�Various Forms of Professional Credentialing�

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					         “Various Forms of Professional
                Credentialing”




         “This paper will discuss the various forms of professional credentialing. This is an important
topic due to the fact that companies and consultant regard highly on what an individual has achieved.
Some of the forms of professional credentialing that will be discussed throughout this paper will be
education and certifications. Under education high school or GED equivalence, undergraduate, graduate,
and Ph D will be discussed. Under certification Sun, Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, and Linux will be discussed.”




                                                                        By: Hasani Hampden




                                                                                                        1
Table of Contents:


Introduction............................................................................................................3

History....................................................................................................................3

Education................................................................................................................3

Figure (a) ...............................................................................................................3

High School or GED...............................................................................................4

Undergraduate Education.......................................................................................4

Graduate Education................................................................................................5

Ph D........................................................................................................................5

Introduction to Certifications..................................................................................5

Microsoft Certifications..........................................................................................5

SAIR Linux Certifications......................................................................................6

Cisco Certifications.................................................................................................7

Sun Certifications...................................................................................................8

IBM Certifications..................................................................................................8

Future of Professional Credentialing......................................................................8

Conclusion..............................................................................................................9




                                                                                                                                2
          Within the field of computer science there are numerous forms of professional credentialing.
These forms help an individual receive a higher status within their corporation, receive raises in their
salary, and help diversify themselves as an employee. The most important form of professional
credentialing is education. This teaches you how to handle real life applications and how to retain
information better. Education has numerous steps to bring you to where you need to be in your
professional career. The first step is a basic high school education or a General Equivalency Degree. After
that, the next steps are a post high school degree. These include an undergraduate degree (i.e. Bachelor of
Science), graduate degree (i.e. Masters of Science), and Ph D (i.e. Doctoral of Science). Within the
graduate and doctoral stages, an individual usually has a concentration of a specific subject. The other
forms of professional credentialing are various forms of certifications. These certifications are key for an
individual who is looking for a job that concentrates on the specific area that has been studied. Consulting
is also another good field that uses these various certifications. The certifications that will be discussed are
ones within Microsoft, Linux, Sun, Cisco, and IBM. The importance of professional credentialing will be
discussed within this paper.

          The history of education involved within computer science is extensive. Within forms of
professional credentialing there is also a history. From the education standpoint there have been many
changes. There have been many new languages and concepts that have been accepted within the field of
computer science dating back the last 50 years. Key languages such as Java, C, and C++ have all been
developed within the last 50 years and have undergone numerous changes. There are new standards being
developed for the languages every couple of years. This requires that education keep up with these
changes. Along with the changes, certifications also need to be updated. The history of certifications is
also extensive because they undergo various changes when languages get updated. These certifications
also get updated because as companies grow and expand they want to include more services. The history
behind certifications was to ensure that an individual was knowledgeable about a certain language or
software. These certifications are used more for consulting services now and jobs then for anything else.

          Education is the most important professional credential. Jobs and businesses target people who
have completed some sort of an education. The importance of education is that it teaches you the basic
skills needed to help you learn and develop yourself as an individual. School also prepares you to have a
broad background in a number of different topics outside the world of computer science. When obtaining a
high school and post-high school education you study many different fields outside of you computer
science major. These skills are the ones that will help you understand the background of the problems you
are trying to achieve and ultimately end up coding for an organization. Education also prepares you for
dealing and handling real life applications. The one form of education is a high school or GED level
equivalence. After that you go to college or university to receive an undergraduate degree. Following your
undergraduate degree you go back to receive a Masters. The final step in your education process is
obtaining your Doctoral title. Each incremental level requires more years of studying in order to further
develop your understanding of computer science or its components. Education plays a major role in
professional credentialing which is important in the job world.. .1

Figure(a)
                      Education               Salary


                      Undergraduate           $35,000 – $60,000
                      Graduate                $60,000 - $110,000
                      Ph D                    $110,00+




1
    http://www.highereducation.org/reports/affordability_pa/affordability_pa4.shtml



