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.
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?
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.
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.
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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.
Earlier this week, it was my pleasure and privilege to moderate a webcast for Pearson IT Certification (PITC) and InformIT from the inimitable Zed Shaw, programmer extraordinaire and the inventor of the terrific "The Hard Way" series of programming books. In preparing for this and upcoming PITC webcasts -- I'll be your relentlessly cheerful moderator for the foreseeable future for such delights -- I found myself poking around the current library of such offerings, and thinking about new items that will be added to this growing collection.
Earlier this month, I blogged about the upcoming release of a Cert Guide for the LPIC-1/Linux+ exams. Today, I'm pleased to inform my readers that Pearson IT Certification will be adding a complete video course on the same subject matter to its arsenal of prep materials on this subject matter -- and somewhat sooner, to boot. In fact, the video course will make its debut next week on October 5, 2015, while the book will become available on November 18, about five weeks thereafter.
Writing cert prep materials is an interesting and occasionally exhausting vocation, especially in today's era of releases on rapid cadences, and on an ever-shifting and -changing certification landscape. That probably helps to explain why the Cert Guide for exams LX0-103 & -104 (CompTIA) and 101-400 and 102-400 (LPI-C) is soon to be available, even though the updated exams went live at the end of March, 2015. Look for this new book to become available online and in bookstores by mid-November. Here's a preview of its contents, and a link to those interested in pre-ordering the title.
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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