Welcome to the latest installment of Press Pass , where CertMag reports new and recent certification news by blowing through as many industry press releases, blogs, dispatches, messages in a bottle, etc., as we can fit in one post. We’ve got the highlights and you can click straight to the horse’s mouth for more information.
Never stop learning: Here in the United States, we’ve just been through a wham-bam weekend-plus-Monday blitz of Friday the 13th, Flag Day and Father’s Day, with the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, the U.S. Open and the 070-158 opening kick of the World Cup all mixed in. It would seem, however, that the calendar is still in Observance Mode, as we’re now in the midst of Adult Learners Week. This latest celebration comes to you courtesy of the British Computer Society, which is encouraging adult learners to take advantage of numerous opportunities to brush up their digital and computing skills. The word “adult” encompasses a pretty broad range of ages, but the BCS is particularly fixated on retirees (age 65 and older), who it says can improve both their quality of life and employability (should they choose to become or remain employed) by keeping abreast of advancing technology.
Mickey on my right, certification on my left: ’Tis the season to take a vacation, or at least attend a convention. Or do both at the same time, right? Now if only there were some way to get an IT certification tossed in with that package. Ah, but there is. IBM Digital Experience 2014 is coming up next month, July 21-24, in Anaheim, Calif., where Disneyland is just minutes away. Digital Experience 2014 is also, yes, a certification destination, with a free on-site certification exam available to every registered convention attendee. So if you’re the type who can’t relax without getting something accomplished at the same time, well, this is the sort of experience that was created with you in mind. There’s still plenty of time to register, and quite a few cert exams to choose from.
Won’t you be my certification neighbor?: Everything is better with a friend, right? That’s the line of thinking at Cisco Learning Network, which recently swelled its membership ranks past the 800,000 mark and is feeling impatient to get to 900,000 (and probably 1,000,000 after that). Cisco wants to harness the power of social media is willing to reward the creativity of Learning Network members. If you’re on the inside, then you simply create a short video or infographic inviting friends (and strangers) to join up, post it to Twitter, and sit back and wait for the 1Z0-043 prizes to come rolling in. Winners receive a month of free premium membership benefits, and will be entered into a grand prize drawing for learning materials, exam vouchers and and more.
What’s IT worth to you?: Here at Certification Magazine, we’re big believers in the value of IT certifications. We’re far from along in holding that position, but it’s always nice to see other people beating the drum for the power of certification. Earlier this month, training provider New Horizons Computer Learning Center took up the cause in a blog post outlining how certifications can make a difference in your education and career prospects. There’s been a fair amount of debate in the IT community about the ongoing importance of certifications, but New Horizons argues that there are plenty of decision makers who still believe certifications have value. The piece addresses a laundry of common objections to certification quite thoughtfully — if you’re having trouble deciding whether certification is right for you, it’s a worthwhile read.
Dynamic duo back in business: There’s a general dearth of goofiness in the IT certification world, so it’s always nice to find the occasional blogger or commentator who mixes things up a bit. In that’s vein, it’s pleasant to report that Microsoft Learning blogger Liberty Munson has made another appearance as her Psychomagician exam wizard alter ego, with sidekick Super Sigma in tow. It’s been a while since the pair undertook its last mission to fathom the mysteries of certification exams, but their ongoing series, the ACE Chronicles, is apparently back in production. Must have been all of the fans who wrote letters to MS Learning’s Born to Learn blog. Power to the people!
References available upon request: How are they, these days? The people at the bottom of your resume, that is. The ones who tell prospective employers how awesome you are. That’s what they’re there for, right? Project Management Institute has some numbers that may open your eyes: The group behind the popular Project Management Professional (PMP) cert says that a recent survey revealed that employment references frequently hurt your job prospects more than they help them. The survey, conducted by CareerBuilder, revealed that 62 percent of employers received negative reviews of a job candidate from one of their listed references. Ouch! PMI says it doesn’t have to be that way, and the article goes on to explain how. It’s definitely something to think about before the next time you send out a resume.