Windows Server Certification and Career Paths
Posts Tagged ‘Certifications’
Posted by Rubel Khan on December 16, 2012
Posted by Rubel Khan on March 6, 2012
To simplify the overall testing experience for certification candidates, CompTIA exams will be delivered exclusively with Pearson VUE via their network of more than 5,000 testing centers in 165 countries, effective July 9. CompTIA certification exams will no longer be available at Prometric testing centers at that time. Moving exclusively to Pearson VUE will provide certifications candidates with one point of contact to serve all of their testing needs.
Posted by Rubel Khan on February 25, 2012
- Elance: Put your Oracle Certification to work
- Java SE 7 Certification – Multiple New Certifications, New Exams
- New Certification: Oracle Certified Expert (OCE) – Java EE 6 Web Component Developer
- Oracle Solaris 11 Certification – Multiple New Certifications, New Exams
- New Certification: Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) – Oracle WebLogic Server 11g System Administrator
- Certification Update: Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) – Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g Forms Developer
- FAQ: How Long Do I Wait?
Oracle Certification E-Magazine – February 2012
Posted by Rubel Khan on December 4, 2011
For IT Pros, Business Savvy Trumps Certifications: Foote
Having certifications may have led to higher salaries for IT professionals in the past, but the latest report from Foote Partners finds that business skills may be just as valuable.
IT skill certifications don’t hold the same value as they did during rosier economic times, according to the latest report from IT employment and consulting firm Foote Partners.
Global instability and a lack of confidence in the U.S. economy are leading to a flattening of salaries between workers who have IT certifications and those who bring noncertified skills to the table.
In its IT Skills and Certification Pay Index report for the third quarter, released Nov. 29, the firm finds that 13% of noncertified skills got an increase in pay premiums over the last year while the same was true for only 5% of certified skill sets.
While in the past, simply having a string of accreditations displayed on a business card might be enough to bump up salaries, the current business environment asks for more, says David Foote, co-founder of Foote Partners.
“Private corporations may be holding on tightly to something like $2.5 million in liquid assets, but they have definitely been spending on skills and people during the recovery, albeit heavily in the services industry and in selective internal hires, The drivers for skills and talent acquisition in evidence today are more unique and compelling than prior downturns and won’t easily crumble under pressure,” Foote says.
Most companies, he says, are hiring for vacant positions or looking internally for candidates. This kind of pressure forces companies to look less at specialists and more at what Foote Partners calls a “hybrid IT business professional.” Instead of candidates with specific certified skills, hiring managers are seeking candidates not only with a strong IT background, but also skills in business, sales and even marketing.
According to Foote, fewer than 20 percent of all IT professionals today now work within the walls of what could be considered the traditional IT department. And IT workers who are entrenched in the workings of other business units will need a diverse set of skills to continue to grow.
“They have not been valuing certified skills as much as they have those that are without certification, where the experience and on-the-job performance of a person accounts for more ‘juice’ in hiring and skills acquisition decisions than having an acronym on one’s business card,” Foote says.
Posted by Rubel Khan on November 15, 2011
60% of IT professionals surveyed say a certification led to a new job, and half say it gave a salary boost. But some certs are more valuable than others.
By Julie Bort, Network World – November 14, 2011
Debate rages among IT professionals over the value of certifications, but a survey of 700 network professionals jointly conducted by Network World and SolarWinds may help put that argument to rest. Among those who earned certifications, most saw a significant boost in their careers as a result.
Some 60% said a certification led to a new job; 50% said they earned more pay, with 40% saying their pay increased by more than 10% directly because of a certification; and 29% said a cert led to a promotion.
Respondents also offered advice on when to get certifications and which ones to get. Interestingly, they named Cisco certifications as both the most, and the least, valuable.
"I have certifications, and yes they’ve been a big help to me," says Jeff Schoonmaker, a junior network administrator in Portland, Ore., who has a Cisco CCNA, a Microsoft MCITP (Enterprise Desktop Administrator) and the CompTIA A+. Schoonmaker has been an IT professional for a little over a year and says his CCNA helped land him his job and the MCITP has already led to a promotion. He’s working on his CCNP, and when he achieves that, he’ll get another promotion.
"As far as my career is concerned, certifications are huge. I will continue to chase certs from Microsoft and Cisco throughout my career," he says.
