Citrix Education Unveils Next-Generation Structure

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<p><strong>Fort Lauderdale, Fla. &mdash; Oct. 23</strong><br />Citrix Systems Inc., a provider of application delivery infrastructure, announced several key changes to its certification program and strategy, including the introduction of three new designations. </p><p>The company&rsquo;s highly ranked certification program has been redesigned to provide entry-through expert-level IT professionals with expanded offerings by role and specialization, as well as streamlined update paths that make it easier for IT professionals to stay current. The changes support IT professionals&rsquo; need to demonstrate specialized knowledge in key server, desktop and application virtualization technologies. <br /> <br />The new certification structure, developed in collaboration with Citrix customers, consists of three levels of certification &ndash; Administrator Series [Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA), which now includes tracks supporting Platinum product editions, and Citrix Certified Advanced Administrator (CCAA)]; Engineer Series [Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE)]; and Architect Series [Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA)]. <br /><br />The CCAs for Platinum edition, CCAA and CCEE are brand new. The program is structured into tracks aligned around four distinct solution paths, enabling IT professionals to achieve specific credentials for application virtualization, server virtualization, application networking and desktop virtualization. <br /> <br />&ldquo;The new certification structure is a result of Citrix Education responding to changes in the IT landscape, including technologies, job roles and the needs of our customers and partners,&rdquo; said Julieann Scalisi, managing director of Citrix Education. &ldquo;In order to stay competitive in an IT market where virtualization is playing such a crucial role, professionals need new skill sets they did not need a few years ago. We are committed to ensuring that proven Citrix knowledge and skills continue to set our customers and partners apart across the board.&rdquo; <br /> <strong><br />Administrator Series: Depth and Breadth </strong><br />Under the new structure, customers and partners can fine-tune their Citrix credentials to more closely represent their skill level and technology focus. When considering advancement beyond the entry-level CCA, customers and partners may choose to demonstrate breadth of knowledge across an end-to-end Citrix solution with a new Platinum Edition CCA or validate in-depth knowledge and skills with a CCAA. <br /> <br />A candidate may earn a CCAA by taking an advanced technical training course and passing an advanced exam. The CCAA for Citrix XenApp 5, which supports application virtualization, will be available in the fourth quarter, while a CCAA for application networking is in development and will be announced at a future date. The CCAA represents the first Citrix certification incorporating technical training into its requirements. <br /> <br />&ldquo;Recent surveys of IT organizations showed us that in many cases the greatest value to IT professionals of certification is in successfully completing the recommended preparatory training,&rdquo; said Ophir Erez, senior manager of education programs at Citrix Education. &ldquo;Hiring managers are most concerned with ensuring that their staff has the experience and exposure to best practices, whether in the field or in the classroom, that correspond to their certification.&rdquo; <br /> <br />The Platinum Edition CCA may be achieved by passing a core CCA exam and up to two additional CCA exams in related technologies. Platinum Edition CCAs are available now for each of the four solution paths: application virtualization (CCA for Citrix XenApp 5 Platinum), server virtualization (CCA for Citrix XenServer 5 Platinum), application networking (CCA for Citrix NetScaler 8 Platinum) and desktop virtualization (CCA for Citrix XenDesktop 2 Platinum). <br /> <br /><strong>Engineer and Architect: Streamlined Requirements, Higher Value </strong><br />The engineer-level CCEE and architect-level CCIA have been redefined to provide streamlined requirements for seasoned IT professionals and for existing certification holders to advance further. <br /> <br />The CCEE designation will, over time, replace the currently available Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator (CCEA). The certification, renamed to accurately describe its association to the engineer-level job role, allows candidates the ability to be recognized as a successful generalist from data center to user, and product specialist in at least one Platinum product. <br /> <br />&ldquo;With the CCEE, seasoned IT professionals demonstrate their ability to combine the coordination of operational planning efforts with &lsquo;tactical design&rsquo; expertise and integration know-how,&rdquo; said Erez. &ldquo;Design skills are necessary to scale and enhance existing environments, and integration expertise shows that candidates can connect the nuts and bolts of select elements of infrastructure to create a truly dynamic delivery center and a top-notch user experience.&rdquo; <br /> <br />The CCIA allows architect-level IT professionals to focus on honing real-world skills with a range of technologies to design strategic approaches to application and workload delivery. A key feature of the updated CCIA program is the addition of an experience requirement. This change is a result of customer feedback and trends indicating that hiring managers are valuing the combination of certifications and experience more than ever before. In addition to training and certification exam requirements, candidates will need to show a minimum level of proven experience in a select group of key domains through an audited application process. <br /> <br />CCEE and CCIA application virtualization tracks are in development with further details to be announced during the first half of 2009. More information on the CCIA experience requirement will be available closer to that announcement. <br /> <br /><strong>Simplified Update Paths </strong><br />With the release of the next-generation certification programs, update paths to the newest CCEE and CCIA certifications will be available for individuals holding the current version of these certifications. The update paths will reduce requirements significantly, allowing IT professionals to demonstrate skills relevant to the features and technologies that are most critical, most difficult and most different, in order to keep their designations current. More information on update opportunities and requirements will be available closer to their respective announcements during the first half of 2009. <br /> </p>

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