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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 32)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, CompTIA brings fresh purpose and expanded breadth to an august IT organization, Certiport crowns the Microsoft Office Specialist world champions, and more.

CompTIA Rebrands, Relaunches Association of Information Technology Professionals

 

CW 0809 successful IT professionalIt's official: On Tuesday, CompTIA formally cut the ribbon on its bid to cultivate a massive professional network for information technology workers. The CompTIA Association of Information Technology Professionals (CompTIA AITP) is built on the framework established by the Association of Information Technology Professionals in 1951. CompTIA announced earlier this year that it had acquired the group to "bolster its new organization." As noted in a press release by CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux at the time, "AITP, with its deep historical roots and established networks, will help us build a solid foundation for success for our new professional association." The rebooted AITP will act as a "member support and advocacy organization" to help new professionals find their footing and support the ambitions of established workers. Membership is fee-based and has various tiers, but there's a key benefit to those just embarking into the IT realm: Student can join up for free. In particular, it's anticipated that AITP will serve as a point of connection between skilled IT workers and employers hungry to add those skills to their organizations.

 

ISACA CEO says Corrective Action Slow to Emerge Cyberthreats Continue

 

There have been numerous high-profile data breaches, cyberattacks, and malware scares over the past few years. Instead of spurring widespread action to improve overall information security measures and alertness, however, the aftermath of these incidents finds many individuals and organizations largely sitting on their hands. That's the view of ISACA CEO Matt Loeb, given voice in a recent post at the ISACA Now Blog (as well as last month in CSO magazine). Loeb says that while some progress is evident in advancing the cause of data protection, there are also signs that many are coming simply to view attacks and breaches as the bothersome and unavoidable cost of doing business in the information age. Loeb sees that as a dangerous attitude that needs to be curbed and argues that while preparing to repond to incidents that have already occurred is essential, "what’s worthy of further investment is protection before an attack happens." In other words, organizations need to focus on securing the barn doors before the horses have run off. Loeb also calls on governments to take a leadership role in furthering cybersecurity research and training.

 

Microsoft Learning Adds Courses to Fuel Java Proficiency

 

Though its detractors abound, Java remains one of the most popular programming languages in release, and Microsoft Learning, the certification and training arm of Microsoft, is adding a suite of courses to Microsoft Virtual Academy to help beginners get their hands dirty. Among the new offerings are courses titled "Learn to Program in Java," "Object Oriented Programming in Java," and "Algorithms and Data Structures." As is customary of MVA offerings, the new Java courses are free, but students can choose to pursue a course completion certificate for a modest fee ($99). The Java courses are taught by software engineer Kasey Champion.