Half of respondents said they pursued certifications to get a promotion or to be eligible for a new job. "My company wanted a Microsoft-certified IT manager, so the MCSA helped me get the job I am currently in," said one respondent. "I was able to stay working for a defense contractor when one contract expired by moving to a different contract due to the certifications I held," another said.
Since three-quarters of respondents had certifications, that means one-quarter (26%) saw no value in them. "I have no certs to my name at all. I do have an MBA. I have been in IT hardware and network admin/engineer roles for over a decade now without a single piece of paper related to the field. You learn as you go, better than you learn in some stupid classroom," commented James7360 on a Spiceworks forum.
But James7360 is in the minority. Even network professionals earning the highest wages — more than $110,000 — had as many, or more, certs as those in lower salary brackets.
That’s not to say that the certs themselves are solely responsible for these high salaries. Those earning the most money also had more years of experience (75% had more than 10 years) and more traditional education (25% had a master’s degree, compared to 11% in the lower salary brackets).
But even so, among the highest-paid IT professionals who had certs, 58% said a cert led to a salary boost or bonus, 63% said it led to a promotion, and 30% to a new job. These numbers are similar to those in the lower salary brackets, who also overwhelmingly said that certs lead to a salary boost or bonus (55%), new job (62%), or promotion (27%).
Those earning the highest wages, $110,000 or more a year, were also more likely to have particularly difficult (and expensive) certifications, like the CCIE, RHCE or CISSP.
"I have had a certification lead to a new job or promotion, the CISSP, which isn’t even a technical certification. It really teaches how to control and translate security into business objectives. But it is required for a lot of security jobs and has requirements like ongoing education in order to maintain it," says Lee Eddy II, a senior security analyst in Redwood City, Calif., with more than 10 years of experience as an IT professional. The CISSP helped Eddy land a job with a big salary increase, and is mandated for most of the higher-paid jobs in his field, he says.
The value of a certification clearly depends on a lot of factors. Some hiring managers want them more than others, and timing is an issue, too.
"I’d have to say certs tend to be more valuable when they are coupled with the building of experience," says Craig Norborg, a network engineer for Trowbridge & Trowbridge, Albuquerque, N.M., with more than 15 years of experience and a variety of certs, including the CCNP, CCDA, MCSE, SCP (Solarwinds Certified Professional) and others.
"If you get them too early, people think they’re book certs. If you get them too late, you’re just proving what you already know, which may not be required," Norborg points out. "Employers are pretty suspicious of many high-end certs from a young person, or someone just entering the field."
The difficulty of the certs and the type of technology they cover can also add value – or not. "My MCSE hasn’t really done anything for me. My last two employers actually would rather I not touch servers, but instead specialize in networking," Norborg says. Note that for Windows Server 8 and beyond, Microsoft has discontinued its umbrella MCSE certification in favor of a range of technology-specific, MCITP certs.
In a survey of network professionals, it’s not surprising that certifications on network technology were the most popular and deemed the most valuable. Some 67% of respondents had earned one, with Cisco certifications far and away the most popular. Forty-four percent of those making more than $110,000 had the ultra-hard (and expensive) CCIE. Among those with lower salaries, only 4% had earned it. Microsoft certs were held by 39% overall, and the CompTIA Network+ by almost one quarter.
Cisco certifications were named the most valuable – leading to more promotions, new jobs or pay raises than any other. But, oddly, Cisco certifications were also named among the least valuable.
"I do think networking certifications are the most valuable when coupled with some real-world experience. I wouldn’t have gotten my last two positions without them," Norborg says. "It also depends on the cert itself. CCNA is OK. CCNP, CCDA and CCDP are better. I’m sure CCIE is even better, but once again, they’d be suspicious of a very young person with one."
Eddy adds: "The reason Cisco certs are seen as most valuable and least valuable is that it depends on the certification. The CCNA is entry-level and easy to get, but the CCIE is still hard and a lot of employers want it."
Security certifications also came in strong. Over one-third of respondents had one, with the CompTIA Security+ the most common. Among respondents making more than $110,000 annually, security certifications were held by 38%, particularly the CCSP, earned by 36% of this group. In comparison, only 9% of those making less than $110,000 had the CCSP but 32% had the CompTIA Security+.
The least popular certifications were for network management technology – only 17% of our 700 respondents had one. While network management is often categorized as a mid-level job, surprisingly, those that earned the biggest salaries, over $110,000, were far more likely to have one (40%) than those under $110,000 (22%).
