New Security Certs from Cisco

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Cisco Releases More Security-Focused Certifications

Cisco Systems Inc. has added to its certification program yet again,
this time adding four new security-related certifications. The new
credentials include three new Cisco Qualified Specialist certifications—
Cisco Firewall Specialist, Cisco VPN Specialist and Cisco IDS
Specialist—and one professional-level career certification, the Cisco
Certified Security Professional (CCSP). The new certifications were
designed to satisfy the heightened need for network professionals who
know how to design, build and implement security solutions.



The new Cisco Qualified Specialist certifications are designed to help
IT professionals reach a high level of technical knowledge and skill
using Cisco’s security technology and solutions. All three of the new
security-focused specialist certifications require the Cisco Certified
Network Associate (CCNA) certification as a prerequisite.



The Cisco Firewall Specialist certification tests the candidate’s
ability to secure network access using Cisco IOS Software and Cisco PIX
Firewall Technologies. Two exams are required: #640-100, Managing Cisco
Network Security and #9E0-111, Cisco Secure PIX Firewall Advanced. 



The Cisco VPN (virtual private network) Specialist certification
measures candidates’ ability to configure VPNs across shared public
networks using Cisco IOS Software and Cisco VPN 3000 Series Concentrator
technologies. Two exams are required: #640-100 and #9E0-121, Cisco
Secure VPN.



The Cisco IDS (Intrusion Detection System) Specialist works with Cisco
IOS Software and IDS technologies to detect and handle network
intrusions. Two exams are required: #640-100 and #9E0-100, Cisco Secure
Intrusion Detection System.



The new CCSP certification is designed to test IT professionals on
developing business solutions and integrating security devices with
underlying network architecture. Candidates interested in pursuing the
CCSP must first acquire the CCNA credential. To earn the CCSP,
candidates must pass five exams covering various Cisco security
technologies including Secure PIX Firewall Advanced, Cisco Secure
Intrusion Detection Systems, Cisco Secure VPN and Cisco SAFE
Implementation (exam #9E0-131, which is scheduled to be available Dec.
31, 2002). 



CCSP certification lasts for three years, and the new Specialist
certifications are valid for two years. Exams can be taken at VUE and
Prometric testing locations. For more information on Cisco’s new
security certifications, go to


The Economy’s Effect on IT Salaries

According to the new “Robert Half Technology 2003 Salary Guide,” IT
professionals’ base compensation will continue to fall to pre-dot-com
levels in the next year. At this time last year, the survey predicted a
0.1 percent increase for IT professionals’ starting salaries, but they
are expected to fall an average of 1.3 percent in 2003 according to the
new Salary Guide.



Security-related positions will see the greatest increases to starting
salaries of any job category for the third year in a row. Base
compensation for security-related positions is expected to rise 4.9
percent. Data security analysts will benefit the most, with a 6 percent
increase to their starting salaries.



Starting salaries for network architects will see a 2.6 percent gain,
with professionals in those positions earning an average between $70,000
and $105,250. IT professionals specializing in disaster recovery will
see a slightly smaller increase to starting salaries, with a rise of 2.3
percent to a range between $57,500 and $88,750. 



The positions that saw noteworthy gains during the dot-com boom—
Internet- and e-commerce-related specialties—could see declines in
starting salaries of as much as 6 percent in 2003, according to the
survey. Internet and intranet administrators’ starting salaries will
fall 5.7 percent to an average  range of $53,500 to $72,250. Also seeing
declining starting salaries will be database administrators, whose
starting salaries will drop 1.6 percent to a range of $69,750 to



Robert Half Technology’s annual salary survey is based on thousands of
job searches, negotiations and placements conducted annually by
recruiting specialists with the company. The report does not include
continuing salaries since there are multiple factors that impact ongoing
compensation, including seniority, work ethic, performance and training.



If you’re interested in reading more about salaries for IT
professionals, check out the December issue of Certification Magazine,
which includes CertMag’s 2002 Salary Survey, and see how certification
is paying off in terms of pay increases and higher salaries for
certified professionals. Look for it online at



Microsoft IT Academy Goes Worldwide, Adds More Training Options

Starting in the 2003 program year, Microsoft IT Academy will expand
beyond U.S. borders to the rest of the world and will also be providing
additional skills training. The IT Academy will be adding new training
options including the Microsoft Office Specialist (formerly MOUS)
credentials, as well as Microsoft’s latest addition to its certification
program, the Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD).



“We now have the ability to assist schools with training everybody
entering the workforce with Office training,” said Diana Carew, manager
of Microsoft’s workforce development and community college relations.
“We’ve additionally expanded the training with the addition of the MCAD,
so whether the school wants to offer classes on networking skills,
programming skills or desktop skills, they now have the ability to do



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