CompTIA Executive Certificates bring IT education to the boardroom

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Is a college degree more important to your IT career than certifications?Most IT professionals know CompTIA as the group that runs a well-established and highly successful certification program, offering several popular IT-related credentials including A+, Network+, and Security+.

This common image of CompTIA is accurate, but it is incomplete. Expand the moniker to its full version—Computing Technology Industry Association—and you get a better idea of the group’s full scope and mission.

In this more complete role, CompTIA maintains an active industry presence by acting as an advocate for information technology and its resellers. This strategy involves offering education to people who are not necessarily IT professionals, but are in a position to make decisions about which IT products and services they want to build into their client inventory, as well as into their respective organizations.

CompTIA offers this type of education through its Live Channel Training program. This program uses a combination of live events and online training provided via webinars, research papers and related presentations, and targeted how-to manuals CompTIA refers to as Quick Start Guides.

Part of CompTIA’s Live Channel Training is a component called Executive Certificates (EC). ECs are aimed at management-level and higher business professionals who want to learn how to integrate specific technologies into their business operations and their client solutions.

Here is how CompTIA describes ECs:

“The CompTIA Executive Certificate program offers busy professionals the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skillsets to achieve organizational goals. Executive certificates, covering many emerging and maturing market segments, were developed by leading experts in the IT industry and are delivered by authorized CompTIA Faculty.”

There are currently nearly a dozen Executive Certificates for executives to choose from. Some of the ECs are built around common business management subjects; Financial Management and Business Agility are two such examples. But over half of the ECs target fundamental IT platforms, including technologies which have transformed the enterprise in recent years.

CompTIA’s Executive Certificate content is not just IT 101 for boardroom VIPs. The high-level goal of each EC is to lay out how to become a better solutions provider and IT reseller, with a focus on each EC’s specific technology.

Executive Certificate IT Subjects

CompTIA offers the following Executive Certificates based on IT-related subjects:

● Cloud Foundations
● Cloud Intermediate
● IT Security Foundations
● Data Recovery and Business Continuity
● Mobility Foundations
● Unified Communications Foundations

Executive Certificate in Cloud Foundations looks at how to leverage cloud computing both internally as part of business infrastructure, and externally as a client offering. The Cloud Foundations EC covers services like cloud implementation, data integrity, and business continuity.

Cloud Intermediate builds on the Clouds Foundation EC. Cloud Intermediate is made up of three courses: Building Cloud Solution Success, Developing Cloud Playbooks, and Transforming Your Business.

The IT Security Foundations EC is also made up of three courses. Transforming Your Business Through IT Security covers the fundamentals of creating a secure environment and what investments are required to make it happen. Assessing and Managing Risk looks at performing risk analyses both internally and for potential clients. Solution Selling Strategies covers how to build out and existing IT security solution business.

The Data Recovery and Business Continuity EC consists of a six-course workshop that builds on the “eat your own dogfood” principle of developing internal solutions, and then packaging them up for delivery to clients. System failures, malicious attacks, and natural disasters are some of the maladies looked at.

Executive Certificate in Mobility Foundations is a single workshop geared towards establishing greater productivity through the use of smartphones and tablets. The course also looks at mobile management and the various stages of the mobile device lifecycle.

Finally, the Unified Communications Foundations EC is a three-course offering that drills down into network-based communication services that bypass conventional telephony systems. This EC is really for businesses that sell network-based communication services, or that want to bundle these services with other products to create a larger portfolio for customers.

Certs for Suits!

With the Executive Certificate, CompTIA has created training targeted specifically at business execs that is meant to facilitate smarter adoption of key IT platforms, and a better understanding of how to integrate and deliver these solutions to clients. ECs can help execs to increase their IT IQ, but within a familiar context of business operations and product reselling.

Access to the Executive Certificate courses (and any of CompTIA’s Live Channel Training) requires becoming a CompTIA Premier Member. This level of membership is reserved for the following individuals/groups:

● IT channel partners
● IT vendors and distributors
● IT channel associate companies (offer pro services to IT channel partners)

Premier Members are required to pay annual membership fees, which differ depending on a group’s membership classification. Fees are fixed for IT channel partners and associate companies, but are scaled by annual revenue for IT vendors and distributors.

Access to Live Channel and ECs Training is only one of many benefits offered to CompTIA Premier Members. These privileged folks also get perks like discounts on CompTIA certifications, access to the CompTIA Legal Services Program, and a number of retail discounts from popular business vendors like FedEx and Enterprise car rentals. There are many more benefits offered to Premier Members as well.

While CompTIA’s Executive Certificate training isn’t technically an IT certification—attendees only need to successfully complete/pass a post-training assessment to receive their EC—the program is a great way for execs to become educated decision makers and strategic planners of IT product adoption and reselling.

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Aaron Axline


Aaron Axline is a freelance technology writer and knowledge management specialist based in Edmonton, Canada. His work has appeared in titles from Que Publishing, and on many tech blogs and websites. His professional writing site is

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