Press Pass: Free training for life and other certification news

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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.

The price is right: First off, our apologies to readers in the United States (and most of the rest of the world, for that matter). Sorry, folks, you don’t qualify. Qualify for what? Suppose that you never had to pay for certification training again? Sweet deal, right? Firebrand Training, a U.K.-based tech tranining firm (and partner with Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco, among others), is offering one lucky winner free IT certification training materials for life.  The offer’s been out there for a while now, but there’s still plenty of time to get your name in the hat — provided that you reside in one of the European countries where Firebrand has business operations. Entries are being accepted through Sept. 14, with the winner to be announced Sept. 30. Shoot, that’s almost enough time to move to France and enter to win, right? (Plus, think of all the baguettes and cheese.) The estimated value of the prize is £1 million (about $1.7 million U.S.).

IT certification can help you succeed in business.Everything (about certification) is awesome: Staying on the other side of the pond for a moment, we turn to the British Computer Society, which frequently evangelizes for various IT and certification issues. This time, The Chartered Institute for IT is beating the drum for the value of professional certification, something we at CertMag may occasionally have done ourselves. In a SlideShare presentation posted last month, BCS officials trumpet that certification improves efficiency, skill and organizational success. The group makes a particular pitch for its own Agile Certification program, which currently offers Foundation and Practitioner credentials, with an Expert credential presently in development. There’s also much discussion of the BCS Business Analysis Certification.

Your cybersecurity job awaits: This probably won’t come as news to many of you, but tech firms and non-tech firms alike are (still) anxious to hire IT security pros. Everybody want to protect their data and secure their networks. And the need is high. How high? Dice, the popular listing service for tech jobs, reports that, in April, IT security openings had increased by 20 percent from the previous years, with 7,800 positions available. The hottest markets are in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York, Boston and San Diego. It may not literally be true that you can get a security certification today and write your own pass to the executive washroom tomorrow. If you want to assure that your IT skills remain in demand, however, then security if probably a good path to follow.

A healthy interest: While we’re still on the subject of security, what do you get when you cross one hot hiring trend with another? Just as is the case in the security field, interest in healthcare IT is booming right now. And security consortium (ISC)2 is crossing the streams, so to speak, with its relatively newfangled HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) credential. What can HCISSP do for you? Security specialist Joseph Granneman over at TechTarget gives a lengthy overview of the HCISSP  and concludes that it could be a boon both to IT careers and the security and privacy of medical records.

A brother from the same mother: Proving that not all siblings are rivals — or perhaps proving that, in fact, they are — Microsoft Learning has a fun story in circulation about two brothers, Frank and John Deardurff, who egged each other into getting certified. The Brothers Deardurff didn’t so much compete directly as embark on a certification journey together, but there’s no denying that they got their first certifications after one brother (Frank) essentially dared the other brother (John) to go with him to an informational event about Microsoft certification training. Both brothers went on achieve various career successes as a result of that first time dipping a toe in the IT certification pool. It’s a fun reminder that a little bit of certification, mixed with determination, can make a big difference in anyone’s life.

What is the sound of one hand certifying?: Speaking of journeys, while many people think of certification as being more of a destination, blogger Danny Tomic of Cisco Learning Network’s Certifications for Success blog wants cert candidates to stop and smell the roses. Continuing a five-part series begun earlier this year, Tomic chimed in this week with his third challenge for IT pros who want to enrich their walk in the certification woods. Tomic’s latest challenge involves creating the ideal study environment. What needs to be present for you to maximize the effectiveness of your certification study? Music? Lighting? A favorite old chair? Tomic particularly focuses on providing a soundtrack to your study efforts. He does acknowledge that some people prefer to study in silence, so, yeah … your mileage may vary.

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Fida Reeder


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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