It’s Back to School — For You, Too!

Little Boy Pointing UpDon’t get stuck in a mid-career slump. Innovation in IT happens so quickly that you can get left behind before you know it.

There is no guarantee that earning a new certification will result in an immediate pay increase, especially if the certification is not particularly relevant to your current project. But…

Position requirements do change. Your present contract may not require a certification. When the contract comes up for renewal, surprise! Some certification is required, and you’re no longer eligible.

From the employer’s point of view, earning or renewing a certification indicates that you are very interested in keeping abreast with the developments in your field. A commitment to improving your skill set can result in a conversion to a full-time position, a pay increase, or a better bargaining chip for your next contract.

Global Knowledge announced the Hottest New Certifications for 2013 this summer. Below is a brief recap of some of the new certifications. The complete article can be found here.

Microsoft revamped the MCSA and the MCSE certifications in January 2012. There are five Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, Windows 8, Windows 7, and SQL Server 2012. Median salaries start at $67,500.

MCSA certifications are prerequisites for the new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certifications. MCSE certifications require in-depth knowledge of a variety of technologies. The focus is on designing and building technology solutions, and follow tracks instead of single areas of expertise. There are eight tracks for the MCSE: Server Infrastructure, Desktop Infrastructure, Private Cloud, Data Platform, Business Intelligence, Messaging, Communication, and SharePoint. Depending on which MCSE certification is earned, median salaries range between $74,000 (Desktop Infrastructure) to $102,500 (Business Intelligence).

CompTIA’s Cloud Essential certification and CloudSchool’s certification are both vendor-neutral, and are good starting points as introductions to cloud certification. In addition to Microsoft’s Private Cloud, VMWare offers five new cloud certifications.

Cisco will be retiring their Voice certification in 2014. Currently available is the new CCIE Collaboration certification, which covers voice, video, IM, presence and call centers. Cisco’s CCNA certification is now CCNA Routing and Switching.

CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) is geared toward the security professional with more than 5 years of hands-on technical security experience and the ability to develop secure solutions across enterprise environments.

The new Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH v8) certification is essential for security professionals, especially those in military and government security positions.

Invest in yourself, and hit the books. Just think — you and the kids, doing your homework together. What a picture!

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Corporate Media Specialist, DPP 


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