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CompTIA Skillsboost Reaches Out to Educators, Parents & Students

In late June, CompTIA announced the opening of a vendor-neutral IT careers portal named "Skillsboost" that targets parents, teachers, and students. The goal of the site is to provide one-stop online resource for IT careers and training information aimed at secondary (high school) and post-secondary (trade school, community college, university) students interested in what the organization describes as "a vocational route into the IT industry," with special emphasis on hands-on IT training and apprenticeships.

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Prepping for a Cert? Don't Forget About Online Study Groups

If that old saying "Two heads are better than one" is true, does this proposition scale with size? Are four heads better than two, eight better than four, and so forth? In some cases, that answer is "Yes," and my case for today's blog post is the online study group, where as many heads as can access the same server at once can pool their wisdom and experiences, but also share their questions, concerns, and uncertainties.

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What's an IT Academy Worth?

In checking out the Born to Learn blog this morning, I saw some numbers that just about made me fall over. As you may or may not know North Carolina was the first US State to adopt the Microsoft IT Academy statewide, back in 2010. Last week, they announced the program had produced its 200,000th Microsoft certification among their student and faculty population. That's a pretty significant accomplishment over 5 years.

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Azure-based MCSD Joins that Lineup

When I posted about a free Azure eBook offer in this very blog last February, I wondered why Microsoft was putting so much oomph behind its online cloud platform. Now, with numerous additional free eBooks on the topic available, and the redoubtable Mark Russinovich anointed as Azure's Chief Technical Officer, MS has unleashed a new MCSD devoted to this platform. Put all these puzzle pieces together, and you get more than an inkling that MS thinks that Azure is important stuff. That should make the MCSD:Azure Solutions Architect, as the new credential is called, a good investment for those who believe in or buy into Microsoft's cloud services vision.

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Cisco Fires Cloud and IoT Cert Salvo

Today (May 27) Cisco is announcing several new Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud-related certfication credentials in the CCNA and CCNP categories. Their IoT credential will be called CCNA Industrial (IoT), and there will be Cloud versions of the CCNA and CCNP added to their lineup.

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How Cert Exams Evolve & Change: Microsoft Lync Is Now Skype for Business

Reading over a recent post from Microsoft Learning that includes the tag line "Everything Lync is becoming Skype for Business" provides an illustrated lesson in how IT cert programs change and evolve. Even more interesting: what happens to old exams with scheduled retirement dates, while waiting for new ones, and how they count toward partner qualification requirements.

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Greatest Hits of MS Cert Info -- On Video!

Thanks to Kenji Onozama of Microsoft Learning, you can easily access a compilation of Microsoft learning videos from ace psychometrician Dr. Liberty Munson and her fearless sidekick (and Student Experiences Lead) Briana Roberts online. Their insightful and humorous back-and-forth style combines banter and teaching to answer lots of key questions about Microsoft certification and related testing tools.

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Are Credit Info Breaches the "New Normal?"

A recent flurry of reports via Experian, through its data breach resolution arm, in tandem will well-known security research firm the Ponemon Institute, paint a depressing portrait of the data breach landscape -- especially for firms involved in handling customer credit and other sensitive data. The moral of the story turns out to be a combination of ongoing education for security firms and data handlers alike, along with a profound need for preparation in advance of data breaches before they occur.

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Hadoop Offers Increasing Set of Cert Options

Hadoop is an Apache project, which means it's open source in nature. It's also a popular framework based on Java that's designed to support distributed storage, especially in connection with distributed processing of humongous data sets on generic computing clusters. As such, it's also an important element in many Big Data projects and activities. Given how popular Big Data is nowadays, no big stretch is needed to see Hadoop in the same light.

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CompTIA Launches New Linux+ Exams

On April 15, 2015, CompTIA reported that it has launched new exams for its Linux+ Powered by LPI certification, an entry-level credential aimed at what the organization identifies as "junior-level Linux administrators." These new exams incorporate changes and updates to reflect advancements in modern Linux kernels and the various tools, utilities, and command line programs so beloved of Unix admins everywhere.

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Cisco's Career Toolkit & Webinars: Worth Visiting

In perusing the Cisco Learning pages this morning, I came across a wealth of "IT Careers" offerings, including a very nice set of videos (both instructor-led training and pre-recorded Webinars) that provide career guidance as well as certification prep content. In this blog post, I provide more information about what's available, along with some hopefully helpful links.

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Musings on IT/Cert Salary Surveys

Over the past month, the folks over at Certification Magazine (who also own and run the excellent GoCertify.com site) have been mining their recently published end-of-year (2014) salary survey. As I chew over the numbers they report and the implicit career guidance they can dangle in front of current and aspiring IT professionals, I'm reminded of that old aphorism, often erroneously attributed to American humorist Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." Read on for further musings on what CertMag found and what it can, but doesn't have to mean, when it comes to crafting career plans.

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