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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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Looking for Cert Inspiration for 2015? Look no further!

As 2014 is about to wind up tonight at midnight, it's highest time to start thinking about what kinds of IT certification adventures to ponder for the coming year that kicks off immediately after the ball drops in your neighborhood. I've got some suggestions for areas worth thinking about, and digging into that appear to be on the upswing for job opportunities, promotions, or simply to breathe new life and interest into a flagging career.

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By Ed TittelCommentsDecember 31, 2014
Topics: Browse by Cert

Giving Back in IT: In-School Volunteering and Mentoring

It's the time of year for a pause and some reflection, as the holidays are almost upon us and the New Year is immanent. I find myself thinking about how we IT pros can pass along what we know and have learned, particularly to that most impressionable of populations: school-aged youth...

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By Ed TittelCommentsDecember 17, 2014
Topics: Browse by Cert

Where to draw the line on exam prep?

In preparing, overseeing, and recommending quality cert prep materials, I always have to be keenly aware of the line that separates "the good stuff" from the stuff that oversteps the bounds of what's allowed when it comes to such things. Today I saw a terrific blog on Microsoft's Born to Learn that draws that line as clearly and explicitly as I've ever seen anywhere. Please, let me explain...

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By Ed TittelCommentsDecember 10, 2014
Topics: Browse by Cert

LinkedIn Weighs in on IT Certification

Starting at the end of November, 2014, LinkedIn started reporting on the results of its "Add to Profile for Certifications" functionality, introduced earlier that same year. The results draw on the site's 320 million-plus members to shed some interesting light on the certifications that they hold. Not all of them are in IT, of course, but those that are shed some interesting light on the subject.

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