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          The first and lowest level of credentialing in education occurs on the high school level. This level
is also equivalent to the GED certification. Any job that comes to recruit you is looking for at least a high
school education. A high school diploma typically takes about four years to obtain. This form of
credentialing is important because it provides you with your everyday skills. This form of education also
makes sure you have a knowledgeable background in a number of different fields. The required fields are
history, science, mathematics, and foreign language. Having this degree provides business with a little
security that you are knowledgeable about these fields. In terms of trying to achieve your computer science
degree, this is a requirement in order to go on to the next level of education. In order to move on to college
or university you need to have your GED or high school diploma. Although this is a requirement for
professional credentialing, it is not the best choice to stop there. With only a high school level education,
your chances for being successful in the business world are slim to none. As a matter of fact, a high school
level education will not get you very far at all unless you have master numerous certifications that available
to you through companies such and Microsoft, Linux, and IEEE. 2 Your chances of getting a good job,
being promoted, having flexibility to change careers, and commanding a high salary are much better with a
college degree than without one. Your high school diploma is a requirement for the next step in the path.
The next level of education in professional credentialing occurs in your undergraduate degree. This can be
obtained by attending college or university.

          The second level of professional credentialing in education prepares you and sets your focus on
the field of computer science. An undergraduate degree usually takes about four years to achieve. This
gives you the opportunity to learn a substantial amount of information related to the field of computer
science. Below is the overview of what computer science teaches you at the State University of New York
at Binghamton:

           “The undergraduate degree program in computer science offers a balanced
           treatment of all aspects of computing system design and programming,
           including both hardware and software. From the very first semester, Computer
           Science majors have an opportunity to take courses in their major area. The
           education in Computer Science is spread out over four years to allow students
           to gradually build up their skills and study specific areas of interest in some
           depth. Our program gives students the flexibility to develop expertise in the
           many specializations within computer science and related disciplines. Many
           graduate-level courses are also open to qualified undergraduates. The
           Computer Science curriculum is also excellent preparation for graduate
           studies. “3

This would be the typical curriculum at any undergraduate program. This allows the student to be
recognized as someone with substantial knowledge in the field of computer science and would also be
accredited with the opportunity to display these skills amongst the ranks of top executives and Fortune 500
companies. Upon obtaining your Bachelors of Science in Computer Science you can now explore different
job opportunities or decide to re-enter school to obtain your Masters of Science degree in Computer
Science. The average salary for someone who is straight out of college with a Bachelors of Science in
Computer science is between $35,000 and $60,000 (referenced from Figure (a)).4 This range depends on
the location of where you work, who you work for, what extra things you had on your resume, and the
amount of responsibility you possess within the company or organization. Also experience plays a huge
role on how much salary you can expect. If you decide to re-enter the educational field the next step would
be Graduate School.



2
    http://www.highereducation.org/reports/affordability_pa/affordability_pa4.shtml
3
    http://www.watson.binghamton.edu/level2/ugrad.html#cs
4
    http://www.monster.com



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          Graduate school is a level above undergraduate for education in professional credentialing.
Graduate school usually takes about one and a half to three years to achieve. This is intended for students
who have excelled in their respective undergraduate computer science programs. This is also geared
towards students who want to research more on a specific topic or get a more descriptive grasp on
computer science in the professional world. By obtaining a Masters of Science in Computer Science you
can now spread the knowledge of computer science to other students. By acquiring this status an individual
can now teach some of the principles and applications of computer science in an undergraduate program.
To obtain this Masters of Science in Computer Science you must either write a thesis paper on a specific
topic in computer science or pass a test on all of the work that you have done throughout your stay in
graduate school.5 To do your thesis paper you must do a substantial amount of research on a specific topic
in the field of computer science. On completion of your thesis paper you must then defend it to a panel of
advisors. If you pass, this will enable you to attain your Masters of Science in computer science. Within
the professional atmosphere this proves to your employers that you have mastered the field. This also
shows that you are not looking to receive an entry level position. Due to your work in the undergraduate
and graduate fields you will be entered into a higher position and also will be receiving a higher salary than
those with only an undergraduate degree. The average salary for a person who has obtained a Masters of
Science in Computer Science is from the range of $60,000 to $110,000 (referenced from Figure (a))
depending on the status which was talked about earlier. Although this is great to have, another higher form
of professional credentialing in education is receiving you Doctoral in Science also called PhD.

