IT Industry Expert Addresses the Evolution of Certification

As the IT industry goes, certification follows. With employers demanding not only more and better IT skills, but also an improved means of demonstrating them, Neill Hopkins, vice president of skills development at CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, and a member of CerMag’s Editorial Advisory Board, foresees an evolution in the nature of certification programs.

“If I want to be a network expert, what does that mean?” Hopkins asked. “Am I going to have a Microsoft cert, or a Cisco cert or an IBM cert? Well, it’s none and it’s all of them—that’s the specialty within that track. It’s not all about the cert; it’s all about the skills you need to be successful.”


Thus, more and more certifications will be complemented by a more inclusive skills track, he said. CompTIA, which provides vendor-neutral certifications for IT professionals and counts Microsoft, Cisco and IBM among its members, has already begun to move in this direction. “We are basically reacting to what our members really need,” Hopkins said. “The comment coming back from our membership at large is that (certifications) need to evolve into something more comprehensive. We’re working with our membership to see where we go next.”


“As CompTIA starts to develop its new skills solutions, we see a lot of effort behind the development of comprehensive skill solutions from the IT individuals themselves,” he added. “We have what we’ve termed ‘foundational’ certifications leading into other certifications. The move you’re going to see from CompTIA…


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