Xpert Series Certs (CompTIA Volley)

Xpert Series Certs (CompTIA Volley)

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Carolyn April Hey everybody. Welcome to the latest edition of Volley. I'm Carolyn April. And as always, I'm looking for my good buddy Seth Robinson, Seth, Hey, how are you doing? I am doing well, doing well. Got a nice sunny day here for a

change. We've had a deluge of rain and flooding, like the kind of flooding that your phone gives you an alert about that's been rolled close. It's been weird. So today the sun's out. And it's put me in a better mood. But um, yeah, it's been weird and rainy. How are you doing? I'm busy. It's been a busy week. And I, I knew it was gonna

happen. I mean, not specifically, I could see my calendar, obviously. But like, it had not been that busy. It had been nice and calm. And it's like, oh, this is the calm before the storm, right? Like your muscle memory needs to kick in, you know, when you have flows, I get it. Again, it feels sort of similar, leading up to the trip I'm going on in London and a couple of weeks. So a lot of build up to that for our media con event. So I have a

sneaking suspicion that the next two weeks are going to be a little busy as well. Yeah, I think that I'm gonna be helping you with some of that. So that'll probably just keep some of my busy going to go. All right, we can get through it together. Well,

speaking of busy, we've got a one of our wonderful colleagues joining us today to talk about all that's going on on the one side of the house at CompTIA that we talk about fairly frequently, but not not probably enough here on Bali. So I'm excited to have Theresa join us. Yeah, yeah, we've got Theresa Sears, she is the Vice President of Product Management. And we just launched a new series of certifications or plans for a new series of certifications around expert level technology specialists. And we want to reset it tell us all about it. So Theresa, thanks for joining

us on the show again. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for having me. It's been a while since I've been on Bali. No, you missed us. I was trying to remember what when you were here last it wasn't this calendar year. Right. So it's been a while.

Yeah, it might have been with the last launch the last update for a class, which would have been about two years. Well, welcome back. Welcome back. Good to have you as always. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So why don't we want to talk about these new expert series certifications? But I think to do that, you know, why don't we talk about the progression that a technology specialists might go through in their career, because I think we've got a lot of products that are have helped people get started in technology careers. And now as they're advancing, we want to continue helping them out. So, Tracy, I

know you and your team have been looking at this for a while now and really trying to map out these pathways that people take, do you want to give us kind of a high level overview of the way that you all are seeing things? Sure, sure. And we kind of have you can visualize a pyramid to represent a progression or almost an accumulation of, of technology skills, that's a, an image that we use a lot in, in depicting, you know, the acquisition and development of technical skills and kind of at that base of the pyramid, you've got notions around things like digital literacy and career literacy, where you're really looking at foundational understanding of different technologies, kind of from the perspective of an end user. And the idea of digital literacy and career literacy kind of go hand in glove, you think about in order to understand say the difference between a database administrator and a data analyst, you have to have some idea of what a database is. You don't necessarily have to be able to design one or build one or even necessarily work with one. But you have to have some notion of what it is in order to kind of acquire that level of career literacy. And then in a

layer on top of those notions of lit literacy, we've started talking about the idea of digital fluency, and that's kind of taking literacy and building additional skills and knowledge on top of that literacy. So if digital literate person is a fairly capable end user, someone who is digitally fluent might start creating things at that level that can be used in their day to day work, or even in their just their day to day, personal lives. So you can kind of distinguish between the two levels, a digitally literate person might be able to use a spreadsheet, a, someone who's digitally fluent might be creating pivot tables and doing an analysis that's applicable to their role. That digital fluent layer is really about digital

fluency as it is applied and used in tech adjacent and tech enabled roles. And kind of above that level is where we really start talking about the skills needed for for technical roles. And that's really come to a sweet spot. And it has been where we have been doing certification and training for for a long time. And the notion of tech employability starts at kind of that layer above digital fluency. And once you're kind of at the this top part of the pyramid, you can kind of start thinking about notions of, there's a pre professional or a kind of a career introduction stage where you're learning some of the foundational skills you might need in order to progress into a program that prepares you for an early career or an entry level role. And then within that kind of professional level, is

where we see CompTIA certifications come into play, whether it is something like a plus for an IT support specialist or network plus for network admin, those are really the the programs that focus in on the skills that employers are looking for, for those particular job roles. At the top of the pyramid, is the notion of expert expertise, and really an expert series that, that you mentioned that we're we're planning to introduce in the in the coming year. And this is really, you know, you think about the top of the pyramid and the area of that that top point is smaller, there's there's fewer folks in those roles. And really, it represents a deep level of technical expertise across a number of different IT functions. So in terms of the the target market, then for the for this series, I like that description. And I think the pyramid is a good way to to view it. The target market, though for the

