Novell provides certification for technical competence with self-study tests and courses given at National Authorized Education Centers (NAECs). The earlier Enterprise CNE (ECNE), which included WAN expertise, was replaced with the Master CNE, which itself expires in mid-2007. Once a certification can no longer be obtained, people who have successfully completed the exams will not be stripped of that title.
Following are the Novell certifications, which used to be known as NetWare certifications. For example, a CNA used to be a Certified NetWare Administrator. For more information, visit www.novell.com/training/certinfo. See certification.
CNA (Certified Novell Administrator) CNE (Certified Novell Engineer) CDE (Certified Directory Engineer) CNI (Certified Novell Instructor) CLE (Certified Linux Engineer) CLP (Certified Linux Professional) NAI (Novell Academic Instructor)
By Mary Brandel
(IDG) -- Few career tracks have become as segmented as the tech sector's vocations. The particular skill set an applicant brings to a job interview can be make-or-break information.
But which certification is right for you? The answer really depends on the stage of your career, the certifications you already have and your chosen technology area.
But at any given time, there usually are some hot-button certifications that -- because of supply, demand or the difficulty of achieving them -- can substantially Improve your salary or career prospects.
For example, just a few years ago, the Microsoft Certified Software Engineer (MCSE) certification promised large salary jumps for IT professionals. While it's still the most popular certification and still in demand, so many people have the MCSE certification (almost 400,000 engineers in the United States) that it's become more of an entry-level requirement.
We asked IT recruiters and certification experts for their views on what will deliver you the most bang for your buck in the next year or two. We look at the top two here. Most of these are top-end certifications that require a few years of job experience in addition to training.
Because they're more difficult to obtain, these certifications can increase your salary by 20 or 30 percent, according to Mike Kovatsh, a specialist in training and certification techies.com based in Edina, Minnesota.
• Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE)
Summary: Introduced in 1993, the CCIE helps identify Internet-working experts. There are five areas in which you can be certified: routing and switching, wide-area network switching, ISP Dial, SNA/IP, and integration and design.
Requirements: You must take a two-hour computer-based qualification test and a two-day, hands-on lab test at a Cisco Systems Inc. facility. The lab test requires a deep understanding of Cisco equipment and general networking. Training alone is insufficient, but it can help, and there's a suggested list of Cisco courses to take. There are only two test lab sites, in San Jose, California, and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
How long it takes to obtain: It could take four or five years just to obtain the necessary experience to pass the CCIE exam. Assuming you're working full time, you might take a year or two to study for and take the written test and then study for, take and pass the lab exam. "It's pretty typical for half the candidates who take the lab test to fail on their first try," says Ed Tittel, vice president of IT certifications at iLearning Inc., a training and education provider in Baltimore, Maryland.
Supply vs. demand: CCIEs are "few and far between," says Ben Sabrin, a senior search consultant at New York-based recruitment firm Pencom Systems Inc. According to Cisco, there are fewer than 3,000 of these certified professionals in North America. They're especially in demand in the optical and networking space, such as at telecommunications firms.
Average cost: The lab test costs $1,250, and the test fee is $300. Training ranges from $1,420 if you self-study to $4,100 to $6,300 if you study in a classroom, according to Tittel.
Career benefit: Having the CCIE designates you as part of an elite corps of internetworking professionals. It's one of the premier IT certifications.
Salary benefit: CCIEs can expect a 10-percent to 20-percent boost in salary, says Sabrin. And according to a survey last fall by TCPmag.com, CCIE certificate holders earn an average base income of $115,400 -- a $45,500 jump (an almost 40-percent increase) over Cisco Certified Network Architects, another certification. They also report larger bonuses, more stock options, more paid training and higher job satisfaction than holders of other Cisco certifications.
• Senior Java Certification
Summary: Certification programs include Certified Programmer for the Java Platform; Certified Developer for the Java Platform; and Certified Enterprise Architect for Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition Technology.
Requirements: The programmer track requires one exam; the developer track requires one test and one assignment, plus previous programmer certification; and the architect track requires a multiple-choice exam, an essay test and one assignment. Certifications can be obtained from Sun Microsystems Inc.; Hewlett-Packard Co.; BEA Systems Inc.; IBM, Sybase Inc.,; Netscape Communications Corp.; Novell Inc.; or Oracle Corp.
How long it takes to obtain: You should have about two years of experience before taking the exam. If you have a full-time job, it could take six months to a year to obtain the certification.
Supply vs. demand: According to Tittel, there are six to seven job openings for each Java-certified individual.
