Certification Watch: Novell Changes Tack

Trying to add more vendor-neutral dimensions into exams that certify engineers to work on its software, Novell has become the latest vendor to join forces with CompTIA. Plus certification news from Brainbench, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. government, and more.
Certification Update is provided by GoCertify.com, a gathering place and resource center for people interested in computer professional certification.

1. Big Changes For Novell Certification
Novell is the latest vendor to join forces with CompTIA in an effort to bring more vendor-neutral dimensions to its certifications. This will be accomplished by incorporating three CompTIA exams into Novell certification tracks, starting this fall.

First, the Certified Novell Engineer (CNE) Networking Technologies exam will be replaced by the Network+ exam. Second, at the Master CNE (MCNE) level, ITProject+ will become a core requirement for new MCNEs and a continuing requirement for current MCNEs. Third, Server+ will become an MCNE elective. This will all happen in the fall as Netware 6 courses and exams are rolled out.

Jim Greene, Novell's director of certification, says that Novell won't receive any part of the exam fees for the CompTIA tests; the benefit for Novell is to make its certifications more general and less Novell-specific, reflecting the heterogeneous nature of computing today.

In another major program change, the electives will be removed from the CNE Netware 6 track. There will still be 6 exams required, but they will all be core exams. The elective exams will still be available, but as product proficiency certificates rather than part of a certification track.

2. Brainbench Changes Pricing Model Again
Brainbench, which used to offer all of its online certifications for free before moving to a pay-per-exam model, now offers another alternative: annual subscriptions. For $99, you can take all the Brainbench certification exams you wish for a year, and receive a certificate for each one that you pass.

3. Veterans Can Use GI Benefits To Certified
The U.S. government is officially on the IT certification bandwagon. Veterans can receive reimbursement for certification exam fees for Microsoft and CompTIA exams (up to $2,000 per test, but not more than the test actually cost). Vets who've taken exams since March 1, 2001, can seek reimbursement through their state Veterans Affairs office.

4. Linux+ Beta In Testing Centers June 22
CompTIA's Linux+ exam is ready for the public. The beta version of the exam, which consists of 145 questions and lasts up to 2.5 hours, will be available for one month. Cost is $90, and the exam can be taken at either Prometric or VUE testing centers. Remember -- you won't get your score until after the launch of the final exam in September.

5. Cisco Adds Communications & Services Track, New Designation
Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP) is for individuals who work in a "Cisco end-to-end environment." Telecommunications skills that will be tested include IP routing, IP multicast, cable, DSK, content networking, or IP telephony. Three exams are required. See Cisco's site for the nitty gritty details. Although the CCIP fits between the CCNA and CCIE in the Cisco certification structure, the CCNA is not a prerequisite.

There's a new CCIE certification as well -- Communications and Services. As with all CCIE designations, earning requires passing a qualification exam and a lab exam. There are several written exams to choose among. The lab exam is predicted to appear in July. A release schedule for the qualification exams hasn't been announced.

In other Cisco news, Cisco CCIE Multiservice Recertification exam went live in its final version June 7. No more purchase orders are required to play for CCIE lab exams -- payment is by credit card or wire transfer only.

6. Microsoft Offers Windows 2000 Exam Discounts Through August
In an apparent move to encourage MCSEs to adopt the Windows 2000 track, Microsoft is offering a 25 percent discount on several Windows 2000 exams through August 31. To get the discount, provide the promotional code W2KSEE when you register. Most of the Win2k exams are included, except Exam 70-226: Designing Highly Available Web Solutions. For the official list, see the Microsoft Web site.

7. New Certification Program From Crystal Decisions
This is one of those certifications that we're not really sure qualifies as a certification, since attending (and paying for) coursework from the vendor is required. But it's new, and for a widely used product, Crystal Reports, so we thought we'd let you know in case you're interested.

The Authorized Crystal Engineer (ACE) requires completing all online modules and passing the online final exam with a score of 85 percent or better. You can buy ACE (their words, not ours) for $1,000, including self-paced online training. Read all about it on the Crystal Decisions Web site.

The complete current issue of Certification Watch can be found at GoCertify.com.






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