Press Pass: Strike-it-rich certs, power rankings 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.

Follow the money: One of the most oft-asked questions in the IT certification realm is some version of, “What certification will help me get the best salary?” There are lots of factors that determine pay, and certification is no guarantee of increased income. It’s nonetheless true, however, that that the industry loves a good list. And as we turn the page to 2014, IT Business Edge has got an interesting one. The list, based on data from the IT salary gurus at Foote Partners, includes 20 certs whose holders are predicted to get pay increases in 2014. The list doesn’t appear to be a ranked list, but it’s also not surprising to see it led off by an information security cert, the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) credential sponsored by IT governance group ISACA.

It’s reigning: Cloud certifications are also red hot, which brings us to our next item of news. In rounding up its most popular blog posts from 2013, the certification group at IBM unearthed an extensive manifesto from March that introduced its then-nascent Cloud Computing Certification Program. The article is a detailed walkthrough for IT professionals who are pondering their next certification move and think that there might be some cloud cover on the horizon. The detailed information is specific to the cloud certs offered by IBM, but there are some good overall points to ponder even for cert seekers who are considering moving underneath somebody else’s cloud certification umbrella.

Polling the IT crowd: The Certrank site hosted by the IT Certification Master blog has been kicking around for a couple of years, but is probably still more of a cool concept in search of a wider audience than it is a finished product. The site, which has stirred up a bit of attention on Twitter in recent weeks, invites people who have earned various IT certifications to rank their credentials on a scale of one to five stars based a few succinct, readily comprehensible criteria. Want to know how much a given cert might affect your employability, or your prospects of getting a raise? Who better to ask than the people who have it already? The biggest drawback to Certrank at this point is its depth and breadth. With responses from a little more than 500 cert holders so far, it’s in the game, but doesn’t yet have much of a leg to stand on. Still, the framework is solid and could yield a nice reference guide down the road.

What’s your certification plan?: You can’t get from Point A to Point B without a plan, especially when Point A is your current resume and Point B is the next certification you’d like to add to it. It’s the goal-setting and plan-making time of year, so there are lots of advice pieces floating around, including a good one at the Education and Certification Blog hosted by VMware Education Services. Apparently the average IT professional should expect to spend about 10 hours every week on continuing education in order to stay abreast of the fast-changing tech scene. With that reminder as a jumping-off point, blogger Erik Ullanderson lays out a series of steps to follow to bring your certification goals to fruition in 2014.

Survey says: If you’ve taken a Microsoft certification exam lately, then you may be familiar with the brief survey that precedes the regular exam questions. For everyone who’s wondered what those questions are all about, Microsoft Learning blogger Liberty Munson, who’s also a Microsoft exam designer, breaks it down for you in a brief informative video. Ignore the survey at your peril. Essentially, it’s an important source of feedback for designing future exams. You may recognize Munson from previous Microsoft Learning certification videos — she’s one-half of the dynamic duo Super Sigma and Psychomagician, a sort of Batman and Robin of certification featured in a string of videos last year.

TESTING, TESTING — Exam opportunities

  • Beta testing (cheap exams!) is now in progress for Oracle’s WebLogic Server 12c: Administration I exam  MORE DETAILS 

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

  • HP has a new Software Defined Networking (SDN) cert available that the company claims is the first of its kind  MORE DETAILS 
  • Microsoft’s MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 and MCITP: Database Developer 2008 are headed to retirement on July 31  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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