Press Pass: Certified vets, healthcare IT, and more

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Certification Magazine — Nov. 11, 2013

Welcome to the latest installment of Press Pass, where CertMag blows 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.

You’ll never get rich by digging a ditch: Army recruiters often sell enlistment as a means of getting training (including IT training) for highly-paid civilian careers. Even recruits who don’t get funneled through a specialized branch of the service, however, can still get a leg up in the IT world. IT trade association CompTIA is one of a handful of tech organizations that offer special assistance to military veterans. Just in time for Veteran’s Day, we learn that, since its launch in 2011, CompTIA’s Troops to Tech Careers program has helped roughly 16,000 vets grab nearly 22,000 CompTIA certifications. Both veterans and their spouses can potentially qualify for assistance.

Your IT friends across the pond: As ever-more American companies and organizations go global with their certification programs, international groups are returning the favor. Last week the British Computer Society announced that it is launching a certification program in the United States for software developers pursuing Agile develolpment training. The new BCS credential is being offered at both the Foundation and Practitioner levels. Agile development and practices grew out of a meeting of the minds at the Snowbird resort near Salt Lake City, Utah, where 17 programmers drafted a software development manifesto.

IT mountains to climb: Most climbers who get to the top of Mount Everest have more than a little assistance from Sherpas, the rugged Nepalese expert guides and porters who assist climbing groups of all sizes. So a few firms that help various persons to scale IT mountains have adopted the term “Sherpa” to describe what they do. One such company is TechSherpas, an IT education and training provider that has a newly announced partnership with CompTIA to provide exam prep for CompTIA’s A+, Security+, Network+, Linux+ and Cloud Essentials certs. TechSherpas also provides training for Microsoft, Cisco and VMWare certifications.

Batten down the data storage tech: While we’re still on the subject of Sherpas, a trio of programmers is assisting consumers frustrated by HealthCare.gov with HealthSherpa, a brand new site that provides ZIP-code based information about insurance exchanges. Another tech group riding the wave of interest in healthcare is IT security association (ISC)2, which recently launched a new security and privacy certification to provide the “first foundational global standard for assessing both information security and privacy expertise within the healthcare industry.” The HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) credential, announced last week, is not an “entry level” cert. Candidates must have at least two years’ experience in an applicable field to begin the certification process.

No shortcuts to certification: As with most tests and testing processes, there are plenty of people on the fringes of the certification world who will happily offer to help you game the system. As a recent post on Microsoft’s Born to Learn blog points out, however, sometimes the cert cheaters aren’t even offering correct information about the system they want you to game. Some “brain dump” sites claim to have test prep info, but aren’t offering what say (or perhaps think) they are. Others may take your money without offering anything at all. So, yeah, always go to the certification provider or another above-board source for your study materials. Brain dumps = bad.

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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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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