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Ed Tittel

Microsoft's Month-Long "Know It, Prove It" Challenge for Feb 2016

By Ed TittelFeb 3, 2016

You've got to hand it to the team at Microsoft Learning and the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA): they're always coming up with cool and interesting ways to incent people to dig more deeply into their tools and technologies, while also expanding their skills and knowledge. It's a good thing 2016 is a Leap Year, as it happens, because MS has issued ten learning challenges IT pros, students, and software developers to get their juices flowing and to help them improve their technical chops.

Ed Tittel

Great Answers to Q: "Why Hire Certified IT Pros?" from IDC/Microsoft

By Ed TittelJan 27, 2016

In trying to understand the value proposition for IT certification, employers and IT pros alike are always interested in finding good answers to the question posed in this blog post's title: "Why hire certified IT pros?" Cert sponsors, always seeking to sell more cert exams and expand their certified populations, are no less interested in providing such answers. A recent study from IDC (October 2015) entitled "The Business Value of IT Certification" provides some interesting and useful answers of interest to all parties.

Ed Tittel

LinkedIn Sheds Light on High-Demand Skills

By Ed TittelJan 20, 2016

When LinkedIn bought online training company Lynda.com in April 2015, a lot of people wondered what was really going on behind the scenes. A recent post from Steve Weiss, Content Manager for Business and Data Science at Linked (formerly at Lynda.com), helps put such speculation to rest: in a self-referential bow toward data mining/Big Data/Data Science, LinkedIn has been mining the heck out of its 400-million-plus user base and watching hiring decisions made under its purview to help the company target hot education topics. What's at the top of the list for 2016?

Ed Tittel

MS Releases Updated Technical Certification Roadmap

By Ed TittelJan 13, 2016

Last month, MS updated some of its technical certifications, adding the MCSA: Windows 10, and dropping the earlier versions of that cert for Windows 7 and Windows 8. Perforce, this changes the certification roadmap for the company's programs, and now they've released an updated version of that infographic to follow suit. Find the link, and some discussion, in the remainder of this blog post!

Ed Tittel

Liberty Munson Dishes on MS Beta Cert Exam Prep

By Ed TittelJan 6, 2016

Dr. Liberty Munson is not just the Principle Psychmetrician for Microsoft Learning -- and as such, a driving force in exam development and delivery -- she's also a calm, reassuring, and often funny voice for the organization. In a recent Born to Learn blog post, she provides some excellent advice on how to select oneself, and then to prepare for beta exams that is useful enough to be restatement and further examination. It bleeds nicely over into general exam preparation techniques, in fact.

Ed Tittel

Top Skills for 2016

By Ed TittelDec 30, 2015

As that inimitable and always sly soothsayer, Yogi Berra, once said: "It's like deja vu, all over again," when it comes to chart-topping IT skills and technical areas for 2016. There are some recurring themes here to be sure, but also some newer technologies that promise to take up residence on the short list of what's hot for next year.

Ed Tittel

Gifting Technology to the Less Fortunate

By Ed TittelDec 16, 2015

This is the time of year when we can all thank our lucky stars for our current situation, and prepare for the onslaught of the holiday season. Most of my readers here are technophiles like myself, so I'd like to point them -- and their older, gently used computers and related gear such as game consoles, smart phones, routers, wireless access points, and so forth -- at some charities to which they can donate such gear to help those less well-endowed with gadgets and goodies.

Ed Tittel

MCSA: Windows 10 Debuts December 14, 2015

By Ed TittelDec 9, 2015

In a recent post to Microsoft's Born to Learn blog, Senior Product Manager for Certification Larry Kaye announced the pending release of an MCSA for Windows 10, along with its specific requirements. The details are sure to surprise some readers, and to delight those among them who've earned the MCSA: Windows 8.

Ed Tittel

Cert Vs. Degree Gets Another Look

By Ed TittelDec 2, 2015

Ever since I started writing about certification and related IT career development topics back in the mid-1990s, one perennial question I've been posed has been "Which is better: a college degree or IT certification(s)?" This is something I've written about repeatedly, but it's one of those questions that keeps coming up, particularly for cash-strapped youngsters trying to decide if their lmited funds should go to a degree, or some collection of specific IT certifications. For this blog post, I'll give a nod to an interesting and informative article over at GoCertify, and then revisit the issue yet one more time because of its enduring relevance to current and aspiring IT pros of all ages.

Ed Tittel

SAVE BIG!! Black Friday for Cert Stuff at PITC

By Ed TittelNov 25, 2015

If you're in the market for cert books, practice tests, or video training materials, head on over to Pearson IT Certification, where you'll find savings of up to 55% on a storewide basis (you must buy two or more items to get the big discount; single items get 35% off instead).

Ed Tittel

Upcoming MS Exam Retirements for H1 2016

By Ed TittelNov 18, 2015

In keeping with Microsoft's stated policy of informing the certified population about planned cert exam and credential retirements, MS Learning's Liberty Munson shared planned retirements for the first half of 2016 recently. Actually, the announcements go through July 31, 2016 so we get an extra month's worth of coverage from this round of information.

Ed Tittel

Veteran's Links for November 11

By Ed TittelNov 11, 2015

It gives me great pleasure to write this week's blog post, not only because I can tip my hat to the many veterans who've so ably and nobly served this country, but because I can provide some pointers for younger vets and active duty military personnel facing the transition back into civilian employment to get certified on their way out of the service and/or into the workforce. I'm also especially grateful to my Dad, Al, who served the USA in WWII and Korea, and who managed to make a 27-year career in the US Army as a member of the reserves.

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