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Update: Microsoft To Add New Certifications
You may have noticed a frustrating skills leap between the one exam MCP and
Microsoft’s premier designations – the MCSE and the MCSD. Microsoft recently
announced a plan to correct that with two new certifications that will be
introduced later this year.
The first will be for network administrators, technical support specialists
and Web administrators who implement, manage, monitor, and troubleshoot the
network and system environment for the Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft
Windows .NET Server operating systems. In some ways it will overlap the
MCSE, but the new designation won’t require design skills. We’re guessing
that it won’t require as many exams, either.
The new developer certification will be a toned-down cousin of the MCSD,
requiring fewer high-level design skills. The target market is individuals
whos primary job is programming. Expect more details on both of these
designations in the fourth quarter. The certifications won’t actually become
available until 2002. You can read Microsoft’s press release
2. Apple Computer Finally Joins The Party
It’s about time! Apple Computer now offers two
certifications related to Macintosh OS X. The first, Apple
Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC), launched June 1 and
is aimed at people who manage modest networks. To earn this
title, you’ll have to pass two exams, one covering Mac OS X
administration basics, the other server essentials.
The second, more advanced designation is the Apple
Certified System Administrator (ACSA), which is scheduled
to become active this fall. The ACSA is intended for full-time
professional system administrators who manage medium-to-
large networks of Mac systems in multi-platform
environments. It requires passing four exams and doesn’t
require the ACTC as a prerequisite. Exams for both
designations cost $150 and are available through Prometric.
3. Java Pros Get New Certification Option
Starting July 31, Java developers have a new designation to
pursue: Sun Certified Web Component Developer for J2EE
Platform. This one exam certification is for Sun Certified
Java Programmers who are using the Java technology servlet
and JavaServer Pages APIs to develop Web applications. The
required exam costs $150.
4. Vendor-neutral Wireless Certification Available
Planet3 Wireless has created a new certification program
for wireless network engineers and administrators. The
Certified Wireless Network Professional program,
will eventually offer three levels (administrator,
integrator, engineer), plus a trainer designation. The first
level, Certified Wireless Network Administrator, was
launched through Prometric testing centers on July 16. The
required exam includes 60 questions covering wireless LAN
security, concepts, and vendor-specific information. The
cost is $150, which appears to be the going rate for new
certification exams these days.
5. Art Technology Group Launches Developer Certification
Another newcomer to the certification marketplace, Art
Technology Group, has launched the ATG Certified
Professional Program, which focuses on the ATG Dynamo
product line. The first exam, for application developers,
is available through Prometric and costs $150. Additional
exams and designations will follow.
6. Cisco Systems Changes CCIE Exam Format
In a substantial format change, the CCIE lab exam will get
shorter, lasting only a single day instead of the traditional two days. The change will be accomplished by moving lower level and intermediate skill tasks to the
qualification exam, leaving only advanced level tasks for
the lab exam. The lab price will remain the same ($1,250),
as will advanced topic coverage. The new Communications and
Services CCIE and Security CCIE exams will be introduced in
the new format on August 1. For the Routing and
Switching CCIE certification, all exams scheduled on or
after October 1 will be in the new format.
7. Cisco MPLS Exam To Go To Beta
The Implementing Cisco MPLS exam, which is an elective
requirement for the Cisco Certified Internetwork
Professional (CCIP) designation, will be available in beta
form starting July 31 for $50. The CCIP is a recent
certification that falls squarely between the CCNA and CCIE
levels of Cisco’s certification program.
8. CompTIA Adapts
The A+ exam will switch to adaptive format only as of
August 31. Instead of presenting the same number of
questions to each candidate, adaptive tests present a
targeted selection of questions in an effort to pin down a
candidate’s skill level using fewer questions in a shorter
time period (30 minutes instead of an hour or more). While
efficiency is the main benefit touted by those who
administer tests, adaptive tests also mean that each
candidate sees — and can potentially remember and report on
— fewer test items, which makes life harder for cheaters.
Novell and Microsoft exams have used this technology for
In other CompTIA news, The revised Network+ exam will be
available in beta from July 31 until October 24 at a cost of
$90. The beta includes 147 questions, and you’ll have 150
minutes to answer them all. Results will come out in
November. The final version is projected to appear next
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