Eight Emerging IT Certifications For 2013
Kerry Doyle, MA, MSr, CPL
The nature of IT is to stay ahead of the curve in all things related to technology. Today, the expectation is that IT professionals will have a measure of capability, if not proficiency, in everything from wireless networking and security to mobile app development and maintaining a cloud-based infrastructure. However, IT pros can't be everywhere at once. By developing skillsets in certain areas, both entry-level and accomplished IT veterans can remain current with changing trends and adapt to new ones.
Extending your expertise into new areas demonstrates that as an IT professional, you can manage the complex changes taking place today in technology and that you are up to the challenge. That approach is extremely valuable as enterprises and SMBs cope with an ever-evolving datacenter and look to IT to provide critical direction and support.
Acquiring one of these emerging certifications also speaks volumes to prospective employers. It makes an impression on HR reviewers because it shows openness to growing complexity and an ability to function beyond one's comfort zone. In today's environment, such change is constant. In the following article, we examine trending IT certifications and explore why these new skills will be increasingly vital in the current technological and economic climate.
1. Big Data - (Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop)
Business professionals are assessing current data infrastructures to determine what they require to cope with the Big Data onslaught. In some sense, big data and today's data centers are on a collision course. Open-source platforms, such as Apache Hadoop, offer capabilities to analyze and process this enormous increase in data loads.
A number of commercial Hadoop providers play a critical role in enabling wider platform adoption and offer training to ease this open source learning curve. For example, Cloudera offers the Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) for learning development skills as well as for administration (CCAH) and for being a specialist in Apache HBase (CCSHB), Hadoop's unique column-based storage system.
2. Wireless Networking - (Certified Wireless Network Administrator)
The desire for instant video and multimedia distribution continues to grow at a furious pace, especially for handheld and mobile devices. Of course, speed is paramount. In the case of wireless, there are quite a number of channels available. But it's important to optimize for capacity which requires better management and a more detailed understanding of how the network is being used.
The Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) certification has been created to achieve this level of proficiency. It's considered the foundation-level enterprise Wi-Fi certification for the Certified Wireless Network Professional program and it also acts as a gateway to more senior credentials. As an increasing number of users view wireless connectivity as basic infrastructure and not as an extra bonus, the need for wireless management capability will continue to grow.
3. Cloud - (VMware VCP-Cloud Certification)
Moving today's data centers to a cloud environment requires critical configuration information to run the applications, IT management tools, and related software. In order for the migration to proceed smoothly, accurate information gathering related to configuration parameters, analytical data, and storage is critical. This complex gathering is usually done on a manual basis. Increasingly, modern configuration tools are used to facilitate moves and smooth out the deployment process.
To better formulate the knowledge necessary for successful cloud management and administration, the VMware VCP-Cloud Certification demonstrates your ability to extend data virtualization throughout the cloud with vApps, VDCs, and service catalogs. It also includes capabilities to administer cloud networking and storage.
4. Access Governance - (Novell Identity Manager Administration)
Globally, pressure is being applied from the highest levels of corporate and government organizations to implement controls that address governance, risk, and compliance requirements. More and more, IT is responsible for defending against those complex threats coming from inside as well as outside the organization. Add industry and regulatory compliance concerns to the mix, and the future seems daunting. That's why the Novell Identity Manager Administration certification represents a timely offering at a critical juncture.
Identity and Access Governance (IAG) solutions allow IT to centralize and manage access to resources. Increasingly, systems are interconnected and IAG is about integrating those disparate processes in a seamless manner across the enterprise. This also means more automation and complexity. In the future, the need will only increase for capable, and certified, IT professionals who can ensure that IAG management is more effective.
5. CyberSecurity - (Certified Information Security Manager, CISM)
In terms of cybersecurity, tomorrow's battles will consist of numerous vectors and origins with multiple vulnerabilities. However, tomorrow's conflicts are here now. Witness DDoS attacks on major multi-nationals, the Conficker and Stuxnet worms and as yet unseen threats. Today, 24/7 business cycles require company infrastructures to always be up. Losing a day in transactions can mean a substantial monetary loss, not to mention lost credibility.
But it's no longer the tried-and-true CISSP certification that matters. Applications, networks, health and privacy are just some of the areas of concern and those working in security with cutting-edge technology are highly sought after. The demand exists for developers who can build secure applications, network engineers with security certifications, and architects who understand how to secure systems and processes.
6. Mobile App Development - (Secure Mobile Application Developer)
As issues are ironed out regarding the different approaches and requirements that both manufacturers and IT teams have with regard to mobile computing, application development has truly exploded. CompTIA, the non-profit industry trade association has teamed up with security firm, viaForensics to offer the CompTIA Secure Mobile Application Developer certification. The partnership is partly due to a key concern with application development security. This is especially true in relation to the acceleration of BYOD and the blending of personal and corporate computing.
The certificate will meet the need of software application vendors as well as developers by offering an advanced, prescribed and comprehensive approach to application development. Pursuing this certification also places you ahead of the curve as the industry focuses on a certification standard.
7. Green IT - (CompTIA Green IT Certification)
Virtualization. Cloud computing. Mobilization. Each of these processes enable companies of any size to achieve greater measures of sustainability to help the environment. Although the complexity of navigating further into sustainability practices can seem daunting with so many options, a CompTIA Green certification provides the depth, background and know-how to take on the challenge to help mid-sized companies and enterprises cope with and make the necessary changes.
The exam focuses on green technologies, standards and policies and enables individuals to demonstrate their knowledge and skill at implementing environmentally sound green IT techniques. The exam addresses environmental concerns such as power preservation; reducing the carbon footprint; identifying green IT standards; implementing virtualization and calculating the return on investment for implementing green IT initiatives.
8. Data Analytics - (EMCDSA, EMC Data Science Associate)
Today, businesses are assessing the critical infrastructure necessary to cope with Big Data. For IT, one component is key-comprehensive analytics knowledge. Due to the volume, velocity and variety of unstructured information, many businesses face key challenges when trying to analyze the data they accrue from so many different sources. Sophisticated analytics have been created to help companies grapple with complicated client information to increase their bottom line.
Certificates in analytics, data mining and data science are offered by EMC, Datameer, Cisco, and many others helping you to acquire the skills needed to extract reliable information from large data sets. Qualified, highly skilled and trained data specialists are in high demand but there are too few candidates who fit the bill; having this capability as part of your IT skillset can increase your competitiveness and long-term viability.