Average cost: test and assignment costs from Sun range from $150 for programmers to $400 for developers and $550 for architects. Training ranges from $300 to $1,000 for self-study and as much as $3,500 for classroom-based study, according to Tittel.
Career benefit: "Getting certified helps prove you were able to take your background in C++ and marry that over to Java," Sabrin says.
Salary benefit: "You're looking at a six-figure salary, guaranteed," says Tittel. "I've heard of individuals doubling their compensation as a result of obtaining mid- or upper-level Java certifications, as compared to their precertification incomes."
• Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD)
Summary: The MCSD track tests the candidate's ability to build Web-based, distributed and commerce solutions using Microsoft Corp.'s application server, SQL Server and Visual Studio. This certification was completely redesigned in 1999, and developers who haven't taken the new exams lost certification status, according to GoCertify.com., based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Requirements: Three core exams, which require candidates to prove their competency with solution architecture, desktop development and distributed development, and one elective exam, which requires proof of expertise with Microsoft development tools. Candidates should have substantial knowledge of Microsoft Office and BackOffice.
How long it takes to obtain: Programmers should have at least two years of experience in software analysis and design before taking the tests. Most experienced programmers pass the test on the first try, but "even an experienced person shouldn't try to write more than one test per month, so it could take four months" to obtain certification, says Kovatsh at techies.com.
Supply vs. demand: The population of MCSDs is small (almost 15,000 people, according to Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine). And there's a high demand for IT professionals with this certification, says Kovatsh.
Average cost: It costs about $1,600 if you self-study and $13,600 if you study in a classroom, according to Tittel at iLearning.
Career benefit: The MCSD is the No. 1 certification in Microsoft environments, and with the small population of certificate holders, it will be a standout feature on your resume, says Kovatsh.
Salary benefit: No specifics were available, but according to Kovatsh, surveys imply that there's generally a 10-percent salary increase for people with certification over others with similar experience and backgrounds.
• Oracle Certified Professional
Summary: You can become certified Oracle database administrators in either Oracle7 or Oracle8.
Requirements: The database administrator certification requires five to six exams, depending on which track you choose: core path or mixed release. At least six months of on-the-job experience is necessary to pass the tests.
How long it takes to obtain: It can take 12 to 18 months for to be certified as an Oracle database administrator, says Tittel.
Supply vs. demand: Oracle is the most widely implemented database product, but demand is somewhat diminished because not many database administrators are required at each site.
Average cost: $1,140 for self-study and $7,140 to $13,800 for classroom training, according to Tittel.
Career benefit: The number of Oracle certified professionals has grown to 60,000, including Oracle Developers and Oracle Java Developers, according to Oracle Corp., so the certification is still rare enough to deliver you leverage when looking for a job.
Salary benefit: According to Kovatsh, surveys imply there is generally a 10-percent salary increase for people with certification over others with similar experience.
• SAP R/3 certification
Summary: Available certifications include financials, controlling, materials management, production and production scheduling, sales-order processing, human resources, plant maintenance and service management, and application development -- ABAP Workbench, Business Workflow and Business Information Warehouse.
Requirements: Vendor-approved classroom training is encouraged to pass the exams, unless you're very experienced with SAP. The three-hour exams are held at SAP AG training centers in many parts of the United States.
How long it takes to obtain: You'd need about two years of experience in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and a working knowledge of SAP to begin the certification process, according to Tittel. Individual classes last 25 days. Assuming you were working while getting certified, it would you take one to two years.
Supply vs. demand: There are about three job openings for each certified individual.
Average cost: The test for each module is $500, and training classes cost $8,500 to $18,000.
Career benefit: It places you in the top tier of people in the ERP field.
Salary benefit: You're guaranteed a six-figure income, says Tittel.
Q-Soft Systems and Solutions
Q-Soft is in a unique position of providing all the technical know-how required to become a DBA under 'one roof'. Since inception, the commitment of Q-Soft towards training has been outstanding.
We have tied up with Oracle as Oracle Education Partner (Work Force Development Program) and with Novell India as Novell Education Academic Partner,in emphasizing the need for certification by recruiting & recognizing Certified Professionals. Our training balances concepts with hands-on practical exercises & incorporates a wealth of experience gathered from Q-Soft engineering, consulting engagements & technical support resolutions.Courses offered:
Microsoft seems to have an every-other-version curse. We’re not sure how much of this is confirmation bias, but consider the track record of releases. Windows 95 was game-changing, Windows 98 famously crashed during live demo. Windows 2000 was amazing, Windows ME has been nicknamed the “Mistake Edition”. XP was the workhorse of the world for years and years, and Vista was… well, it was Vista. Windows 7 is the current reigning champion of desktop installs, and Windows 8 was the version that put a touchscreen interface on desktops. The “curse” is probably an example of finding patterns just because we’re looking for them, but the stats do show a large crowd clinging to Windows 7.
