IT Career JumpStart


June 28, 2011  12:27 AM

Interesting Look at Top $$$ Certs



Posted by: Ed Tittel
Global Knowledge 2011 IT Cert Pay survey results, Global Knowledge Proffers List of Top Paying IT Certs, Interesting entries in the Global Knowledge List of 15 Highest-Paying IT Certs

They’re a staple of the cert biz, and fodder for cert sponsors, training companies, publishers, and everybody else connected with getting candidates certified. Even so, it’s still interesting to peruse surveys of top-paying certifications as they become available. This one is entitled “15 Top Paying IT Certifications” and it’s from mega-training provider Global Knowledge. The following summarizes the net-net of these items, in the same order that they appear in the Global Knowledge materials.

Acronym Full Program Name 2011 Salary
CCDP Cisco Certified Design Professional $107,878
(none) ITIL Expert Certification $107,092
PMP Project Management Professional $103,570
CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional $103,570
CCDA Cisco Certified Design Associate $97,995
CCNP Cisco Certified Network Professional $97,296
(none) ITIL V2 & V3 Foundation $96,128
CCNA Voice Cisco Certified Network Associate Voice $92,837
AIS: HP Storage Works HP Accredited Integration Specialist $91,158
AIS: HP ProLiant Servers HP Accredited Integration Specialist $87,332
VCP VMware Certified Professional $87,151
(none) CompTIA Project+ $87,057
APS: Blade System Solutions HP Accredited Platform Specialist $86,554
CEH Certified Ethical Hacker $86,053
MCDBA Microsoft Certifed Database Administrator $84,683

I don’t see a lot of surprises in this line-up, but there are a few interestings items. First, I’m stunned to see the CCDP at the top of this list (I would’ve expected the CCIE to come out on top, but I see it nowhere in here). Second, I’m pleasantly surprised to see ITIL items and project management certs occupying four slots overall. And last, I’m amazed that the MCDBA has such continuing presence that it registers in this group of mostly newer or more-recently updated credentials. Across the board, the money ain’t bad, either.

June 24, 2011  3:20 PM

Cisco Certification Tendencies? Check Out Cisco Live Online!



Posted by: Ed Tittel
Check out Cisco Live Virtual, free registration grants access to all kinds of great Cisco training and cert prep materials

Anybody who’s been around the Cisco world for awhile knows about the company’s trade shows, called Cisco Live! Those same people also know that Cisco is moving aggressively into telepresence, video conferencing, and virtual training and lab technology. Well, in the grand tradition of “eat your own dog food” (Silicon Valley argot for “we use our own technology” or perhaps even “we are the premier and best-informed users of our own technology”), Cisco is bringing its upcoming trade show to be held in Las Vegas from July 10-14 to the virtual as well as the physical world.

I blogged about this in detail yesterday for PearsonITCertification.com in a piece entitled “Cisco Live Virtual: The Next Best Thing to Being There (It’s FREE, too).” While I recommend you read this item for more information, its net-net is that Cisco is offering online registration and attendance to Cisco Live Virtual at no charge to anyone who’s interested. Better still, there’s already a raft of training, certification, and product information available through this portal site already, with more to come as the kick-off date on July 10 approaches, and streaming live video from numerous show venues once the event gets fully underway.

Here is the virtual show blurb from the registration landing page

Here is the virtual show blurb from the registration landing page

There’s some pretty peachy online certification content already available online, with PDFs from 10 courses to be delivered at the show already downloadable. If you’re of the Cisco persuasion, or considering Cisco certification, you definitely want to check this out. It won’t cost you anything except some time and energy, either!


June 23, 2011  4:00 PM

A Year’s Worth of MS Exam and Cert Retirements Announced



Posted by: Ed Tittel
MS Learning announces broad slate of exam retirements; MS Learning finally retires MCSA/MCSE on Windows 2000 Server

On June 17, Erika Cravens of MS Learning posted a Born to Learn blog entitled “Upcoming Exam and Certification Retirements including Windows XP MCDST!!!” You can click that link to see the whole list, but there are some interesting items therein that I’d like to point out:

  • 70-403 TS: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Configuring
  • 70-557 TS: MS Forefront Client and Server, Configuring
  • 70-655 TS: Windows Vista and Server Operating Systems, Pre-Installing for OEMs
  • 70-431 TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Impltementation and Maintenance
  • 70-442 and 443 PRO: Advanced SQL Server 2005 exams
  • MCAD and MCSD Upgrade exams for MS .NET Framework (70-552, -553, -554, -558, -559)
  • 70-652 TS: Windows Server Virtualization, Configuring

Also the MSCE and MCSD on Windows 2000 Server are finally being retired, as of December 31, 2011. Eleven years ain’t bad for a Windows Server certification, and I’m sure that the number of people holding such credentials outnumbers the remaining Windows Server 2000 installations still in use (but I could always be wrong! ;-).


June 17, 2011  4:38 PM

Mind Your Manners, Post Job Interview!!!



