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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 43)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Google addresses the need to plug up the IT skills gap, ISACA says that it's not the unavoidable destiny of every web entity to be hacked, and more.

Google Aims to Promote Tech Education

 

Computer learning with headphonesLast week in this space, we told you about Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak's announcement of Woz U, a venture created specifically to build up the global IT workforce. Google made a similar announcement in the same news cycle, but we missed it last week, so we're going to tell you about it today. Google's big idea has a couple of moving parts, but the most impressive (and likely most consequential) is its investment in Grow with Google, an online learning hub that makes free tech training, tools, and conferences available to anyone with an interest in learning about technology and growing into an IT career. Google is making a push to help not just individual job seekers, but also startups, developers, and small businesses. Along with its big boost to self-starters, Google has committed to donate $1 billion to "front-line organizations" already working on the initiatives that Google is now getting involved with. Of particular interest in the certification realm, Google also intends to boost awareness of its nascent G Suite certification that affirms proficiency in Google office productivity tools, and is planning to launch an IT Support Professional Certificate in January. Stay tuned!

 

CompTIA Pencil Sketches Path to Penetration Testing

 

Just last week, CompTIA huddled with subject matter experts (SMEs) to work on a new penetration testing credential that will soon be added to its portfolio of information security certifications. Appropriately enough, the team at CompTIA's IT Career News blog also delved into penetration testing, tracing the career path taken by penetration testers with the latest in its ongoing series of Your Next Move career advice blog posts. Blogger Brianna White says that penetration testers can expect to earn a six-figure salary, but also points out that there is not likely to be any work for entry-level security specialists in the penetration testing. You have to work up to that level. A good jumping off point, White says, is to take work as a systems administrator (an easier nut to crack for up-and-coming technologists) and build up your familiarity with computer systems and networks. There's other good information in the article, so if you're contemplating a potential future in penetration testing but wondering where to start, check it out.

 

Cisco Learning Network Closes Out Slate of NCSAM Activities

 

It's still National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), and will be until the last ghost or ghoul has knocked on your door and taken away a treat on All Hallow's Eve. Just because you maybe haven't thought much cybersecurity in the past few days, or possibly over the past couple of weeks, doesn't mean that there isn't still time to heighten your awareness. An excellent place to check in as NCSAM SAMs its last is over Cisco Learning Network's Talking Tech with Cisco blog, where blogger Gary Pfitzer gives an impressive rundown of CLN-connected events and awareness promotions, many of which are of the "check out this thing on the web that is posted here in perpetuity" variety, and hence are not pegged to a single day of the month. Networking is a key IT realm for increased security awareness, so even if your particular branch of IT specialization is not directly connected to that trunk (see what we did there?), there's probably lots of good informaiton for anyone in IT.