1. Microsoft to Incorporate XP, .NET into MCSE; MCSE Salaries Drop
Windows XP and .NET exams are expected to be added to the MCSE track by the end of this year. Don't be alarmed, though -- if you're already well down the road on the Win200 track, you won't have to pass these new exams to retain certification. They are simply another option.
You might be alarmed, however, at the results of MCP Magazine's latest salary survey. It reports that salaries for MCSEs have dropped since last year, and that individuals with no certification at all earned a bit more than MCSEs certified on the NT track, who averaged $62,700. Only MCSEs on the Windows 2000 track held steady with last year's salary level. Trainers (MCTs) experienced an 18 percent increase in compensation -- jumping up to an average of $78,600.
In a bit of housekeeping news, as of August 27, the e-mail address for MCP questions and concerns changed from firstname.lastname@example.org to MCPHelp@microsoft.com. Also, Microsoft is offering a limited edition early achiever identification card to those who jump on board the Windows 2000 MCSE track by October 31.
iGeneration and ProsoftTraining have merged their respective certification programs under the CIW moniker. iGeneration Certified Professionls (iCPs) and candidates will have until December 31 to complete iCP exams, after which they will no longer be available.
Current iCPs will receive comparable certifications or credits in the CIW program. To date, more than 25,000 CIW certifications have been earned. It appears to be on track to become a popular certification choice.
3. Compaq Certification Re-org
While we weren't looking, Compaq substantially reconfigured its certification program under a new umbrella name -- Compaq Accredited Professional. Now, instead of ASE (Accredited Systems Engineer) and ACT (Accredited Compaq Technician), certifications are organized into two major categories: systems integration and operating system.
The systems integration category includes four levels of increasing difficulty (including ASE and Master ASE). The operating systems designations include systems administrator and systems engineer titles. All of the certifications are available in multiple tracks closely coordinated to Compaq's product lines. See the full list here.
4. LPI Launches Intermediate Level Linux Certification
Individuals looking to advance their Linux credentials will be happy to hear that the Linux Professional Institute launched its level 2 (intermediate) certification exams in beta form this week. During the beta period, both required exams will be offered in the combined format for $84. Starting in November the exams will be available separately for $100 each. The exams are administered through VUE.
5. IBM To Retire SecureWay Exams
IBM is discontinuing a number of SecureWay exams as of October 31. The retired exams include: IBM Certified Specialist -- SecureWay Communications Server for AIX (Test 552); IBM Certified Specialist -- SecureWay Communications Server for OS2/Warp (Test 551); and IBM Certified Specialist -- SecureWay Communications Server for Windows NT (Test 556).
6. Sun Microsystems Gets Into Storage Certification
Another new designation on the way from Sun Microsystems. This time it's a network storage certification named Sun Certified Storage Architect. A beta exam will be offered for free through September 24, but registrations are full, and Sun is accepting no more applicants. For more information, e-mail StorageBeta@Sun.com. Include your full name, e-mail address, city and country of residence, and company name.
The complete current issue of Certification Watch can be found at GoCertify.com.