‘New’ HP Certified Professional Program

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The New HP Integrates Certification Programs

Following the merger of Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, I have been checking
frequently to find out what’s happening to the pre-merger certification
programs. I should have known it would take some time. We’re talking
about two well-respected, fairly extensive programs that needed to be
brought together. But now the wait is over. The “new” HP has made the
announcement that the pre-merger programs from HP and Compaq are being
merged into a single program—the HP Certified Professional program. The
new program will combine the Compaq Accredited Professional, HP Systems
Training and Recognition (STAR) and HP Certified programs.



“We’ve attempted to bring together the best of the three programs,” said
Brian Beneda, worldwide certification program architect for HP. “The
combination of the pre-merger programs puts us in the top tier of the
certified community in terms of the numbers of people who are



Beneda added that one of the key changes with the new program is that
the certifications are directed at HP employees as well as partners and
customers. Previously, there were different certifications for
employees, partners and customers, but Beneda said that the job role
remains the same, regardless of who you work for. “Let’s say I’m an ASE
(Accredited Systems Engineer) on ProLiant servers,” he said. “What are
the skills required to do the job? It implies I would be able to set up,
deploy and integrate ProLiant servers. Does that job change if you’re a
customer doing the work or an employee doing the work? The answer is



If you were certified under one of the pre-merger programs, there is no
need to worry about losing your credential. HP promises to maintain the
value of your investment, and for now, pre-merger certifications remain
in place and operational. Once you reach the time for renewal of your
certification, you will be transitioned into the new program. Many of
the certifications will transfer into the new program as they exist, and
others will change due to the integration of pre-merger technologies. In
some cases, you will be required to meet continuing education



“What we’ve tried to do is to bring the certifications across where it
made sense, lock, stock and barrel into the new program,” said Beneda.
“There are some areas where integrated product lines have had a major
impact, such as storage. So we’re going to have to do some things around
the certification that requires both pre-merger tests. We’ve tried to
use existing exams and training where possible, and by doing that it
gives our candidates some good investment protection. In some cases, the
certification will come across without being modified. In other cases,
people will be required to complete some continuing certification



The new HP Certified Professional program is divided into four
certification focus areas: sales, pre-sales, integration and operating
systems. Within each area are various levels so that IT professionals
can advance through the program. And within each level are tracks
focusing on various specialties.



For new candidates, Barbara Sandro, marketing program manager for HP
certification, suggests that the new program offers a strong
professional framework. “For someone who’s surfing for a professional IT
designation, I think they will find a strong program with HP,” she said.
“If you look at the offerings, we really offer not only a long list of
certifications, but they are also tied to things that are important to
the industry in terms of what skill sets are needed.”



“Not only is that true from a technology standpoint,” Beneda added, “but
based on the four certification areas, the richness of the skills that
are offered by the job roles is much deeper.”



So if you’re already certified under one of the pre-merger programs, you
have no need to worry about losing your certification. And if you’re
looking for a new certification path to pursue, the new HP Certified
Professional program could be the way to go. Check it out at


Get Help with Your Job Search
If you, like many others, are in the market for a job, AIRS has a new
offering that might help you out. AIRS, a provider of recruitment
training and human capital solutions, will now include a series of
classes for job-seekers free with its AIRS Outplacement services (which,
unfortunately, are not free). AIRS has partnered with Sage Learning to
offer the training, which will show job-seekers how to deal with the
current employment environment, providing various tools and techniques
to beat the competition.



AIRS’ new classes are designed to correspond to the eight-step job-
search process that AIRS uses. The training can be delivered on-site
anywhere in the United States or abroad, or it can be accessed through
AIRS’ CareerPortal e-learning platform.



The caveat: This all costs money, so unless your employer is willing to
foot the bill to help you out after handing you that pink slip (believe
it or not, many employers do this with AIRS), this might not be an
affordable option, but the eight steps of the career path are helpful.



If you’re looking for new employment, you might take a look at the eight
steps recommended by AIRS to job-seekers:



* Evaluate your career.
* Organize your job search.
* Build your resume.
* Market yourself.
* Find the right job.
* Expand your network.
* Tap the hidden job market.
* Get hired.



AIRS offers all sorts of neat tools on its Web site that can help you
through each step in the job-search process. But again, it costs money.



To find out more about AIRS Outplacement, go to
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