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Strong Showing

Moving away from traditionally strong certification areas and into technology, rather than product-oriented options, independent certification programs have a much stronger showing. Some useful examples are the programs offered by CompTIA.

At present, CompTIA offers five certification programs, with another under development and more promised in the future. The newest programs, Server+ and Linux+ (due for release in late 2001), are designed to address specific concerns that, CompTIA said, have been stressed by its members. Having CompTIA's members participating in a certification program makes sense enough, but a quick scan through the membership list reads like a who's who of the IT industry: Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and Novell. All of these companies have certification programs of their own, so why are they encouraging another organization to produce a certification program? Effectively, by working with CompTIA, these companies are acknowledging that their own certification programs do not address certain issues and skills.

CompTIA, acting upon these suggestions by members, has used the addition of new certifications as a means to round out the current certification offerings. As Lutz Ziob, vice president of certification, said, "The IT industry has come to expect CompTIA to be the authority in vendor-independent certifications. Our members, most of whom have certification programs of their own, see our programs as complements to theirs. In fact, many of our members now use our certifications as prerequisites for their own programs. To give an example, both IBM and Compaq now require CompTIA A+ Certified Technician status as a prerequisite to joining their service provider programs."

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