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Ed Tittel

College Credit for MS Certifications

By Ed TittelFeb 10, 2016

Ace psychometrician and MS Learning guru Liberty Munson helps certification minded IT professionals strike gold once again in a recent blog post for Born to Learn. In that post, she not only asserts that numerous Microsoft certification exams can provide college credit at a large number of institutions at the rate of 2-3 credit hours a pop, she also provides a list of the exam that potentially qualify for this bonanza.

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

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

AppToCert Program Redux: Development for Cert Credit

By Ed TittelOct 7, 2015

Almost one year ago, Microsoft instituted a so-called "AppToCert Program," wherein developers could trade some exercise of their abilities -- and a bit of elbow grease -- for credit in becoming certified in the MS development arena. As of last week, MS has re-launched this program for developer enrollment. Learn more about it in this week's blog post, which includes a description of the current incarnation of AppToCert, along with pointers to key blog posts and Web pages for previous incarnations as well.

Ed Tittel

For More Windows Expertise, Learn Powershell

By Ed TittelSep 16, 2015

Since the days of Windows Vista (and prior to the release of Windows Server 2008), Windows has supported a real, honest-to-goodness command shell/shell scripting language that stands head and shoulders above and beyond the old MS-DOS command line lexicon and syntax and its batch (.BAT) file counterparts. Savvy Windows users are well-advised to dig into PowerShell, and to learn how it can be used, because it is incredibly powerful and capable.

Ed Tittel

The Online Cert Revolution Has Arrived: MS Goes Big with Online Proctoring

By Ed TittelJul 22, 2015

When MS announced on September 24, 2014 that it was making "select exams" available through online proctoring, I thought it was interesting, and was pleased to see this particular certification giant dips its toes into testing outside the typical testing center environment. In the past week, MS has made it known that all of its MCP and MTA exams are now available online, in more than 40 countries around the world, with all its remaining countries queued up to receive similar service (at least where the minimum bandwidth requirement of 512 Kbps up and down can be met). This is big news!

Ed Tittel

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

By Ed TittelJun 18, 2015

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.

Ed Tittel

What's an IT Academy Worth?

By Ed TittelJun 10, 2015

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.

Ed Tittel

Azure-based MCSD Joins that Lineup

By Ed TittelJun 3, 2015

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.

Ed Tittel

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

By Ed TittelMay 20, 2015

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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