Though many reports have continued to claim that the demand for IT workers far exceeds supply, the daily reality for many in the IT profession has been a lack of job opportunities.
A recent job market study published by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) finally acknowledges what most of us have known for some time - it's a tough job market for U.S. IT professionals. According to "Bouncing Back: Jobs, Skills and the Continuing Demand for IT Workers," although companies hired 2.1 million IT workers over the previous year, they dismissed 2.6 million.
But many are planning to hire in the coming year. Further, the study found that hiring managers are placing increasing value on certification as an indicator of candidate technical ability, and predicts an increase in IT hiring in forthcoming months.
Sair Linux/GNU Certification Transferred To Linux Professional Group (LPG)
The Sair Linux/GNU certification program will get new life, thanks to a partnership between Thomson Learning and the Linux Professional Group (LPG). Ownership of the program has been transferred to LPG, who will update the current exams and continue to develop and promote the program.
Meanwhile Thomson Course Technology will serve as the exclusive provider of authorized training materials for the program, and Thomson's Prometric testing division will continue to administer the exams.
"Thomson is committed to supporting the Sair Linux/GNU certification, and we felt it was in the best interest of the program for it to reside within the Linux community," explained Meagan Walsh, Marketing Manager for Thomson Course Technologies.
A new Web site, still being rolled out, can be found at http://www.linuxpg.org.
Oracle Requires Instructor-led Training For New DBA Candidates
As of June 15, candidates starting out on Oracle Certification tracks will have to complete a instructor-led course before they can earn certification. The course can be taken online or in a classroom.
Qualifying courses include: Oracle9i Introduction to SQL; Oracle9i Database Fundamentals I; Oracle9i Database Fundamentals II ; Oracle9i Database Performance Tuning; Oracle9i Database New Features (available to those with Oracle DBA experience on previous releases); and Introduction to Oracle: SQL and PL/SQL.
Candidates who have completed at least one exam toward earning their OCP credential before June 15 are exempt from this new requirement. So are students completing their Oracle study with an Oracle Academic Initiative program school or an Oracle Workforce Development school. The Oracle Certified Master title already requires two advanced courses from Oracle University as well as a hands-on practicum.
Sun To Release New Sun Certified Programmer Exam in August
The exam for Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.4 (310-035) will become available in testing centers in August.
The new exam reflects a move toward version specific exams. The current programmer exam (310-025), previously called simply Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform, has been renamed Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform 1.2. It is not scheduled for retirement; both exams will be available simultaneously.
Objectives for both exams are available on Sun's Web site. The new exam version does not include coverage of I/O or the Absract Windowing Toolkit (AWT). Both have been removed from the new exam to reflect the world of today's programmers, where not all applications developed involve a GUI or I/O. Expect version numbers to appear on other Sun Java exams in the near future.
That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne Martinez is the author of Cheap Web Tricks: Build and Promote a Successful Web Site Without Spending A Dime and Get Certified and Get Ahead. She also is the founder of GoCertify.com.