         A Doctoral in Science in computer science is the highest form of professional credentialing within
education. Once you have this degree you are titled Doctor. The ones who obtain this degree have played
a substantial role in Computer Science. They have done extensive research on a specific topic. During this
research they have documented everything that they have done and wrote it all into a thesis statement.
Most of the work that they do is on their own or with an accredited professor. In this stage of their
research, it is so much in depth and there is so much information in it that the individual is required to
publish his material.6 A doctoral program usually takes anywhere from 3-5 years to attain depending on
how much research is obtained and which topic they have chosen to study. Having a Doctoral in Science
will provide you with the best chance to receive a well paying salary. By obtaining your Doctoral in
Science you can expect to make $110,000+ (referenced from Figure (a)). This is because of how much
knowledge you possess about computer science and the specific field in general an individual has decided
to study. A PhD in computer Science is indeed the highest form of professional credentialing within
education.

          The next part of professional credentialing occurs with an individual getting certain types of
certifications. Certifications acknowledge the fact that an individual has studied and passed a test on
specific software or standards. There are various types of certifications in which one can retrieve. The
various certifications which will be discussed are ones from IBM, Microsoft, Linux, Cisco, and Sun. These
standards are important to jobs which revolve around certain software’s. For example if a company uses
only Microsoft software then they would want to hire someone with a certification in Microsoft. This
would be great for the company because with this certification this proves that they have substantial
knowledge with Microsoft products and can work troubleshooting or just helping with anything having to
do with these Microsoft products.

          The first certification that will be looked at is the Microsoft certification. The first one within the
Microsoft certification is the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST). Once completing
this certification you can help in troubleshooting desktop applications and help support end users on the
Windows operating system. To get this certification you need to pass two exams and upon completion you
will gain your MCDST certification. The next certification is the Microsoft Certified Trainers who are
instructors who can deliver Microsoft training services to the public and IT professionals. To receive this
certification you need to complete the MCP or Microsoft Business Solutions Certification, demonstrate
instructional presentation skills, and complete the MCT certification. After that you need to teach 15

5
    http://www.cs.binghamton.edu/cs_ms.html
6
     http://www.cs.binghamton.edu/cs_phd.html



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students within a 12 month period and then get evaluated. If you pass the evaluation you can receive your
certification. Next is the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA). This certification allows
you to administer network and system environments. To receive the certification you also need to pass
numerous exams. The next certification is Microsoft Certified Application Developers (MCAD).
Obtaining this certification means that you use Microsoft technologies to develop and maintain department
level applications, components, Web or Desk Clients, or back end data services. This also requires a
numerous number of exams to be completed before you can obtain this certification. The last certification
that will be discussed is the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE). This certification allows
individuals to design and implement an infrastructure solution based on the Windows platform and
Microsoft Servers software. The MCSE certification can also be acquired from passing a series of tests.
Although all of these certifications have already been discussed, there are many more certifications that
Microsoft offers. One pro about this is that an individual has the opportunity to learn what he/she wants to
and can decide what certification they are willing to get. On the flip side, one negative is that although they
may be skilled in one specific area of Microsoft, they are not skilled in Microsoft as a whole. 7

          The next form of professional credentialing that will be discussed is the various certifications
within Linux. The leading company for providing Linux Certification is called SAIR. There have been
many companies that have come to SAIR to train the employees. Some of the companies include FedEx,
Reuters, HP, GlaxoSmithKline Laboratories, and hundreds of other small companies. Within the SAIR
Linux GNU Certification there are two levels that can be achieved. On the first level, the first course that is
taught is called installation and configurations. In this course it involves all installation steps that are used
with all Linux distributions. In this course they also discuss the X windows system as well as many
Graphical User Interface’s (GUI). To receive this certification you need to pass the exam at the end of the
course. The second topic in level one is called Linux System Administration. In this course you cover
Linux file systems, backup design trade-offs and procedures. Emergency procedures as well as ways to
recompile the kernel are taught. Individuals are also given the skills to monitor system resources and
perform system housekeeping. To receive this certification it is also required that you pass an exam. The
third step to achieving level one in the SAIR Linux Certification is by taking another course. This course is
called Linux Networking. In this course, you are taught the common network services and also common
Linux and GNU network related packages. Apache, ssh, telnet, ftp bind, sendmail, and other common
services that are taught in this course. Also, walkthroughs are given for different network configurations
such as insmod, ifconfig, and route. This course also has an exam that needs to be passed in order for an
individual to receive this certification. The last certification for level one of the Linux certification is the
Linux security, privacy, and ethics course. In this course, backgrounds of common and complex securities
are discussed. This course also gives you a walk through with many of these security tools. Simple forms
of privacy for the systems are also discussed. A final exam is required in order for an individual to receive
this certification.8 Once an individual has completed these four courses they are now regarded as level one
certified. One an individual is level one certified they are halfway in becoming SAIR Linux certified.