expert series would be would these be folks who are kind of mid career who have already kind of climbed up the ladder or somewhere at a promotional level where they are moving into what you would consider a pretty veteran or serious or experienced person in their career? Or could this be somebody who's just particularly good at or as skilled anywhere along the spectrum in terms of their career, they could be a newer, you know, even a graduate school type person, but they happen to be very skilled already. And they could kind of leapfrog how or is it both both categories of people. The notion here is really the target are people who are in these job roles who have been, you know, in a professional, technical professional role for a number of years, I liken it sometimes to almost like an MBA program. If you think about an

MBA program, someone might be able to participate in an MBA program straight out of undergrad. But it's really going to resonate more if they've got that professional experience if they've got that context of doing the kind of the skills, exercising the skills performing the tasks, in a, you know, in a in a professional setting. So the target market really is folks who have been performing, if not necessarily the expert level role, certainly the roles that lead into these type of expert level or architect level roles. And trees. This will expand on that a little bit. I'm guessing that some of the reason that it's going to resonate the most is because these certifications in the skills that we're trying to validate for these candidates are not just the technical skills, but there's also a lot of them. Business Acumen that's needed. Because these architects, these experts at

their companies are not just being expected to build technical solutions, but they're being expected to connect the dots between those technical solutions and whatever organizational objectives there may be. Is that right? Yeah, I think that's a great point. When we think about expertise is and I think this is probably true in a number of fields, not just in technical roles. But I think you can look at three components of expertise. And one is just the

technical expertise in in kind of a, a well defined area, and you would expect someone at this level to have deep expertise in one or more areas. And typically, that is expertise that, you know, to I think Carolyn's earlier question can really only be acquired through multiple years of real world experience. I think the other components in developing expertise is if they have not just deep expertise, but then also broad expertise in areas that are kind of adjacent to role. So you know, if you're in an IT architect role, for example, you would expect someone in that role to have some understanding of, of other areas of whether it's in software development, or in data engineering, or certainly in insecurity as well. So you've got this notion of deep

expertise, some some broad expertise in, in adjacent areas, so that you can kind of take a high level view of the business and, and the needs of the business from a technical, tactical perspective. And then I think the third leg in that stool is, as you mentioned, Seth, business acumen, and really being under able to understand how different technical initiatives impacts the business or can help to really achieve business objectives. Yeah, I've got to imagine many of the people in this role are also managers, if they've reached this point, and they have people reporting to them and then need the skills to understand the strategic goals of the business, and how to filter those down through the technical tasks that they and their team do. I'm curious where, you know, what we're offering in terms of where are, you know, what our focus areas are? I know, we've got a data focus area, I believe, is security. And there was one other cloud. Can you walk us through some of the three areas that we're going to be zeroing in on with this series? Yeah, absolutely.

So the first one that we'll be introducing is data x, and that is focused on the data scientist role. So looking at that pillar of, you know, of it, it really is, you know, that analysis. Part of the, you know, of the data, the data roles within an organization. You know, I think when Ken served out, he was on your podcast a couple of weeks ago, he talks about the notion of having a data management pathway and also having a data analysis pathway. And the data scientist, the data scientist

role is certainly one that is in that analysis pathway and represents kind of a capstone. A capstone experience a capstone mother level of skill in the data analysis area. Looking then to in the security space, we've got the notion of a security architect, and we'll be introducing security x which will be the represent the evolution of our CASP plus certification, which has long kind of represented the expertise required and of a security architect and folding that into this series of expert focused certifications is part of the introduction of this program. And then the third area is it's actually more of like a an infrastructure Enterprise Architect role that acknowledges that environments now are almost exclusively hybrid. There's there's very few where you would see something that is, you know, strictly On premises, it doesn't utilize cloud technologies in some way. But the the notion there is to really focus on the needs of the enterprise. Not

not, regardless, and that may be inclusive of all the different types of technologies that are needed in that type of architectural. So the three areas, I think, to recap, it's an infrastructure architect role, a security architect role and data scientist role. And kind of add on to your point about hybrid environments. I like the way that you put that and you said that, you know, there's hardly anyone anymore that you know, completely on prem. At the same time, there's hardly anyone that's completely

in the cloud, right. So you know, we talk about cloud a lot. But I think it's really good that we're focusing on using some of our strengths and our history, you know, in networking and on prem things, and then adding in the cloud components, like we've been doing over the years, because these architects at this level, are going to need to work that hybrid environment, and really bring both skills to bear. And I think there are few companies that are in this hybrid environment that kind of have their on prem specialists, and their cloud specialists, you know, they're all together. And it works together at that infrastructure layer. I was interested in, you know, you mentioned that the security x is going to be an evolution of the task that we already have. So we already have been doing a lot of

