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2018 Is Coming: What Are Your Certification Plans?

The New Year is just around the corner. It's time to start thinking about acquiring and maintaining your certs for 2018. Here are some reminders and tips to help you cross all your Ts and dot all your Is.

2018 ResolutionsOK, so now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, all that’s left between you and 2018 is Christmas and New Year’s Eve. That means it’s time to start thinking about (and planning for) your career enhancements and certification maintenance for 2018.


To that end, I present a Top 5 list of “advance resolutions” to help you gear up, get ready, and take care of (certification and career) business next year.


1) Ladies and Gentlemen: Check Your Certification Portfolios


These days the best certifications comply with ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024. That means they need to be renewed through retesting or maintained through continuing education.


In turn, that means you need to review your certification portfolio to determine what needs doing in 2018 to maintain currency in the certifications you’d like to keep active. You can check in with the cert sponsors to get information on what counts toward maintenance, and how test objectives or requirements have changed.


Make a list of action items and give them calendar dates for start and completion! That will help keep you on track.


2) Revisit Your Career Priorities and Interests


In addition to whatever technical, training and certification body of work you’ve already undertaken and completed, now’s a good time to be thinking about what’s new and what’s next for yourself, career- and certification-wise. You might want to take a look at some of my two dozen-plus stories for Tom’s IT Pro under the general heading of “Best Certifications” to find out where the action is, and in which directions you might like to start growing your career.


Pick a topic or two to start digging into for 2018: even if it doesn’t lead to certification, it should broaden your horizons and possibly even expand your opportunities.


3) Take a Chance & Take a Course


The smash phenomenon known as Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, is a real star in today’s constellation of training offerings. Most of them are low-cost/no-cost, too, depending on whether you care about getting credit for them or not.


Check out the MOOC Search Engine to dig into any or all of the topics, tools, and technologies you decide you might want to learn more about. There are thousands of courses to choose from, many featuring content from top-flight academic institutions or high-tech organizations.