Adobe Systems is developing a new line of certifications for its software. Called Adobe Certified Associate, the suite of exams will help validate a test candidate’s ability to create, manage, integrate and communicate information using Adobe’s multimedia, video, graphic and Web software.
The certifications are intended for individuals at high school, college and workforce-entry levels.
The first certifications will be for Adobe programs Flash and Dreamweaver, and they will launch at this year’s National Educational Computing Conference in late June. Certification for Photoshop will follow later in the year, and as additional Adobe applications roll out, they will see corresponding certifications, as well.
Adobe partnered with Certiport to produce these certifications, which have been in development for about 30 months.
“It’s a market plan that allows Adobe to increase both the user base that’s knowledgeable about its programs and is capable of entering the higher-level certifications when they become professionals in the field,” said David Saedi, Certiport president and CEO. “As a country, we’re extremely focused on funneling people into IT, and this is one of those areas where we can say there are programs that meet industry standards and prepare people for IT careers.”
These certifications also provide Adobe with a way to gauge the level of ability in its applications on a global level.
“Trying to verify how many people out there qualify for a particular job is difficult,” Saedi said. “By us [knowing] the number of people using Adobe programs in high schools and colleges around the world, it will give us a much better feel for the ebb and flow of talent coming into the market.”
According to Internet services company Netcraft, the Internet has added 12.8 million Web sites so far in 2007, 4.4 million in the last month alone. Saedi points to these numbers as articulating a need for entry-level certifications in these Adobe programs.
“As interest in digital communication grows, so will interest in understanding more how to use the software and how to communicate better,” Saedi said. “These certifications allow for a global approach to digital communications using tools on the Web.”
The Adobe certifications will be linear exams that use graphic components, a design targeted at a younger pool of candidates.
“It’s not like the old days, where you pick a choice and fill in the dot with a No. 2 pencil,” Saedi said. “These are online tests rich in graphics and have things like hot spots [hyperlinks], ‘drag and drops’ and the identification of various components using graphic elements.”