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Internet of Things Jungle Holds More Training, Less Certification

Interest in (and exploitation of) the so-called Internet of Things is exploding. So where are all of the certifications?

The Internet of Things may be everywhere, but IoT-focused certification options are not.After recently being contacted by an Internet of Things (IoT) industry insider to write an article about IoT certifications, I quickly came to two inarguable conclusions.

 

First, IoT is exploding onto the scene and already outmatches the number of “regular internet” nodes and devices by an order of magnitude. Future projections for growth are astounding, and range between unbelievable and outright hallucinatory.

 

Second, while there is plenty of training available on IoT on topics — ranging from designing and developing IoT devices and solutions, to configuring, deploying, and securing such solutions — there are only a paltry few out-and-out explicit certifications in this subject area.

 

Over time, I believe this will change. Right now, however, when it comes to getting professionals certified across the broad spectrum of IoT platforms, solutions, and possibilities, the certification industry is either lagging behind or playing catch-up.

 

No Dearth of IoT Learning Options

 

A quick Google search on “IoT certification” generates more than 50 million results. Inspection of the top results pages quickly shows that there are a great many more certificate programs and courses (many from elite educational institutions such as MIT and Stanford) than there are actual, explicit offerings on IoT that label themselves as “certifications” per se.

 

Interestingly, Amazon Web Services has training available via its IoT Foundation Series, but no IoT certifications in its program just yet. You will also find a plethora of massively open online courses (MOOCs), as well as institution-branded (and -specific) course collections, labeled “IoT.”

 

A Literal Handful of “Real” Certifications

 

The Internet of Things may be everywhere, but IoT-focused certification options are not.Here’s a listing of what I found online that meets the broad criteria for an IoT certification, to wit, the subject matter is IoT technology and the credential is self-identified as a “certification” of some kind:

 

Cloud Credential Council (IoT Certification Portfolio)

Title: Internet of Things Foundation Certification (IoTF)
Description: Entry-level, business-oriented
Vendor-Specific: No
More Info

 

Arcitura

Title: Certified IoT Architect
Description: Three modules are technical, solutions design, and architecture
Vendor-Specific: Yes
More Info

 

CertNexus (IoT Certifications)

Title: Certified IoTBiz
Description: Entry-level, business-oriented
Vendor-Specific: No
More Info
Title: Certified IoT Practitioner (CIoTP)
Description: Technical implementation, ANSI-accredited
Vendor-Specific: No
More Info
Title: Certified IoT Security Practitioner
Description: Security implementation, operation, and management
Vendor-Specific: No
More Info

 

Cisco (Technical Specialist)

Title: Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist
Description: Technical design, operation, and management
Vendor-Specific: Yes
More Info

 

IOT-Inc

Title: Certified IoT Professional
Description: Design and implementation
Vendor-Specific: No
More Info

 

Microsoft (Azure Platform)

Title: Certified Azure IoT Developer
Description: Technical solution development
Vendor-Specific: Yes
More Info

 

Most of the items we've just run through are what I would call "real" certifications: They are backed by major industry players or associations/training providers, all of whom have some kind of presence in the IoT space.

 

The IOT-Inc entry strikes me as a typical “expert consultant trying to expand brand, name recognition, and income stream(s).” I’d proceed with care into a relationship there, simply because there’s not much hard data to go on in terms of program funding, longevity, industry perception, and so forth. This one definitely underscores the reality that IoT is still something of a “wild frontier” in terms of both technology and business.

 

The Internet of Things may be everywhere, but IoT-focused certification options are not.That said, I certainly expect AWS to stake out some claims in this space, and to add IoT-labeled items to its existing cert portfolio. Other big cert players — including the likes of CompTIA, (ISC)², and ISACA — are likely to create IoT-labeled offerings because of either their customer or cybersecurity orientations.

 

For the time being, however, there’s a great deal more heat than light in the IoT jungle, certification-wise. Thus, it’s best to go certification hunting with care, armed with as much good information (particularly from those who’ve had direct personal experience with one or more of the afore-listed offerings) as possible.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ed-tittel120Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Business News Daily, and on Windows desktop OS topics for TechTarget and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at www.edtittel.com.