Linux certifications and sysadmin/virtualization certifications came in as middle of the pack in both popularity and value.
Least popular of all were certs involving virtualization technology from Citrix or Red Hat.
Beyond jobs and promotions, some certification holders felt that certs had other value. One said, "As I’m the only member of IT staff here, people have become aware of the more complicated jobs I perform here, having seen the certifications I’ve passed."
Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents said they chose to get a certification simply to learn about the technology, not to pocket more dough. While no one argues that a cert is more valuable than hands-on experience, "they can be helpful when implementing a new technology," Eddy says. "One of the things I like to negotiate with a new purchase order is that the vendor throws in the certification on their product."
He also says he gets the most value out of live classroom training. In a group setting, people will experience and troubleshoot a wider variety of problems as they learn. It will also help you build a network of other users to call on when you need it.
For more details on which certifications impact jobs and pay, see the full survey results.
Posted by Rubel Khan on November 11, 2011
Part I: Exam Prep By Janet Pinkerton
1) Know your exam. Carefully read the exam description details to build your exam prep strategy. What are exam objectives or subjects covered? What question formats will be used: multiple-choice, simulated scenarios, essays or fill in the blank? How many questions will be in each exam section? How much time is given to complete the exam? How will the exam be graded?
2) Ask yourself: What kind of learner am I? How much do I know? Answering these questions can help you decide what tools to use to prepare for the exam. Test prep options include assessment software, instructor-led training, eLearning, books for classroom use and self-study, and computer-based materials.
3) Dedicate Time to Prepare. Give yourself a matter of weeks, not days, for preparation. Create and commit to a realistic schedule of study time blocks that are less likely to be disrupted by work or life events. Aim for balance with time management. If you neglect your personal or work life, you may add unwanted stress that will make it more difficult to study effectively.
4) Study in short blocks of time. Experts say the maximum human attention span is about 45 minutes and the average is about 20 to 30 minutes. Be good to yourself and take long breaks between study times.
5) Use multiple study/preparation resources, especially if you are a beginner. No single exam preparation resource is the best at covering every exam subject. Each has its strengths and weaknesses—both in approach and subject coverage. Using multiple preparation resources will help ensure that you cover all the subjects contained in a high-stakes exam.
6) Use high-quality preparation resources. For CompTIA certification exams, study with books and study guides reviewed by industry experts and approved by CompTIA through the CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) program. These materials are considered the best resource for self-study for an exam. Use the Search form here to find CAQC Study Materials. Be careful when purchasing study guides from second-hand sellers (on eBay or Craigslist, for example); make sure the materials directly apply to the exam you plan to take.
7) Drill, Baby, Drill! Drill with sample questions and exams to identify problem areas where more study is needed and reinforce the information you already understand. Sample questions for CompTIA exams can be obtained here. You can also purchase and practice questions online with authorized providers of certification practice tests. Beware of websites offering “exact copies” of real exam questions; experts say these typically provide no educational value and are often incorrect.
8) Time yourself. Timed exam practice help you get used to taking exams under time pressure.
9) Get Hands-on! Give yourself plenty of hands-on IT experience to reinforce study prep and also to prepare for long-term career success. Hands-on experience can range from working on projects in a home or school lab to shadowing experienced computer or network IT “gurus.”
10) Be Proactive and Think Positive. Exam anxiety is common, but careful preparation through study, drills and hands-on experience can dissolve the fears involved with high-stakes testing. If you are anxious about the exam environment itself, get information from your testing center about what to expect, what’s allowed, what’s prohibited in the testing room. Some testing centers even offer a “test drive” —a chance to experience the test center and go through all the testing procedures before the actual exam.
Source: CompTIA Blog
Posted by Rubel Khan on October 19, 2011
BY Edward Grigson
I’ve been asked by a few people over the last few weeks about the Netapp Certified Data Administrator certification, better known as the NCDA. I was only exposed to NetApp technology a few years ago so definitely don’t claim any real expertise – I don’t know if these requests are due to an increased demand for engineers with NetApp knowledge or whether I’ve just surrounded myself with like minded people pursuing similar goals. Hopefully both!
