This week’s MacSysAdmin 2012 Conference in Sweden kicks off a line of Mac/iOS conferences and training opportunities for IT professionals.
While many Apple fans and IT professionals that support iOS devices in the workplace are eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s Apple announcement, a group of Apple in the enterprise experts are meeting at MacSysAdmin 2012 – a conference for European IT professionals tasked with managing Macs and iOS devices in business, education, and other workplace settings. The annual conference traditionally posts videos of its sessions online for free (as does the Penn State MacAdmins Conference that was held in the U.S. this spring).
That isn’t the only major conference for Mac and iOS IT professionals, however. October brings two other major events (one of them free) and there are a number of excellent smaller events scheduled throughout the fall.
Registration is available for this fall’s MacTech Conference 2012.
Registration is now open for MacTech Conference 2012. The annual conference, which is a great learning and networking experience for IT professionals and developers, will be held October 17 – 19 in Los Angeles. A pre-registration discount is available for anyone who registers by the end of August.
The conference is sponsored by MacTech magazine and was launched in 2010, the year that Apple chose to focus its annual Worldwide Developers Conference solely on iOS. Since then, the conference has grown into a major event for IT professionals that need to support Macs and/or iOS devices in business, enterprise, and education environments. The conference has also become a serious event for Mac and iOS developers.
Following the launch of Mountain Lion, Apple has started rolling out Mountain Lion IT certifications.
Apple has launched its first Mountain Lion training guide and certification for IT professionals. The certification is the Mountain Lion edition of the Apple Certified Associate – Mac Integration certification, which can be viewed as the introductory Mac IT certification.
Apple began offering the certification following last year’s launch of Lion. Unlike Apple’s other certification options, Apple provides a free guide to the material on the Mac Integration Basics Exam on its training site. You can also register and take the exam online for $65. Should you fail the exam, Apple will let you retake the exam at no additional charge.
FileMaker delivers training resources, classes, and certification exam for FileMaker 12.
FileMaker has announced the availability of its FileMaker 12 Certification exam. As with other certifications for IT professionals, FileMaker’s certification illustrates to potential employers or consulting customers that you have the key skills to deliver a solid and complete solution using FileMaker Pro and related products like FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad and FileMaker Server.
CompTIA finally gets into the mobile management game at its upcoming conference.
IT industry group CompTIA has announced the agenda for its upcoming Breakaway Conference that runs from July 30 though August 2 in Las Vegas. CompTIA will be offering a two-day/three-session training on mobile devices in the business and enterprise environments during the event.
The training, which CompTIA refers to as CompTIA Executive Certificate in Mobility (Foundations) Course 1, 2, and 3, will focus on three distinct areas – a session on the shift to a mobile workforce and the challenges that this poses for businesses, a session on locking down mobile devices using mobile management solutions, and a session on mobile app development.
CompTIA looks to make IT apprenticeships a viable training model for U.S. businesses
Earlier this year, we profiled the Mac IT apprenticeship program offered by London-based consulting and training group Amsys. IT apprenticeships offer technology training based around various common IT certifications and real-world IT experience. Apprentices are paid for their time and typically receive career placement services at the end of the apprenticeship.
Applying the apprenticeship model to the IT industry is relatively common in Europe, but rare in America. A new pilot program designed by IT training and certification powerhouse CompTIA aims to change that and bring the IT apprenticeship concept to the U.S. in a big way.
Apple has yet to offer iOS IT training and certifications
Today London-based Amsys announced a new one day course for IT professionals charged with managing and securing iOS devices in their organizations. The course, iPhone / iPad: Security in the Enterprise, was designed by Amsys itself and not by Apple.
Amsys is an Apple Authorized Training Center, meaning that it’s staffed by Apple certified trainers who use Apple’s official training curriculum to teach the company’s range of classes for IT professionals.
With all the training resources that Apple provides to its certified trainers and training centers, you might be wondering why Amsys created this class on its own. The answer is simple – Apple hasn’t provided substantive training options for managing and securing iOS devices. The dearth of official options is leading Amsys and other Apple training facilities scrambling to create their own content to fill the gap.
Is there a need for iOS/mobile certification or is the market evolving too fast for one?
One of the traditional ways for IT professionals to highlight their knowledge of specific technologies and technical concepts is through the acquisition of certifications. There are a number of vendor-crafted certifications available as well as vendor-neutral certifications that illustrate competence in various technical disciplines like troubleshooting and repair, security, healthcare, and overall network management. Certifications have never guaranteed a job in and of themselves, but they do help candidates sell themselves to recruiters and IT managers.
One of the many challenges with the consumerization of IT, mobility, and cloud services trends is that they are dramatically shifting the skill sets required to succeed in the IT field. As a result, the perceived value of certifications has fluctuated as softer skills like business integration and project management have become more desirable. The need for professionals that have extremely specialized skills is being surpassed by the need for IT generalists.
Apple's now-discontinued Xserve and Xserve RAID enterprise hardware
Like many technology companies, Apple offers training and certification programs. The company’s certification options have typically been aimed at three different core competencies: hardware troubleshooting/repair, IT support and systems administration, and creative professionals using Apple’s “Pro” applications.
As Apple has moved out of the data center over the past year and a half, it has been making major changes to its training and certification options for IT professionals. Some of these changes could have been anticipated and some have been big surprises with major consequences to individuals and to organizations that have long employed Apple enterprise solutions.
Every major tech company offers training and certification programs for their solutions, including Apple. For years, it’s been common advice to pursue certifications if you’re looking to get a job in IT for the first time or to if you want to move up the IT ladder. Certifications can sometimes make up for lack of on the job experience since they provide a way of measuring knowledge. If you expend the effort to pursue certifications for technologies that you use (or have used) on the job, it’s common wisdom that they’ll give you a leg up not just in getting a job but in negotiating your salary and benefits package.
Based on that wisdom it isn’t surprising that tech training programs with a goal of getting you certified are a big business. It doesn’t hurt that some US education loan programs, including those for returning veterans, can be used to finance training classes as an alternative to college. Yet a recent study shows that some IT certifications no longer equal success and higher pay. Does this mean certifications are worthless? Yes and no. The truth is that it often depends on the certification(s) in question. With iOS devices and Macs becoming business staples, the an obvious question is… are Apple’s certifications worth pursuing?