It’s 2019. And we all know that a new year brings with it new technologies, and new certifications to develop in tandem. Tech is constantly evolving, which is why there are some certifications that are definitely due for an upgrade.
Here are four key certifications that should be up for renewal in 2019, and what can expect to see within exams.
CompTIA A+ 220-1001 & 220-1002
Expected release: Early 2019
Although viewed by some as entry-level, the CompTIA A+ is one of the most highly qualifying credentials for IT support. A+ provides a comprehensive, vendor-neutral foundation to support all of your future IT pursuits. This cert also supplies the necessary credential for landing many entry-level positions, including support and help desk, server technicians, and administrators.
CompTIA is ISO-certified, mandating that their certifications be updated every three years. With A+’s last update being in 2016, it’s time for the 220-1001 and 220-1002 exams to come to fruition. The exams now carry new names: the 1001 is called Core 1 and the 1002 is called Core 2. This new series of CompTIA A+ is geared toward assisting IT teams with day-to-day operations — and providing the knowledge to ease common IT challenges.
New operating systems are becoming standard, which expands the breadth of what IT pros need to know. There are now six different OSs that are covered on the new A+ exams: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS.
Not surprisingly, security makes up a good section of the exams. The new exams cover ITsec fundamentals like protecting against social engineering, malware detection and removal, and scripting basics. Device hardening guidelines are also covered, which are crucial considering the recent momentum of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Microsoft Windows Server 2019 MCSA
Expected release: First Half of 2019
Servers are one of the hallmark products of Microsoft. With Windows Server’s evolution from 2003 to 2016, it has taken the role of sysadmin to a completely new level. And last year, Microsoft announced the launch of its latest Server-based offering, Windows Server 2019.
Key features introduced in Windows Server 2019 include:
- Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
- An enhanced Windows Defender
- Windows Admin Center (for easy administration)
- Support for Kubernetes (leveraging DevOps principles – to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications).
With how certification-oriented Microsoft is, a new certification path should appear alongside the full release of Windows Server 2019. The exams for this certification will likely have an emphasized focus on these new topics.
To get a head start, we recommend looking at Server 2016 training. This will provide a foundation for you to hit the ground running when a Server 2019 certification exam is released — and training for it becomes available.
There’s no need to wait to start wrapping your head around the general topic of server administration. Studying for the Server 2016 MCSA certification should give you the base knowledge needed to tackle Server 2019 when its release.
VMware VCP-DCV 2019
Expected release: January 2019
When it comes to virtualization, VMware still reigns supreme. The recent introduction of VMware vSphere 6.7 touts more comprehensive security features and efficiency improvements, while reducing maintenance time.
The key takeaway with this new version is the hybrid cloud experience feature, which enables customers to have seamless control across on-premise and public cloud environments. A new certification exam to correspond with the new technology is likely on its way. And VMware announced a new naming convention for their certifications that will no longer relate to the product version.
New VMware certs will be identified by the year they are earned. This will make it easier to determine how current a certification is. Based on this exam naming convention, the new exam for vSphere 6.7 technology is likely going to be called the VCP-DCV 2019.
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) 2019
Expected release: TBD
Microsoft programs evolve to meet the challenge of practical expertise versus ease of use features. So a change in the Microsoft Office suite of products lends itself to the capabilities the tech giant is striving toward.
Last year, Office 2019 was announced — and some key features in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel were introduced, such as:
- Inking tools
- Language translations
- Motion graph (provisioning smooth animations and object movements)
- Data visualization (in Microsoft Access).
A new Microsoft Office certification track isn’t far behind. Historically, there are three levels to the Microsoft Office certification track: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Expert, and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Master. You’ve been able to earn your MOS and MOS Expert certification in specific Office programs. You can earn your MOS Master once you show competency in a variety of programs.
With this certification structure remaining consistent since Microsoft Office 2007, we don’t see the structure going through any major changes in 2019. Prepare accordingly.
Continuous upgrades to certifications are crucial to meet the changing nature of IT. Many certifications are likely to be retired or upgraded in 2019. But we’ve hit on some that, based on recent trends, are long overdue.
But there are larger changes happening in the IT certification structure. Vendors are reestablishing their paths toward a career-oriented focus — and this could lead to even larger changes coming. Only time will tell what could be coming from Microsoft, VMware, or CompTIA. In the meantime, organizations need competent IT professionals who can easily work with the latest tech. So keeping current and constantly learning will keep your skills sharp.