The question of the value of IT certification is a persistent one. Do certified IT professionals actually make more money than non-certified professionals do? Is certification really a VIP pass for the job market? What exactly does certification mean?
With higher education options in data management so capacious today, professionals teetering on the decision of whether or not to complete a certification program have more to consider than they did before.
In addition to the traditional classroom-based setting of many programs, there is the popular alternative of completing certain programs online. People even have the option to choose whether they want to be certified through test-based programs or through experience-based programs. And of course, what to be certified in remains the ultimate decision: database administration, information systems, business intelligence, or maybe something vendor-specific?
It is important to keep in mind that certification is not usually a one-time deal. Hanging a framed diploma on the wall does not, by any means, signify that the learning is over. In fact, most certification programs require an annual recertification—whether in the form of an exam or a fee—to ensure that those titled IT professionals remain up to date. And even if recertification is not required, it's always a smart career move to stay educated on the always evolving IT industry.
We at SearchDataManagement.com can't decide for you if certification is the right option. That, in a way, will require a little self-reflection and some personal analysis. However, with the goal of simply shedding some light on the topic, we have outlined several approaches to data management certification.
The Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP)
The ICCP is one of the most well known sources of professional IT certifications. Its certifications are usually done in partnership with the Data Management Association (DAMA). The ICCP issues experienced-based tests in a variety of specific IT fields:
- ACP: associate computing professional
- CBIP: certified business intelligence professional
- CCP: certified computing professional
- CDMP: certified data management professional
- ISA: information systems analyst
- I.S.P.: information systems professional
The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI)
TDWI is a major source for training and education in the IT industry. It currently offers two options for certification.
- CBIP: a test-based certification program that is offered in five fundamental areas of business intelligence: leadership and management, business analytics, data analysis and design, data integration, and administration and technology. To be certified, one must pass three ICCP exams: the Core exam, the Data warehousing exam, and a specialty exam. A practitioner certification is awarded for scores above 50% on all three exams, and a mastery certification is awarded for scores above 70%.
- The On-Track program is also available for those seeking higher education. Upon completion of classes, students accrue credits towards a TDWI Certificate of Education.
The IDMA is an independent, non-profit organization that focuses on educating and training insurance data managers. It has two certification opportunities:
- CIDM: this certification requires passing four IDMA exams and completing coursework from either CPCU, LOMA, SOFE or CAS.
- AIDM: this certificaiton requires passing four IDMA exams.
- Certified database administrator
- Certified solutions expert
- Certified database administrator
- Certified professional
- Oracle9i--Database administrator
- Oracle9i--Certified professional (for practitioner level)
- Oracle9i--Database administrator certified master (for mastery level)
- IT architect certification (ITAC)