Press Pass: IT is not boring and other certification news
Posted on
July 11, 2014

Welcome to the latest installment of  Press Pass, where CertMag reports new and recent certification news by blowing through as many industry press releases, blogs, dispatches, messages in a bottle, etc., as we can fit in one post. We’ve got the highlights and you can click straight to the horse’s mouth for more information.

You don't have to be a geek to work in IT.

IT is not just for geeks: So you want to make a ton of money, be an object of doe-eyed adulation and admiration wherever you go, and lie down at night feeling awesome about your place in the world. Your best bet is to become a Hollywood action movie star. If that doesn’t work, though, then you might want to consider a future in IT. And if you think tech jobs are for geeks who sit at a computer all day, well, U.S.-based technical school Rasmussen College begs to differ. For one thing, you have much better odds of working in IT than saving the world: Rasmussen reports that IT job growth is at 3 percent since March 2013, meaning that there are 107,500 recently created technology positions. More to the point, however, Rasmussen says that working in IT can be just as awesome as saving the world, and has interviewed a handful of IT professionals to prove it.

Get more Oracle with less consternation: In 2014, advancing from one certification to the next is almost like having a second job. So it’s understandable that you’ve maybe had a little trouble maintaining the section of your resume where all of the latest and greatest acronyms get entered. Now, however, those of you who hold Oracle certifications have an ally in the IT certification version of the proverbial Keeping Up with the Joneses runaround. Oracle has simplified the process for those who hold Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate (OCA) credentials to advance their skills to the level of Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional (OCP). While multiple cert exams were previously required, Oracle has boiled it down to a single exam and training course.  So if you’ve been needing a reason to up your game, here it is.

You put your left algorithm in: British primary schools are just weeks away from the advent of new computing curriculum in September. Worried teachers, on the other hand, have an ally in the British Computer Society, which is pulling out all the stops to help teachers succeed. Among other initiatives, the BCS is using its Barefoot Computing Project to demonstrate simple methods of teaching complex concepts. Among those that have recently gained attention is a dance-drive method of explaining algorithms that uses the “hokey cokey,” or as U.S. readers know it, the “hokey pokey.” Just remember the most important rule of algorithms, kids: Nobody puts in Input A in a corner. (Zing!)

Boys will be tools: There are lots of different explanations for why we don’t see more women in technology careers, but one of the most basic reasons might be that men are jerks. Most adults who raise or associate closely with children have observed that young boys are often excessively gross, weird, mean, or otherwise insensitive in the presence of girls. Kids have to learn to grasp gender differences. Only, a recent article at ESPN-associated, data-driven commentary site FiveThirtyEight suggests that many men never make the leap, including a perhaps disproportionate number of those who work in tech careers. Writer Hayley Munguia cites several high profile incidents to illustrate the point that rampant sexism may be just as responsible for keeping women out of tech as more commonly identified causes like low interest in STEM skills.

Go to college or get certified: Getting a college degree and earning certifications are not mutually exclusive. There’s no rule that says budding IT professional have to pick one or the other, and there are many, many educators and employers alike who recommend both.  There are still plenty of people in IT who enjoy success with one but not the other, however, and hence the debate continues to rage. A recent piece at Quadratek contends that, as college tuition continues to skyrocket, the decision comes down to simple economics for many: Where college is out of the question, certification is often (if not always) vastly more affordable. On the other hand, attending a university and successfully earning a degree can help instill intangible skills, such as relating to others, developing organizational habits, working in teams, and making business networking connections.

You know you’re gonna have to face it: Are you addicted to certification? Even if you aren’t, you’ll probably enjoy working through a series of recent articles posted at CBTNuggets by certification trainer Anthony Sequeira. Sequeira, who feels the same way about certification that Robert Palmer does about love, has written 10 articles (credit homayouni), each addressing an aspect of certification, such as Know Your Exam, or Hands-On Experience. If you have a fever, and the only prescription is more … certification, then turn to this guy.

About the Author

Fida Reeder is a journalist and writer with experience in both print and web publications. E-mail her at fidareeder (at) gmail (dot) com.

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