As you know, new technologies are constantly changing IT certifications across the board, as it should be. However, the certifications themselves aren’t all that is changing. In this month’s update especially, and I’m sure for years to come, we’re starting to see how they affect the entire certification process.
Today, we’ll be looking at a few of the changes to both IT certifications, and the IT certification process, including new training methods like Microsoft Learning’s new YouTube video trainings, and the new Windows Phone 7 certification drill apps. We’ll also look at a few changes in certifications, as well as completely new certifications such as the new CompTIA Healthcare IT certification, new security certifications by McAfee, a new Flash Storage Essentials certification by Oracle, and a recently released Silverlight 4 certification by Microsoft.
Microsoft Learning Training: Now Available on YouTube
While video training is not new (this IS the Train Signal blog after all), Microsoft extending their training to YouTube is definitely something novel. Not just because it’s a new outlet for them to offer valuable training, tips, and tricks, but also because YouTube is so vastly supported, that the service is available almost anywhere. With computers, smart phones, and even smart TVs and media centers supporting YouTube, you can literally get Microsoft’s training anywhere.
Microsoft isn’t new to video training either’ in the past, their training was offered in the form of “Learning Snacks” using Microsoft Silverlight to stream the videos, however, while Silverlight is a great technology, it isn’t yet supported on as many devices as YouTube is. Even devices like the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that don’t support Flash or Silverlight, still support YouTube. That means you can start your training at home, and continue on the go.
Currently, the YouTube channel has around 50 uploads, including playlists for Windows 7 and Exchange Server 2010 trainings, as well as a few Career Factor videos. Check out Microsoft Learning’s new YouTube channel and if you’re interested in more, take a look at their Learning Snacks.
Microsoft Releases Certification Drill Apps for Windows Phone 7
Preparing for a Microsoft certification exam? Own a Windows Phone 7? You might be interested to learn that Microsoft Learning has released a few certification drill apps in the Windows Marketplace to help you practice for your exams.
The apps currently feature two modes and 100 practice questions for each exam. In “Study Mode,” you are presented with the questions, as well as full explanations for the correct and incorrect answers. In “Quiz Mode,” you are asked questions one after the other until all have been answered, and then scored at the end. Incorrect responses are flagged so you can go back to study them later.
Currently there are apps for the following Microsoft certifications:
- MCTS (Exam 70-680): Configuring Windows 7
- MCITP (Exam 70-685): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
- MCITP (Exam 70-686): Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Administrator
- MCTS (Exam 70-662): Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
- MCTS (Exam 70-640): Configuring Windows Server 2008 Active Directory
The Trial Version (with 20 questions) is free and the Full Version (with 100 questions) is reasonably priced at $4.99.
New CompTIA Healthcare IT Certification: Coming Soon
CompTIA Offers Healthcare IT Certification (Photo: saginawfuture on Flickr.)
CompTIA is currently looking for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the Healthcare IT field to help create a new Healthcare IT certification. Information is still limited, but the certification creation process is still in progress and should be released sometime this year. It was noted that some of the objectives from the old CompTIA CDIA+ (Certified Document Imaging Architect) certification would be present in the new Healthcare IT Certification. You can find more information about the new certification in the members area of CompTIA’s website.
New McAfee Security Certifications
McAfee has partnered with Prometrics to create two new security based certifications for IT professionals who work with or administrate McAfee products:
- McAfee Product Certification
- McAfee Assessment Certification
The McAfee Product Certification deals with installing, configuring, managing, basic architecture, and troubleshooting McAfee products. The McAfee Assessment Certification is designed for security professionals and includes profiling, inventory, vulnerability identification and exploitation, and expanding influence. McAfee notes that all candidates should have between one to three years experience with McAfee products.
On a side note, McAfee is also offering a discount for anyone taking the exam between now and February 28th, 2011. You can get certified for $99 by using the code MFE99.
Here’s more information on the McAffee Security Certifications and the early bird special.
Oracle Offers the Sun Flash Storage Essentials Beta Exam
Oracle’s Sun Flash Storage Certified Implementation Specialist certification validates candidate’s skills in implementing solutions based on Sun Flash Storage product line. The required exam is the Sun Flash Storage Essentials exam, which is currently in beta.
You can take the Flash Storage Essentials exam (1Z0-552) for $50, and get your results approximately eleven weeks after the close of the beta exam. The exam is approximately 2.5 – 3 hours long and includes the following topics:
- Flash Technology Overview
- Assessing Customer’s Problems and Flash Technology Fit
- Sun Solid State Drives
- Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card
- F5100 Flash Array Overview
- F5100 Deployment Assessment
- F5100 Physical Installation
- F5100 Configuration
- Optimization, Tuning, and Testing
Passing the exam will also count towards the OPN (Oracle PartnerNetwork) Certified Specialist certification. You can learn more about the Sun Flash Storage Essentials Exam and view a detailed list of exam topics on Oracle’s education site.
Now Available: TS: Silverlight 4, Development Exam (70-506)
The MCTS 70-506 Silverlight exam is now available at all Prometric testing centers. According to Lisa Denbeste of Microsoft’s Born to Learn, the exam focuses not only on Silverlight 4, but also core Silverlight concepts.
Candidates for the exam are Silverlight developers who create and maintain “rich interactice applications (RIA)” using Silverlight 4. Here are the recommended qualifications:
- At least six months of experience with Silverlight development
- At least one year of experience with Microsoft .Net development
- Experience consuming data services
You can schedule your Silverlight exam by visiting the Prometric website.
Microsoft Certification Packs: Deadline Extended
Those who purchase a Microsoft certification pack and take their first exam before June 30th, 2011, will now have until December 21st, 2011 to take the rest of the exams (based on the pack purchased). This means you’ll have a lot more time to practice, study, and of course finish watching your Train Signal video training before finally taking your exam before the year ends. As with the original deadline, retakes are also still free if you don’t manage to pass on your first tries.