Citrix to Roll Out Advanced Virtualization Certifications

Despite an unpredictable job market, Citrix Systems Inc. recently announced plans to expand its repertoire of virtualization credentials to better equip today’s IT job seeker to meet current demand.

The two advanced certifications — Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE) for Virtualization and Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA) for Virtualization — are aimed at architects and engineers who specialize in advanced virtualization solutions.

The CCEE for Virtualization certification is primarily intended for individuals — such as engineers, enterprise engineers, those in higher-level administrator roles or enterprise administrators — who are planning and integrating end-to-end virtualization solutions, said Julieann Scalisi, managing director of worldwide education for Citrix Systems.

“The CCEE covers a breadth of knowledge across the Citrix delivery center for our XenApp, XenServer and Xen Desktop products and validates the experienced IT professional’s ability to successfully combine their planning, design and integration skills across these products,” Scalisi said. “This track also includes advanced administration-level skills on XenApp and really teaches our students how to support a full end-to-end virtualization solution.”

There are five courses and exams associated with the CCEE, Scalisi said. While four are currently available, the fifth will be released in the third quarter of this year.

The CCIA, on the other hand, is intended for individuals who are analyzing and designing Citrix solutions at the enterprise level for application and desktop delivery, Scalisi said. The target audience for this certification is consultants, architects and engineers.

The CCIA consists of six exams: five associated with the CCEE, plus an additional exam that is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

Given the state of the economy, organizations are constantly seeking ways to reduce costs and operate more efficiently. One way to do so is for companies to examine their infrastructure costs and, if possible, invest in virtualization technologies.

“A significant part of an organization’s budget is dedicated to running the business, and these days that typically requires a significant investment in infrastructure,” Scalisi said. “Just by implementing XenDesktop to centralize desktop management, organizations can reduce desktop TCO [total cost of ownership] up to 40 percent. This is a tremendous cost savings and allows organizations to operate more profitably.

“There are also other benefits like increased security, efficiency, more agility with the products that they have, as well as their ability to more easily support their employees’ and customers’ needs with the virtualization solution,” Scalisi continued.

In fact, job site Dice.com noted that while the total number of jobs advertised on the site between January and November 2008 dropped by 12 percent, the number of available jobs for individuals with general virtualization skills increased by 37 percent.

“Especially in today’s job market, job seekers really need to find ways to differentiate themselves,” Scalisi said. “A resume is [a candidate’s] selling feature — that’s what hiring managers are looking at. One way individuals can differentiate themselves is by having these higher-level, well-respected certifications on their resumes.”

Scalisi also highlighted a new cost- and time-saving measure directed at currently certified Citrix Certified Enterprise Administrator (CCEA) and CCIA professionals: Those who hold the CCEA credential need only to pass one exam — Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution — to update to the new CCEE certification. Meanwhile, current CCIA professionals will have to take just two exams — Engineering a Citrix Virtualization Solution and the Architecting a Citrix Virtualization Solution — instead of six to upgrade to the new certification.

– Deanna Hartley, dhartley@certmag.com

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Deanna Hartley

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