          To achieve the second level of certification for the SAIR Linux certification you must have
already completed the four level one requirements. With that being a prerequisite you can now start on the
second half of your certification. To gain the second level certification you must pass one required class
and 3 elective classes. The first course, which is required, in the second level of the certification, is called
core concepts and practices. In this course it teaches system administrators tools, techniques, and
strategies. This course lays the foundation for people who are looking to gain their SAIR Linux
Certification and have completed the first level requirements. This course is an introductory course into the
second level and covers numerous topics which include network installs, partition imaging, kernel
configuration, file systems, scripting, quotas, performance tuning, advance server management, firewalls,
and advanced security issues. To receive this certification a final exam on all of these topics are given.
Upon passing this exam you will receive this certification. The second certification in the second level is
called the Apache Webserver. This course covers the Apache web server, include apache conventions,
logging, modules, installation, authentication and permissions, customization, configuration files, Apache

7
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/default.asp
8
    http://www.linuxcertification.org/


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as a proxy server, and troubleshooting. To receive this certification you need to fulfill the requirements in
the class and pass the Apache exam. The third course that could be taken to fulfill your second level
certification requirement is called Samba resource sharing. This course covers the concepts behind the
Samba server, installation of Samba, configuration, Samba utilities, performance, and troubleshooting.
This course also requires that you pass an exam in order to receive the Samba certificate. The last
certification that is offered for the second level certification is called Sendmail mail systems. In this course
they teach you the concepts behind man different mail systems. This includes mail security, spam, Qmail,
Smail, Sendmail, disk management, administrative tools, and troubleshooting. This course also requires
that you pass an exam in order to receive this certificate. 9 Upon completion of your one required course, 3
elective courses, and the level one certification you are now considered SAIR Linux Certified. This
certification is important if an individual ends up working for a company who uses Linux. In this case they
will be well prepared for their job.

          Another company that offers certifications is Cisco. In this certification program the highest level
that be achieved is the title of Cisco Qualified Specialist. There are numerous certificates that need to be
completed before you get this title. The certificates that Cisco offers to become a Cisco Qualified
Specialist will be discussed. The introductory course is called Cisco access routing & LAN switch sales
specialist. This course makes sure that an individual has functional knowledge of Cisco routing and
switching products, in order to sell solutions. Some of the topics include campus switching, enterprise
WAN, and 800 series routers. This certification can be achieved after you pass the exam. The next course
is called Cisco access routing & LAN switching specialist. This course teaches you how to implement and
support complex LAN and WAN networks. You also get to work with IP addresses and routing in a
network containing both routers and switches. This also requires you to complete an exam to get this title.
The next certifications are the cable communications certification. This teaches you the knowledge and
skills required to support and deploy Cisco cable two-way data services. This certification includes digital
video broadcasting and radio frequency. The next certifications are the content networking certifications.
This teaches you the knowledge of Cisco content networking technology including content edge delivery,
content distribution and management and content routing. These skills support the deployment of scaleable
web based and skilled technical services. To receive these certifications you need to pass two exams. The
next certifications are called the IP telephony certifications. These certifications validate proficiency in
designing, installing, and supporting a multi-service network solution. To obtain these certifications you
need to pass five exams. The next certifications are called the network management certifications. While
achieving this you will gain knowledge of network management concepts, systems, and applications in
order to sell or provide skilled technical services from element and infrastructure management, IP
telephony and critical traffic management, and security management for enterprise and small to medium
networks. To achieve these certifications you need to pass two exams. The next certification is the Optical
certification. This certification teaches you how to design, install, operate, and maintain Cisco optical
networking systems. This certification also teaches you to understand the technologies of optical systems,
Ethernet services over optical, and element management. You need to pass one exam to gain this
certification. The next is the Public access certifications. This certification teaches you how to design and
support Cisco Broadband service manager (BBSM), Cisco long reach Ethernet, and Cisco wireless LAN.
To receive these certifications you need to pass two exams. The next certifications are the Storage
networking Certifications. This certification teaches you the knowledge of storage network technology.
To receive this certification it is required that you pass 3 exams. The next certifications are called the VPN
and Security Certifications. This teaches individuals to implement complete network security solutions.
This teaches you how to configure Virtual Private Networks. To receive these certifications you need to
pass 4 exams. The last certifications are called the Wireless LAN Certifications. This certification teaches
you the knowledge involved in designing, deploying, and maintaining end to end Cisco Wireless LAN
solution throughout or between buildings, without the limitations of wires or cables. To receive these
certifications you need to pass three exams. 10 Upon completing all of these requirements an individual has
earned their certification as a Cisco Qualified Specialist.


