Press Pass: Go for the green, exam prep tips and more

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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.

Show me the money: It’s a delicate subject. You go to work every day, your performance is consistently commendable, and the company is prospering. When is it the right time to ask for a bigger slice of the pie? If that’s a conversation you’ve been hoping to have with your employer, but you just don’t know how to bring it up, or where to go with it, well, take heart. CompTIA blogger Janet Pinkerton is ready to bail you out with a series of tips to make things easier. Pinkerton’s posting at CompTIA’s IT Careers Blog encourages workers to, among other things, outline expectations early, keep track of accomplishments, and be aware of company trends and history. There’s also advice about how and when to ask, and what to do or say when you get a response.

Feel the learn: Among all of the many things to be thankful for this week, how about an acknowledgement of the importance of education? We’re a little late to the party — American Education Week was last week, apparently — but it’s a never a bad time to reflect on the doors opened for all us by teachers, and remember the importance of lifelong learning. Such as, for example, pursuing certification to enhance and maintain job skills. Cicso Learning Network has posted a fun tribute to American Education Week with a series of video clips featuring personal certification success stories. Watch a few of these videos and you’ll probably come away feeling ready to dive into your own certification efforts with renewed vigor.

Certification — The Next Generation: Much has been made in recent years of the fact that ever-increasing demand for skilled IT workers is outpacing supply. One of the companies hoping to stand in the gap is Microsoft, which is taking its IT Academy program to high schools, career colleges and adult education centers across the country in an effort to start a boom in IT education. Two states, Washington and Hawaii, have taken steps to bring the benefits of Microsoft ITA to public libraries. And more than 60 educational institutions launched ITA programs in Arkansas last year. Especially for those who are new to IT education and certification, ITA, as it continues to expand, could be an excellent place to start.

What you gonna do when they come for you: There are certainly plenty of satisfied customers in the certification industry, but not everyone who studies up, pays a fee and takes an exam gets all of the benefits that they bargained for. Some fall victim to misleading practices or promises, or even outright fraud. So what’s your recourse if you find yourself in such a situation? Blogger Tracey Flynn at says that while there may not be a certification police department — although that would make a great hook for a TV crime franchise, with shows like CPD: Miamivictims of certification fraud do have options. There’s no official agency that provides oversight of certification, but Department of Labor provides resources for self-vetting certs, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers some avenues for formal complaints.

Preparation precedes certification: What does it take to be properly prepared for your next certification exam? There are plenty of resources and suggestions out there, but you can never have too much good advice. This week, the education division at HP has some  tips for cert candidates looking to get an edge.

TESTING, TESTING — Exam opportunities

  • There’s still time to get in on the MySQL 5.6 Database Administrator beta exam from Oracle  MORE DETAILS 

OLD, NEW, BORROWED, BLUE — New and retiring certs

  • Oracle’s Exadata 11g Certified Implementation Specialist is going away Dec. 21  MORE DETAILS 
  • Say hello to HP’s HP Sales Certified — Networking Solutions and Services credential  MORE DETAILS 
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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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