Press Pass: IT apprenticeships and other certification news

Welcome to the latest installment of  Press Pass , where CertMag reports the latest 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 thru straight to the horse’s mouth for more information.

Meet your IT master: In addressing the ever-expanding need for skilled IT workers, there’s been much debate about improving the caliber of IT education. We need better schools. We need better teachers. We need 00M-651 better study materials. Or maybe we need a dose of 18th-century practicality. Could we train the IT workforce of the future by placing them under the tutelage of the IT workforce of the present? A new article at GoCertify suggests that it might be a very helpful idea. It’s also not without precedent: IT apprenticeships, as such arrangements are called — with students learning the tricks of the trade by working at IT firms — are a thriving concern E20-097 in Europe. The model has yet to really catch on in the United States, but IT educator Steve Linthicum thinks it could be a big part of the solution to the ongoing problem of increasing IT labor demands.

IT apprenticeships could play an important role in improving tech ed.

What’s it worth to you?: One topic of frequent discussion in the certification world is whether certifications add value to your resume and professional career. Even more energetically dissected is the natural follow-up question: How much? If I get a (your certification here), then how much more can I expect to earn? According to a recent report in InformationWeek, more and more IT executives agree that certifications are, in fact, a worthwhile and essential barometer of a potential employee’s skills. That still doesn’t mean that all IT certification are created equal, and the article goes on to give three broad guidelines for determining which certifications are worth your investment of time and resources. After all, it’s good to remember that certifications, like anything else you’d buy, should be evaluated for quality and reliability before you make a final purchasing decision. Don’t just open your wallet for the first credential you encounter.

Money for nothing and cybersecurity webinars for free: If IT had a Hot Topic retail outlet, then there would a huge rack of cybersecurity T-shirts in the front window display at all times. The value of IT security skills and certifications continues to be foremost in the minds of many tech employers. So if you’re leaning toward taking your talents to the cybersecurity realm, then you may want to tune in for ISACA’s upcoming series of six free IT security webinars. The long-lived IT governance group is a respected thought leader in the cybersecurity sphere, and the price is right to add some depth and breadth to your knowledge of cybersecurity issues. The first of the webinars is set for June 24 at noon, with the next two to follow in July and September.

IT for hire: There’s a long tradition in IT, at nearly every level, of hired guns doing contract work. Sometimes it’s the network consultant who visits a small-town dentist’s office to hook up five or six PCs, and sometimes it’s a high-level programmer tackling a software project for a major tech firm.  However you roll, a recent post to the IT Careers Blog at CompTIA suggests that contract work can be an excellent way to further your IT career. The post’s author, Victor Johnson, is an IT contractor for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, so he knows whereof he blogs. Contractors deal with a fair degree of employment uncertainty, but Johnson says there are also benefits, including the freedom to come and go from various projects and the opportunity to be hired permanently, as well as to inspect the inner workings of a potential long-term employer without having committed to work for them.

Tech Town, U.S.A., Population You: If you’re looking for work and you aren’t picky about relocating, then a recent Forbes article may be right up your alley. The magazine has analyzed the growth of tech workforces in both metro areas and smaller population centers across the U.S., and identified the cities with the strongest emerging IT workforces. Perhaps not surprisingly, greater San Jose, Calif. (including Sunnyvale and Santa Clara), with its adjacency to Silicon Valley, is at the top of the list. There are some smaller cities that are growing into tech hubs, however, including the likes of Madison, Wisc., and the Provo-Orem area in Utah. Even if you just like to look at real estate listings and dream, there may be some intriguing fodder for your ruminations here.

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Fida Reeder

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

FIDA REEDER is a journalist and writer with experience in both print and web publications. E-mail her at fidareeder (at) gmail (dot) com.

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