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Things are hopping in the certification marketplace as the year 2001 gets underway. There are quite a few new certification exams to announce, plus a major program change from Cisco Systems.
Cisco Certification ChangesAs of February 1, Cisco Systems has dropped the requirement that CCIEs attend a Networkers session as part of obtaining recertification. CCIEs must still pass a recertification exam every two years to retain active CCIE status. There are currently 5,297 active CCIEs worldwide.
The Career Certification program at Cisco has undergone much larger changes a combination of reshuffling and expansion. The CCNP and CCDP specializations will be discontinued, and Cisco Qualified Specialist designations will take their place. These new designations are open to anyone who has earned an Associate level designation from Cisco (CCNA or CCDA) and wishes to demonstrate more specific expertise. Current Specialist designations available are: Cisco Cable Communications, Cisco Security Specialist 1, Cisco SNA/IP Design Specialist, and Cisco SNA/IP Support Specialist. Each exam costs $100, and recertification is required every 2 years. Existing CCNP/CCDP specializations will remain valid for 2 years from the date they were earned.
Microsoft Exam NewsExam 70-228: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition went live January 25. Passing it meets a core requirement for the MCDBA track. It also qualifies individuals for the MCP designation, and can be used as an elective on the MCSE track.
Exam 70-224: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server went live February 9. This one qualifies you as an MCP, and can be used as an elective on the MCSE track. You can find a complete list of newly released and in-development Microsoft exams on Microsoft's certification pages.
Tivoli Certification UpdateTivoli consultants have a new certification option as of February 19th. Exam #579: Tivoli Workload Scheduler V7.0 Implementation leads to the designation of Tivoli Certified Consultant - Tivoli Workload Scheduler V7.0. The exam consists of 70 questions, and you are allowed 90 minutes to complete it. Passing score is 69%. The exam costs $150US in North America, $175US elsewhere.
In other Tivoli news, due to the sale of the Tivoli Service Desk product suite to Peregrine Systems, exams related that suite have been retired. These include: Exam #696 - Tivoli Problem Management V6.0 Implementation; Exam #697 - Tivoli Asset Management V6.0 Implementation; and Exam #698 - Tivoli Change Management V6.0 Implementation. If you are already certified on one of these, your certification will remain valid through December 31, 2001. The NetView IT Director Edition certification exam (#589) was retired Jan. 31, when the product was withdrawn from the market. Individuals holding related Tivoli designations will retain their certification through Jan. 31, 2003.
LPI Fires Up Level 2The Linux Professional Institute has announced that it is ready to undertake the next phase of the development of its intermediate (Level 2) Linux certification. This process includes a job analysis survey which is currently available to the public on the LPI web site. Interested parties are encouraged to complete this survey, which consists of 19 parts, each of which takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. You don't have to complete the entire survey, but if you do your name will be entered into a drawing to win vouchers toward Level 2 exams when they're released.
New Storage CertificationsBrocade Communications Systems, Inc. has launched a new certification program pertaining to its storage area network (SAN) products. This is a two level program. Level one: Brocade Certified Fabric Professional is already live and requires passing a single exam which focuses on Brocade SilkWorm switches. Level two: Brocade Certified SAN Designer, which requires design level expertise, is scheduled to become available later this spring.
Brocade isn't the only one certified information storage expertise. EMC Corporation unveiled its EMC Proven Professional certification program on Feb. 12. This program includes four tracks: Operator, Builder, Architect, and Instructor. Each track has Associate and Master levels. The foundation for all levels is the Enterprise Storage Fundamentals exam, which is the only exam that is actually live so far. Additional exams are scheduled to roll out over the next few months. Each track requires passing multiple exams. The instructor program won't be fully functional until 2002.
New From AllaireAllaire Corporation, which launched its first certification - Certified ColdFusion Developer - last June, has announced a new designation that will be of interest to Web site builders. To earn the Certified Web Site Developer title, you'll have to pass a 70 question exam that tests your expertise in Web page design, Web page authoring, and supporting technologies. The exam is offered worldwide through the VUE network and costs $100.
On January 16th, Allaire and Macromedia signed an agreement to merge, an action that is expected to be completed in the second calendar quarter of 2001. Assuming the acquisition proceeds according to plan, the combined company will be called Macromedia. According to company sources, the Allaire certification program will continue uninterrupted.
Brainbench Certifications Increasingly PopularBrainbench reports that 96% of the Fortune 100 employ Brainbench Certified Professionals. About 60% of individuals who complete Brainbench certification exams receive a passing score. In a recent policy adjustment enacted January 19th, if you want an actual paper certificate showing your accomplishment you'll need to pony up $7.95. Purchasing a certificate is not a requirement for becoming certified.
That's it for this issue of Certification Watch. Keep your certification news and tips coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.