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2. Network Needs and Analysis
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4. Network services : local area networks
5. Network services : wide area networks
8. Default Gateway
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12. Telecommunications Closet
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17. Cisco Micro Hub 1538 Hub – 8 Port18. APC Smart-UPS 500VA USB & Serial 100V Black
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21. Network services : replication
23. Cost-Benefit Analysis
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Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. Accreditation is a specific organization's process of certification.
One of the most common types of certification in modern society is professional certification, where a person is certified as being able to competently complete a job or task, usually by the passing of an examination.
There are two general types of professional certification: some are valid for a lifetime, once the exam is passed. Others have to be recertified again after a certain period of time. Also, certifications can differ within a profession by the level or specific area of expertise they refer to. For example, in the IT Industry there are different certifications available for software tester, project manager, and developer. Similarly, the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology offers three certifications in the same profession, but with increasing complexity.
Certification does not refer to the state of legally being able to practice or work in a profession. That is licensure. Usually, licensure is administered by a governmental entity for public protection purposes and a professional association administers certification. Licensure and certification are similar in that they both require the demonstration of a certain level of knowledge or ability.
Another common type of certification in modern society is product certification. This refers to processes intended to determine if a product meets minimum standards, similar to quality assurance. Different certification systems exist in each country. For example, the in Russia it is the GOST R Rostest.
In first-party certification, an individual or organization providing the good or service offers assurance that it meets certain claims. In second-party certification, an association to which the individual or organization belongs provides the assurance. Third-party certification involves an independent assessment declaring that specified requirements pertaining to a product, person, process or management system have been met. In this respect, a Notified Body is a third-party, accredited body which is entitled by an Accreditation Body. Upon definition of standards and regulations, the Accreditation Body may allow a Notified Body to provide third-party certification and testing services. All this in order to ensure and assess compliance to the previously defined codes, but also to provide an official certification mark
For software testing the certifications can be grouped into exam-based and education-based. Exam-based certifications: For this there is the need to pass an exam, which can also be learned by self-study: e.g. for International Software Testing Qualifications Board Certified Tester by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board or Certified Software Tester by QAI or Certified Software Quality Engineer by American Society for Quality. Education-based certifications are the instructor-led sessions, where each course has to be passed, e.g. Certified Software Test Professional or Certified Software Test Professional by International Institute for Software Testing
Professional certifications in computer technology are non-degree awards made to those who have achieved qualifications specified by a certifying authority. Depending on the particular certification, qualifications may include completing a course of study, proof of professional accomplishments, achieving a specified grade on an examination or some combination thereof. The intention is to establish that an individual holding a certification is technically qualified to hold certain types of position within the field.
Certifications, generally, need to be renewed periodically, or may be valid for a specific period (e.g. the lifetime of the product upon which the individual is certified). As a part of a complete renewal of an individual's certification, it is common for the individual to show evidence of continual learning — often termed continuing education — or earning continuing education units (CEU). Certification is often used in the professions of information technology industry.
Some certification programs are oriented toward specific technologies, and are managed by the vendors of these technologies. These certification programs are tailored to the institutions that would employ people who use these technologies.
Third-party commercial organizations, trade associations, and vendor-neutral interest groups--sponsor certifications:
The ACM had a professional certification program now discontinued. The IEEE is certifying software professionals.
In an information systems environment that requires formal security accreditation, Certification refers to the comprehensive evaluation of the technical and non-technical security features of an information system.
Certification is formally defined by Krutz and Vines as:
“The comprehensive evaluation of the technical and non-technical security features of an information system and the other safeguards, which are created in support of the accreditation process to establish the extent to which a particular design and implementation meets the set of specified security requirements.”
The current proliferation of IT certifications has led some technologists to question their value. Advanced training content that has been as used on the Internet gives credentials without the comprehensive knowledge and skills beyond the certification material. Certifying agencies have incorporate hands-on elements, anti-cheating methodologies or have expanded their content. Some have expired and restructured their certificate programs, and some have raised their fees to deter abuse.
Research on college students and high school students has been done to determine whether relevant Information Technology industry certification is an asset to the teaching profession as they appear to be in the business world.
The studies investigated CIS/IT student perceptions and outcomes of certified and non-certified instructors. As observed by Adelman, many post-secondary CIS/IT faculty were unconcerned about the emergence in the 1990s of “a new, parallel universe of postsecondary credentials”, Anderson and Reimers found that CIS/IT students were keenly aware if their instructors had them. For example, certain certifications DOD 8570.1M are the only commercial certifications that the Department of Defense will accept towards meeting their Information Assurance hiring requirements.
The studies found a significant difference in learning outcomes between technology courses taught by certified and non-certified instructors; students whose instructors held IT industry certifications had higher levels of achievement than their non-certified peers and that college undergraduate students showed a significantly greater perception of their instructor’s effectiveness, teaching skills, professor technical expertise, and their own engagement in their classes with certified professors. Randall & Zirrkle (2005) noted a distinction between high school students and college students result benefit and the type of certification (vendor neutral and vendor-specific).
IT Certifications are considered as a standard of IT knowledge by most of the giant technology companies around the world. Best knowledge of up to date technologies is ensured by continuously updating the versions of certifications by the specific vendors.
Professional computer technology certification can open doors to opportunity in employment and career development, and certainly where people seek computer technology positions with well recognized certifications such as CompTIA A+ or Network+. Certification per se, though, can only be a first step.
Professional certification on paper alone is never sufficient for developing or proving professional level expertise and must be followed through upon with hands-on professional, on the job experience. Certification can help open doors in achieving a position that offers that hands on experience but it is primarily a starting point even if a valuable one.
Professional certification as such offers significant value for people making career changes into computer technology, and for people who seek to enter the professional workforce with long term career potential, from underserved communities. A number of organizations (e.g. Per Scholas in the South Bronx and Miami, Florida) work with communities in need and with a specific goal of helping community members achieve professional certifications as a route into professional jobs that can lead to building viable careers.
The U.S. Department of Defense Directive 8570.1, signed in August 2004, requires every full- and part-time military service member, defense contractor, civilian and foreign employee with privileged access to a DoD system, regardless of job series or occupational specialty, to obtain a commercial certification credential that has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
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