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The Web Certification Landscape

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With well over 50 different Web certifications available in today’s marketplace, it can be difficult deciding which ones to pursue and which ones to avoid. Ed Tittel breaks this area into purely Web-focused and development-oriented credentials, and provides analyses and rationales to help you choose the programs in both categories that will best fit your needs.
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After six years of watching IT certifications come and go, it’s always interesting for me to take a look at various regions of the certification landscape, to take stock of their features, and to visit the many possible destinations such areas can contain. Here, I plan to conduct a survey of the whole Web certification landscape—subject to a careful definition of its boundaries, and a few peeks over those edges at some nearby elements that may or may not straddle those boundaries—and perhaps to follow up with more details of some of the Web certification landscape’s more prominent features in one or more follow-up pieces. Certainly, if this topic is one that interests you and you want to hear more about it, please drop me an email to let me know.

Defining “Web Certification”

Given that working in and around the World Wide Web encompasses so many different job roles and responsibilities, and so many technical specializations, I feel compelled to start this survey by describing what certifications fall within those boundaries (and by extension, what kinds of certifications either straddle those boundaries or fall immediately outside them). Given as exhaustive a survey of this landscape as I could conduct, here are two lists of job roles and responsibilities that define what lies completely within the Web certification category as I see it, and what lies on the boundaries (where possible, I use actual certification titles):

The following is a list of proper Web job roles and responsibilities:

  • Site designer
  • Web administrator
  • Web content developer
  • Web designer
  • Web manager
  • Web professional
  • Web site manager
  • Web specialist
  • Web technician
  • Webmaster

The following is a list of job roles and titles on the “Web boundary”:

  • E-commerce professional/specialist
  • Enterprise developer
  • Internet professional
  • Solution/platform developers (WebSphere, ATG, BEA, Flash, Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, etc.)
  • XML developer/expert

Examination of both lists illustrates clearly that those whose work means direct involvement with Web content creation, Web site management, Web server management, or managing other Web professionals fall completely within the boundaries of my Web certification region, while those whose work appears in or on Web sites, but that also involves access to or manipulation of organizational data sources and resources, straddle the boundaries between Web certification country and software, database, or infrastructure development roles.

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