesting credentials such as MCSA, MCSE, and CCNA. With an increasing number of kids getting certified on their way through high school, especially through the Microsoft IT Academy and the Cisco Academy, what's a hiring manager or business owner to do, when faced with a certified high school graduate on the lookout for an IT job? Good question!

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Social Media Certs Gaining Interest and (Some) Credibility

Back in 2012, I wrote a blog here entitled "Social Media: Valid Certs or Snake Oil?" wherein I observed that one must look neither far nor hard to find numerous certifications about or around the subject of social media. Players in the space include training companies, consulting organizations, and even academic institutions, all eager to cash in on the growing importance and gargantuan cache that comes along with social media. And now, at long last, there seems to be serious, valuable, and vendor-/platform-neutral sponsor in this cert niche, upon whose recent efforts and activities I'd like to report here. I'm talking about an organization named the National Institute for Social Media (NISM) and their Social Media Strategist (SMS) certification.

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MCPs Get Discounts on ALL MS Press Titles

Yowza! I came across an undeniably tasty item in trolling the Microsoft Born to Learn blog this morning. As of January 14, anybody with a Microsoft Certified Professional credential -- and that's anybody who's passed an exam that leads to MCSA, MCSE, MCPD, Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist, and everything else except exams for Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) or Microsoft Technology Associate -- gets a pretty hefty discount through the Microsoft Press Store.

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MS Restarts "Second Shot" Program

In what is apparently becoming something of a (very early) Rite of Spring, MS has re-launched its Second Shot program, whereby a special cert exam registration earns candidates the rights to a free re-take should they fail on their first attempt. The devil, of course, is in the details so please read on to learn all about them!

Devilish details follow...

By Ed TittelCommentsJanuary 14, 2015
Topics: Browse by Cert, Microsoft

MTA Mobility and Cloud Exams Get New Objectives

It's an outright truism that fast-moving technology areas change with equal rapidity. Building certifications to cover such topics areas can be a challenge and requires almost constant ferment to keep up with (or close to) the state of the art. That's why I was glad to learn that MS has recently updated its Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exam objectives for its mobility and cloud fundamentals exams.

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