HP offers IT certification

In today’s tough job market, anything you can do to improve your marketability through skill enhancement has got to be a good thing. In line with improved training, HP just launched a new networking certification program called ExpertONE. The program is focused on building skills not only in the technical space but in the business financial space.

"What we've heard from our customers and partners is that today's IT certification and training programs develop skills for yesterday's IT environment," Lyle Speirs, director of sales and marketing, Global Certification and Learning, at HP told InternetNews.com.

“Organizations are transitioning from multiple technology silos that are closed, complex and costly to converged infrastructure environments that are open, efficient and easy to manage,” said Susan Underhill, vice president, Global Certification and Learning, HP. “HP ExpertONE supports the network and data center of the future by developing a workforce with comprehensive technology skills combined with business acumen.”

HP intends to challenge others offering data network certification. HP’s program is designed to keep pace with the rapidly-changing networking field and thereby avoid the trap of offering certifications for technologies that soon fall obsolete. One key difference in the HP training and that offered by familiar names like Cisco is the additional emphasis offered on how network design can affect some financial aspects of a business. The top-level HP certification is called "Master Accredited Systems Engineer (ASE) Converged Infrastructure Architect Certification."

"The goal of the Converged Infrastructure Architect is to engage across the entire IT landscape and ensure that the change management and governance processes are adapted to meet requirements," according to Rebekah Harvey, director, training and enablement, at HP Networking. "Candidates for Converged Infrastructure Architect must demonstrate that their solution is not only technically sound, but also financially sound. So the fact that they have to cost justify their solutions is critical."

To encourage technicians and engineers already holding Cisco certifications to become HP certified, the HP training offers what it calls a “Fast Track” option. The option allows those with Cisco certification to receive credit toward an HP certification.

This feature could be viewed as simply a competitive attack against the more well-known Cisco training. However, many colleges offer credit for courses taken elsewhere, and I view the HP certification as a positive affirmation that others too can provide legitimate training.

Recently, HP announced that it would replace Cisco equipment in its data centers with HP technology. Should the HP training emphasize only the HP equipment, some may see the company’s certification program as just a branding tool. I see it differently.

When I was a broadcast engineer, I often sought out Tektronix for application notes. It had the best-read world education tools I could get my hands on. Sure, the application notes focused on Tektronix equipment, but the technology and training was sufficiently generic that it applied to any scope or analyzer. And, when it came time to buy equipment, I often bought Tektronix solutions. Even so, there was plenty of HP and Sencore gear in my facility too. I just don’t see the HP certification program as a nefarious way to poison young minds.

My suggestion to anyone under the age of 50 and working the media, production or broadcast space is to get more IT training. Whether it’s from Cisco, HP or Broadcast Engineering magazine, anything you can do to stand out by improving your skills will be a career (and economic) benefit.