this are getting some practice at an expert level. from a process standpoint, you know, What differences do you see, when you're trying to build certification for people that are just getting started in an IT career, and we're bringing in subject matter experts to talk about that, versus when we're building Casper, we're building something an expert level, and we're also getting industry feedback on that. Are there some differences? Are there a lot of similarities? What How does the process go? I think the process for development is, is somewhat similar. It's really the subject matter experts who who make make the difference between the types of the types of products that we build, you know, these folks who are involved in defining the standard and in developing the product do have that deeper and broader level of expertise needed in these in these different areas. I think one thing that's, that's interesting when thinking about some of these roles, versus some that are more entry level, is there is a design component, that is, I think, unique to these more senior level roles. That, I think is, it's an interesting one to try and certify. Because

you can liken it to building a house or building a building, while the design of your house is going to impact your day to day living. You're not building or designing a house or even addition, even an addition onto it every day. And so one of the things that the that our Smee is talked about a lot is there's these activities that are captured in these standards that are so critical to the success of the business. Yet, they're not carried out every day, you know, so you can think about tasks or skills being important or and being frequent. And these are not that frequent, yet, they are very important. And so

figuring out the right level, and really the right job role, the right way to describe that job role has probably been one thing that is that's different when we're talking about these more senior level roles. versus something that is earlier career or entry level. Yeah, I didn't even think of that. And now I am and it's all

the intangibles that go into a every job every day, especially at a higher level. Those are hard to kind of quantify and think about from like a very, you know, the kind of rigidity of of maybe a certification requirement or a test or anything like that is that they're not something that you can like an entry level jobs sort of say this is the task, this is the role, how would you solve this problem versus something that's much more as I said, in tangible for a higher level position. So I don't envy you trying to encapsulate that in the certifications for sure. I was going to pivot just briefly because I'm interested in this right now. But and I

think a lot of people are obviously is how and if you've integrated work around AI into any of these three, especially maybe the data x one In particular, because that's going to be obviously something that a lot of senior level folks are going to need to be thinking about with respect to job roles and jobs, you know, tasks and how the organization is going to integrate AI tools into what they're doing already. So if anything's going on there, Theresa, let us Yeah, you know, AI is. That's an interesting topic, and I made the, maybe the two of you will have have some some thoughts on this comparison. But in some ways, I feel like the discussion around AI and its impact on job roles, when we're talking about it right now. I have flashbacks to how we were talking about cloud computing maybe a decade ago, and especially because of the business we're in. There was a lot of conversation around well, what job roles are happening right now, around the cloud computing or, you know, if we're talking about today around AI, what job roles are emerging. And I think that takes time for

things to to kind of settle out for businesses and organizations to develop the level of specialization where you would have something like a, an ai, ai role with AI actually in the in the job title. Yeah, I think what happens a lot sooner, is different roles, existing roles are impacted by by AI. And I think, Carolyn, to your to your point, we are seeing that with that data scientist role, that we're introducing the certification for early next year. And I think that is one where we're going to be looking closely at how frequently we update it because of the impact. And what we think is a pretty rapid impact of AI on not just the data scientist role, but all the roles that we certify.

Yeah, I think that comparison to cloud is a great one. And Tracy, you and I have talked about this over the years that what we are seeing more and more is, current job roles are evolving, as opposed to brand new job roles emerging and popping up all over the place, there's a mix, and you see it, and that mix will change over time. But it does start a lot with an evolution of existing job roles and the need for current technology specialists to build their skills and to add new skills, rather than just keep doing what they're doing. And a company hires, you know, a new person. So I think that's a great approach, and probably a great place to land the discussion here as we look forward, hopefully, to an AI controlled future for all of us. So it's exciting to hear about these new certifications. I know that CompTIA has a landing page on

its website, around this expert series certifications. And so we will include that in the show notes, any last logistical items, and you know, in terms of timing or where people could go for more information on these. Just for timing, the first one coming out is data x, and I look for that in q1 of next year. And then security X coming tour

towards the end of next year and cloud medics shortly after that. Right. Well, I'm sure that's keeping you busy. I really appreciate you carving out some time to come on here and talk with us about this and really looking forward to how these lands in the market and continue our portfolio of training and certification products. So thanks, Teresa for joining. Thanks as always to our producer Andrew McMillan and Carolyn. I will catch you next time. Sounds good. Thanks. Thank you

2023-09-23 05:44

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