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Amazon Web Services Certs Worth Investigating

Long a leader in cloud technologies and related service offerings, Amazon offers a substantial and growing certification program to support its Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings. Currently, credentials are available for architects, developers and sysadmins at associate and professional levels, with more on the way.

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MS Goes Exclusive with Pearson VUE for Cert Exams

One could suppose that it's not a surprise to learn that Microsoft has now designated Pearson VUE as its "sole test provider," in light of the company's selection of Pearson's publishing arm to handle its MS Press titles last year. Nevertheless, I was struck by this announcement, and the growing certification synergy that's emerging across the Pearson family of companies.

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IDC Study Points to Future Jobs & Necessary Skills

Thanks to my buddies over at GoCertify.com, I recently learned about a new IDC study that is chock-full of interesting and useful information about where jobs are going to be most plentiful in the years ahead. Entitled "Skills Requirements for Tomorrow's Best Jobs, it does a great job of analyzing and dissecting current and future job markets, and of identifying skills and knowldge that current and upcoming graduates will need to excel at them.

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IBM Forces Some Employees Into Training, Imposes Pay Cut

In mid-September, IBM sent an interesting but also threatening e-mail to a number of employees in its Global Technology Services division, the arm of the company responsible for providing consulting and technology services to its biggest and most important customers. Observing that its recipients "have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology and market requirements," those same recipients were ordered into a one-day-a-week training program for 23 weeks (almost half a year). During that training interval, their pay would also be docked by 10 percent, perhaps splitting the difference with those employees of the 20 percent loss in productivity that would therefore ensue. What does this decision have to tell us, and those currently playing the IT game as professionals?

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MS, Pearson VUE Team Up to Beta-Test Online Proctored Exams

An intriguing email from Microsoft Learning appeared in my inbox on Monday entitled "Introducing Online Proctored MCP and MTA exams (Beta)." I've seen numerous attempts at providing secure exams online over the past few years, including technologies from companies like Kryterion, QuestionMark and SoftwareSecure, but none of them have involved an 800-lb certification gorilla like Microsoft, so this really got my attention.

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MCSA: What Goes Around Comes Back Around

When I learned that MS is altering is MCSA exam requirements for Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 to include one elective along with two required exams, my first reaction was to ask: "Wasn't that the way the original MCSA worked, too?" I checked: it was. This is a case where it's nice to see Microsoft returning to its certification roots.

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New Cisco Exam Profiles and Coverage on PITC

PITC, of course, is the abbreviation for this very site -- namely, Pearson IT Certification itself. In the past two weeks, a bevy of Cisco Cert Prep authors have posted articles about new CCIE, CCNP, and CCNA exams. If CCNA Data Center, or CCNP or CCIE Routing and Switching is in your future, you'll want to check them out.

Continue reading for exam details and pointers to the articles involved...

New CCNP Exam Prep Materials On Their Way

A new crop of CCNP exams is available, and the old crop is on its way out. Although Pearson doesn't yet have finished books available for the latest collection of such exams, they're on their way to print by the end of 2014. But all of them already offer so-called "Rough Cuts" -- online versions immediately accessible for those early adopters (such as developers, instructors, Cisco partners, or others who typically jump on the cert bandwagon sooner rather than later) who need them before print editions come off the presses in late November, 2014.

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Top States for IT Jobs mid-2014

Quick! You have to guess which 5 US states currently enjoy the highest growth rate for technology worker jobs. What are they? If you guessed California in that bunch, WRONG! A recent article at Dice.com, based on numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows a surprising line-up of southern states, the northeast, a rust belt state, and more.

If you want to find out which states lead the pack, you'll have toontinue reading...

Fair Warning: ISACA CRISC Updates Coming in 2015

As seems to be case with many cert sponsors nowadays, ISACA used to stand for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, but later changed its official name to match that acronym rather than sticking to the expanded version. ISACA remains an organization devoted to IT systems audit and governance training and certification, however, and its Certified Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) credential is becoming a high-value element in the audit and control realm for IT. Just recently, ISACA let current and prospective members of the association know that change is coming to the CRISC in 2015.

Continue reading to learn more about those changes...

New Cisco CCIE Exam Retake Policies Mandate Patience, Planning, and Preparation

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert, or CCIE, has been a nonpareil certification ever since its inception in August 1993, when Terry Slattery earned the first ever such credential. The written exam is pretty tough, but the all-day hands-on lab exam is widely and rightly regarded as one of the hardest of all IT cert exams to pass with only a small fraction managing successful completion on their first try. As of last week (8/2/2014), Cisco has changed its exam retake policies for the CCIE, especially where the "wait time" between exam attempts is concerned.

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By Ed TittelCommentsAugust 6, 2014
Topics: Cisco, Browse by Cert, CCIE

How I Evaluate Cert Program to See if They're "For Real"

I've been working in and around IT certification since the late 1980s, during which time I was the proud and interested initial author for Excelan's (later Novell's) "Networking 101" class. For the past 6 years, I've blogged anywhere from 3 to 7 times a week on IT certification topics for sites that have included this one, as well as TechTarget, GoCertify.com, Tom's IT Pro, and others. During the period from 1997 to today (that date coincides with the launch of the Exam Cram series, now a Pearson imprint) I've turned up, investigated, and reported on hundreds of different IT certification programs. This blog post explains briefly how I separate the wheat from the chaff, when it comes to recommending for or against specific IT certs and programs, with pointers to other resources on this topic.

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