Windows 10 made a name for itself by automatically installing itself on Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers, much to the annoyance of many unexpecting “victims” of that free upgrade. Several years have gone by, Windows 10 has gotten better, and support for Windows 7 ends in January. If you’re tied to the Windows ecosystem, it’s time to upgrade to Windows 10. It’s too bad you missed out on the free upgrade to Windows 10, right?
About that… It’s probably an unintended side effect, but all valid Windows 7 and Windows 8 keys are also valid Windows 10 keys. Activation is potentially another issue, but we’ll get to that later.
Microsoft has finally come to their collective senses: Windows install ISOs are available for download. There are only 2 ISOs, 32 bit and 64 bit. Both images support home and professional versions, and the right version is installed based on the Windows key provided.
Speaking of versions, let’s talk about the different Windows versions. Not the difference between home and professional, but what is meant by an OEM license. Take a look at Windows 10 Pro on Amazon. Right now I see Windows 10 Professional for $184.99, and a Windows 10 Professional OEM for $113. What’s the difference? The packaging may look different, calling Microsoft Support might be a different experience, but the main difference is that an OEM key is locked to the computer it is first installed on.
How do computer upgrades work with an OEM key? The Ship of Theseus is a useful thought experiment. Taken directly from the Wikipedia article:
If it is supposed that the famous ship sailed by the hero Theseus in a great battle has been kept in a harbour as a museum piece, and as the years went by some of the wooden parts began to rot and were replaced by new ones then, after a century or so, all of the parts had been replaced. The question then is if the “restored” ship is still the same object as the original.
If it is then supposed that each of the removed pieces were stored in a warehouse, and after the century, technology developed to cure their rotting and enabled them to be put back together to make a ship, then the question is if this “reconstructed” ship is still the original ship. And if so, then the question also regards the restored ship in the harbour still being the original ship as well.
How much of a computer’s hardware can you upgrade and still consider it the same computer? Rather than wrestle with such a philosophical question for every instance, Microsoft has opted for a simple rule. A new motherboard constitutes a new computer.
So where does that leave us? First, you can go download a Windows 10 ISO, burn it to a DVD, and do a free upgrade right now from Windows 7 or 8. Boot into Windows as normal, and then run the setup executable from the DVD. Follow the prompts to start the upgrade. The installer will copy everything it needs to the hard drive and reboot the machine. After the install finishes, Windows will go through the activation process again, and activation should succeed.
Something about the free upgrade process forces Microsoft to treat this Windows 10 activation as a new computer activation. Because every Windows 7/8 key is eligible for the free upgrade, this means that you can do a full hardware rebuild, motherboard included, and use your Windows 7 OEM key to install Windows 10, and activation should succeed. Do note that this will work only once. Once you’ve used your free upgrade, that Windows key is once again locked, and out of additional activations.
There is one more trick worth mentioning. You may be familiar with the challenge of upgrading hardware on an existing Windows install. It’s not uncommon for booting with the new hardware to trigger a BSOD before the desktop even loads. The Windows 10 upgrade process has the side-effect of re-installing all the hardware drivers, making it a perfect time for that hardware upgrade. The timing on this is a little tricky. You need to run the setup off the Windows 10 disk and wait for the setup files to finish copying over. When the setup program reboots to start the actual installation, pull the power plug before the drive starts to boot again. You may find it useful to first turn off quiet boot in BIOS. The window for interrupting the process is narrow, but success gives you a hard drive with all your existing data and programs, ready to install Windows 10 on next boot. Rebuild the hardware with all the changes you’d like to make, and boot off that hard drive. Windows 10 will install the proper drivers, just like a fresh install, and the Windows 7 key should activate without any issues.
It’s time to face the music, and upgrade from Windows 7. If you just can’t stomach Windows 10, at least there are options. Open Shell is the open source successor to Classic Shell, and many find it to smooth the rough edges. Alternatively, maybe it’s time to look at Linux? We’re still holding out hope that the Year of the Linux Desktop™ is coming. Or for those willing to go over to the dark side, there is that other Unix derived desktop OS you could use. In any case, stay secure out there.