When I took my exams a couple of years ago I considered putting together a study guide as there wasn’t much available and it suits the way I learn new material. Hanging out on the Netapp forums I picked up quite a few hints and tips along with some great links to example questions, web based learning and some documents produced by NetApp which summaries the knowledge you need for the exams. I never found the time (or motivation if truth be told) to put together my own study notes but maybe there’s still enough demand to make a collection of resources useful. As always real world, hands on experience is invaluable but the below are worth your time;
NOTE: I took two exams (ns0-153 and ns0-163) whereas you can now take a single exam (ns0-154) instead which covers ONTAP 8 – 7 mode.
- The official Netapp study guide for ns0-154 – this is a great .PDF doc which forms the basis for study. Essential reading!
- Netapp Basic Concepts quickstarts guide
- Netapp Technical Reports
- Web based learning on High Availability (for ns0-163). I believe this used to be free online (I took one course which was very helpful for the exams) but is now one training unit (or around $150). It’s only 110 mins so it’s a bit harsh to charge!
- Take the sample exams at Netapp’s site. They’re pretty basic and only offer 20 (always identical) questions but better than nothing – ns0-153, ns0-163, or ns0-154
- Fast Lane also offers some test questions
- Netapp’s YouTube channel
- Brendan Higgins has a done a good blogpost on NCIE study materials but much of it is relevant to the NCDA
- Greg Porter has a good overview
- The Netapp SysAdmin guide (354 pages!)
- If you don’t have NetApp’s that you use on a day to day basis then get the NetApp Simulator. This lets you gain ‘real world’ experience as it runs the same ONTAP as the real controllers (just with performance and capacity restraints). Unfortunately you need to be a NetApp customer to download it.
In terms of difficulty the NCDA is an entry level exam – I’d put these exams nearer the VCP standard than the VCAP, more like an MCP than an MCSE. They’re multiple choice and while some questions require enterprise design knowledge (I got one on Metrocluster cabling) most are much more basic. Like the Cisco exams your certification expires after two years so I should be retaking the exams if I want to stay current but as not much has changed (ONTAP v8 is out but running in cluster mode means it’s almost the same as v7) it would be a paper exercise only and hence not worth it. Besides there’s SRM, vSphere5, vCD 1.5, Chef, Puppet and more to learn should I find any free time…
Posted by Rubel Khan on October 4, 2011
By Toni Bowers
Takeaway: A new Computerworld survey indicates the nine IT skills that will be in demand in 2012.
Nearly 29 percent of the 353 IT executives who were polled in Computerworld’s annual Forecast survey said they plan to increase IT staffing through next summer. (That’s up from 23% in the 2010 survey and 20% in the 2009 survey.)
Here are the skills that the IT executives say they will be hiring for:
- Programming and Application Development–61% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 44% in the 2010 survey. This covers the gamut from website development to upgrading internal systems and meeting the needs of mobile users.
- Project Management (but with a twist)– The twist is that they’re not going to just be looking for people who can oversee and monitor projects. They also want people who can identify users’ needs and translate them for the IT staffers-the increasingly popular business analysts.
- Help Desk/Technical Support–Mobile operating systems have added a new dimension to help desk and tech support.
- Networking-This demand is being fueled partially by virtualization and cloud computing projects. The survey also revealed that execs will be looking for people with VMware and Citrix experience.
- Business Intelligence-Computerworld interprets this uptick to a focus shift in many companies, from cost savings to investing in technology. That will be nice if it pans out that way.
- Data Center-Virtualization and the Cloud could also be behind the increased need for IT professionals with backgrounds in data center operations and systems integration.
- Security-Although down from 32 percent in the 2010 survey, security stays a top concern of IT executives.
- Telecommunications-The survey indicates a demand for people with IP telephony skills, and for those familiar with Cisco IPCC call center systems.
Posted by Rubel Khan on August 22, 2011
Starting in January 2012, Microsoft will expand the delivery methods for the SharePoint Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) program to include a "hybrid" delivery model that includes both onsite and remote training. Read more about this new training delivery model. Visit the registration site for more details and training schedule.
Posted by Rubel Khan on July 25, 2011
Microsoft is excited to announce the arrival of the new SharePoint 2010 exam, joining Microsoft’s Office Specialist 2010 line up.
Interested in taking the exam? Check out the exam objectives here. Need training first? Check out the Learning Plan, which links to a number of helpful articles. Microsoft Learning also has an e-learning collection that might be useful as well as a number of instructor-led courses. Ready to take the exam? Click here to find a test center via our MOS exam provider, Certiport.
Source: Born to Learn Blog-Post By Wendy Johnson