Computerworld - William Butler deviated from the standard teaching material when he taught A+ and N+ certification courses a few years ago to students studying desktop configuration and networking.
Butler, an IT technician with the Gilmer Independent School District, says he threw "kinks" into the usual course work. He wanted his students to learn to apply book-based knowledge to real work situations -- something he says standard courses often fail to teach.
He's not alone in his belief. Other IT leaders also say certification courses don't always teach students to apply their knowledge to everyday IT problems. They say the process needs to be strengthened if certifications are to retain their value.
"I would love to see certification demonstrate that performing well on the exams correlates to one's success in using that tool. I don't think they have done that," says Jerry Luftman, associate dean of graduate IT programs at Stevens Institute of Technology.
Butler goes even further. He suggests an overhaul that would apply old-fashioned learning methods to high-tech jobs. "Have an individual apprentice, much the way that licensed electricians do," he says. "At the end of the apprenticeship, they'll receive their certification."
A new certification moves in that direction. The Open Group LLC, a technology consortium in San Francisco, recently started a certification program that defines a set of standards for measuring the skills and experience of IT architects . "The thrust of our program is experience," says Graham Bird, vice president of marketing at The Open Group. "What candidates have to demonstrate for this certification is all about doing the job."
Bird says there's a need to separate architects with proven track records from job seekers padding their resumes. The new certification would let employers quickly know a candidate's qualifications, he says.
To earn this certification, applicants will have to go before a board of their peers to prove their skills. "It's not a 'Can I take an hour exam?' type [of] exercise," Bird says. "This program is intended to capitalize on the value of experience."
Read more about IT Careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- SDCRAA Case Study: Adapting ERP to business needs This case study goes in depth about San Diego County Regional Airport Authority's created flexibility for a changing industry.
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All IT Careers White Papers | Webcasts