Posted by: Ed Tittel
post-interview thank you notes are important; tips and advice for writing post-interview thank you notes

Yesterday, I posted a potentially life-changing blog on PearsonITCertification.com. It’s entitled “The Post-Interview Thank You: Benefits, Dos, and Don’ts.” Even if you’re not on the job market right now, it’s probably a good idea to give this ditty a quick run-through to set certain essential facts in your mind. And if you are on the job market right now, and getting ready to go for interviews, or have just recently completed some interviews, this is an absolute MUST-READ.

Mary Kyle presents some important tips on post-interview etiquette

Mary Kyle presents some important tips on post-interview etiquette

While the idea for this blog is mine, and I wrote an outline for its contents, my good friend and co-author Mary Kyle actually did the writing to pull this piece together. It provides tips on topics, timing, and  appropriate post-interview behavior. As with thank you notes for gifts it also makes the telling point that handwritten is the right way to go, as the most sincere expression of interest and motivation. Be sure to read through this blog for some great tips and advice on how to put yourself in the best possible light after the interview is over.


June 10, 2011  12:39 PM

What’s Happening on the Jobs Front? Alas, not much…



Posted by: Ed Tittel
another stall in job growth for May 2011, June 2011 employment situation summary, latest jobs outlook is surprisingly grim

Last Friday’s most recent set of employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were pretty disappointing, to say the least, and set off a market correction that persisted until yesterday, June 9, at which point we finally saw a modest uptick across all the major market indices (Dow, S&P500, Nasdaq, and so forth). New jobs for May totaled a mere 54,000 after a much more vigorous figure for the preceding month, and the rate of unemployment (9.1%) and total count of unemployed persons (13.9 million) were both essentially unchanged.

Things are still limping along slowly and painfully, rather than gliding effortlessly from month to month. I’m seeing a pattern best described as “one step forward, then two steps back” emerging from recent patterns of activity. Of course, businesses are still holding onto their cash unsure that they can part from reserves they still believe might be necessary to cover cash flow needs (it’s hard to invest in growth, when you can’t be sure incoming cash flow is going to offset necessary outflows). Likewise, consumers are having trouble with confidence, and aren’t inclined to initiate spending sprees (or part with as much discretionary income as usual) right now.

Here we are again: Hunker down, do only what’s absolutely necessary, and keep waiting for things to improve. What is it going to take to get things moving again? I wish I knew: I’d invest in my ideas, in hope that this might be the beat of the butterfly’s wing that gets the whole system moving forward again.


June 8, 2011  2:16 PM

Hurricane Electric Free IPv6 Certification



Posted by: Ed Tittel
Hurricane Electric IPv6 certification; beginning the IPv6 migration process

As I’m getting ready to update my community college textbook Guide to TCP/IP  for a fourth edition, I’m gearing up in a big way to make the switchover to IPv6.  I co-authored this book with protocol analysis diva Laura Chappell, and am adding budding IPv6 guru Jeff Carrell to the authoring team and to the cover for this next round. He’s the guy, in fact, who recently turned me on to Hurricane Electric’s free IPv6 certification:

As I convert my home/office network over to IPv6 in the next 30 days or so, I’ll also be working my way through this entire cert program. At present I’m reading the inital materials entitled “A Basic Introduction to IPv6.” When I’m done, I’ll take a test to check my reading comprehension and basic knowledge of IPv6, after successful completion of which I’ll attain “Newbie” status. You can do likewise: check it out!

Going forward, Jeff and I will be putting a pretty sizable IPv6 test lab together, which will be colocated at the Hurricane Electric facilities in Fremont, California. Jeff’s driving out to teach on this very subject at SharkFest in Palo Alto next Monday, June 13, after which he’ll be dropping off and installing a load of equipment to bring our test labs up shortly thereafter. It’s going to be interesting (and somewhat costish, too, alas) but an essential part of our aggressive planned moves into the IPv6 world.

The IPv6 Test Lab Course blurb from Sharfest 2011

The IPv6 Test Lab Course blurb from Sharfest 2011


June 6, 2011  1:08 PM

Score Another One for Emmett Dulaney: A Visual Guide to Risk Mgmt



Posted by: Ed Tittel
Emmett Dulaney's Visual Guide to Risk Management, nice overview of infosec principles of risk management

I may be imagining things, but Emmett Dulaney’s postings over at CertCities.com seem to be one of the few active signs of life left on at that once-vibrant IT certification information clearinghouse (his columns are now the only entries in the What’s New area on the home page, and most other silos show dates no newer than 2010) . If only to prove his continued vitality, you really should bop over to Emmett’s latest posting on the Security+ exam, entitled “A Visual Guide to Risk Management.” There, you’ll find discussion and examples for the five different types of risk management strategies near and dear to the hearts of risk management professionals everywhere, now also explicitly ensconced in the questions for the recently-revised SY0-301 version of the CompTIA Security+ exam:

  • risk acceptance: formal acknowledgement that a risk exists, couple with a decision to accept the risk as it stands (which usually means the costs of mitigation exceed the losses that the risk is likely to inflict should it actually occur)
  • risk avoidance: this means identifying a particular risk, and choosing no longer perform the actions that invite such a risk. By avoiding risky behavior, in other words, the risk incurred thereby is also avoided.
  • risk deterrence: this means responding to the threat of some particular risk by providing deterrent means or messages to let potential malefactors know that if they seek to inflict certain types of attack or damage, you have means to detect and respond to such behavior (Dulaney uses the example of a security camera with a promise to prosecute trespassers).
  • risk mitigation: this means taking steps to reduce the risk, often by increasing the strength of defenses against them.
  • risk transference: this means offloading some or all of a risk to a third party, many times by purchasing insurance to protect against loss (which also usually requires insureds to take reasonable steps for deterrence and mitigation as well, to qualify for further loss protection).
A simple, if old-fashioned, icon for risk magagement

A simple, if old-fashioned, icon for risk magagement

The best thing about the article is Dulaney’s simple, effective, visual illustrations of these principles, and his use of a neighborhood mailbox to explain each of these principles directly and cogently. Well worth checking out, and even pondering for those who may never wish to pursue the Security+ exam. A nice piece of work!


June 3, 2011  2:54 PM

New VMWare Certified Professional 4 Desktop Cert Available



Posted by: Ed Tittel
check out the new VMWare Virtual Desktop cert VCP4-DT, new VMWare VCP4-DT virtual desktop cert available

In the continuing expansion of its certification offerings, VMWare has added a new credential to its lineup. It’s called the VMWare Certified Professional 4 – Desktop credential, and courses and exams are ready for sign-up. Here’s a graphic from the cert page that describes pre-requisites, related courses, exam, and credential identifier (VCP4-DT):

How VMWare depicts the stately procession toward earning VCP4-DT certification

How VMWare depicts the stately procession toward earning VCP4-DT certification

Any or all of the three courses listed in the graphic are recommended to candidates to help them prepare for the VCP4-DT credential. Unlike the VCP4, however, no course is actually *required* to earn this cert. Visit the VCP4-DT cert page to get more information, including a program overview, an exam blueprint, a mock exam, FAQ, and more. Enjoy!


June 1, 2011  2:27 PM

Free Video Exam Prep for 70-681 Available



Posted by: Ed Tittel
free MS-provded 70-681 exam prep; free exam prep for Deploying Win7 and Office 2010 cert exam (70-681)

For those interested in taking the Microsoft Certification exam 70-681 TS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying, there’s a free video available from Microsoft to help candidates prep for that test. Presented by ace Microsoft Certified Trainer Daniel Nerenberg, and recorded on May 24, 2011, this 55 minute LiveMeeting recording is available to anyone who registers through the access portal. The video is also available in either Live Meeting High-Fidelity Presentation or Microsoft Office Live Meeting Reply formats (the former didn’t want to run on my production PC, but the latter played fine through Windows Media Player on my Windows 7 Professional production PC, even though I do have the Live Meeting ActiveX controls installed in IE9–go figure!).

Opening slide from examprep session

Opening slide from examprep session

It’s mostly a voiceover a PowerPoint slide deck for Mr. Nerenberg’s exam tune-up. He starts with an overview of the exam objectives and a set of pointers to key topics to help candidates guide their exam preparation process. He also provides a useful action plan to help individuals plan out the steps involved in preparing for this particular exam. You won’t get a lot of deep or detailed technical information in this presentation but you will get a useful review of key topics, concepts, tools, and technologies. Those who are preparing for this exam will find the one hour they must commit to the video well worth the time and effort involved. Check it out!


May 31, 2011  1:34 PM

Nice Overview of Remodeled Security+ Exam



Posted by: Ed Tittel
latest Security+ exam provides great entry point into infosec field, New CompTIA Security+ makes it debut

In her most recent article at GoCertify.com, longtime cert maven Anne Martinez shares some really useful information about the recently revised CompTIA Security+ exams, which hit English-language testing centers earlier this month. Entitled “New CompTIA Security+ Exam Delivers,” this article reviews the changes in content and coverage between the SY0-201 Security+ exam, which made its debut in 2008, and the current SY0-301 version, which made its debut in mid-May.

Anne’s tabular comparison between old and new exam objectives makes the article worth reading all by its lonesome, but you’ll also find lots of other good stuff in that story. Please, check it out!

Side-by-side comparison of 2011 v 2008 Security+ objectives

Side-by-side comparison of 2011 v 2008 Security+ objectives

Those who’re already prepping for the old (2008) version of Security+ can take heart from the information that this exam will remain available at testing centers until the end of 2011. Those getting ready to tackle an entry-level information security credential can take even more heart from Anne’s remark that : “CompTIA has developed these [Security+] exam objectives with such great study and care that they are probably the best blueprint, bar none, defining what an IT pro needs to know call himself or herself an IT security professional today.” That’s not only good news, it’s also a big change from previous Security+ incarnations, which have been dinged in the past for being wanting in relevance and currency.


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