9
    http://www.linuxcertification.org/
10
     http://www.cisco.com/en/US/learning/le3/le2/le41/learning_certification_level_home.html



                                                                                                               7
          The next certification that will be discussed is the Sun certification. The foundation certificate for
all others is known as a Sun Certified Programmer. This certification is for programmers interested in the
fundamentals of the Java programming language. There are a number of certifications that are needed in
order to receive recognition as a Sun Certified Programmer. The first one is called a Sun certified
developer. This certification is for programmers who are already familiar with the syntax of the Java
Programming Language. This certification requires a programming exam as well as an essay exam. The
next certification is called the Sun Certified Web Component Developer. This certification is for
individuals who specialize in JavaServer Pages and servlet technologies used to present web services. This
certification requires an exam and the foundation certification. The next certification is the Su Certified
Business Component Developer. This certification is geared toward programmers who want to
encapsulation the business logic of an application. This certification requires that you pass one exam and
also the foundation certification. The next certification that is offered through Sun is called the Sun
Certified Developer for Java Web Services. This certification is for programmers who have been creating
web services applications using Java technology components. To receive this certification you must
complete an exam. The next certification offered the Sun Certified Enterprise Architect. This certification
is for architects who are responsible for building and designing Java 2 Platform which is flexible and highly
secure. To receive this certification you must pass a knowledge-based multiple choice exam, an essay
exam, and an assignment. The last certification is called the Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer.
This is for programmers who make Java applications for cell phones or “smart” devices. To get this
certification you need to pass one exam. 11 After you have completed all of the following requirements you
can be notified as Sun Certified.

          The next and last certifications that will be discussed are the IBM certifications. More specifically
the focus will be on the IBM Professional Consultant. There are numerous amounts of certifications that
need to be passed in order for an individual to gain the IBM Professional Consultant status. One
certification that is needed is called ClearCase UNIX v2003. This certification focuses on the principles
and techniques necessary to create, use, and maintain the ClearCase software on a UNIX environment.
Similar to the ClearCase UNIX v2003 there is a ClearCase Windows v2003 which focuses on ClearCase
software being created, used, and maintained on a Windows environment. This certification requires that
an individual passes an exam. Along with the UNIX and Windows ClearCase there is also a certification
for ClearCase UCM Fundamentals. In this certification an individual gets taught the principles and
techniques to create, use, and maintain ClearCase with the Rational Unified Change Management model.
An exam is required to receive this certification. Another certification that is needed in order to receive the
IBM Professional Consultant status is the Test Management & Robot v2003. For this certification you
need to manage and use reports with Rational TestMaster. An individual also needs to know how to build,
edit, execute, and debug automated test scripts with Rational Robot. This Certification requires that an
individual pass 2 exams. The last certification that will be discussed is the Object Oriented Analysis and
Design v2003 certification. To receive this certification you must understand the concepts related to
analysis and design and the development of a design model using the Unified Modeling Language. 12 These
are just some of the certifications that are required in order to become an IBM Professional Consultant.
These certifications are necessary in order for IBM to sell their consulting services to another working
project or company.

         The future of professional credentialing will be forever changing. There are always new concepts
and languages being implemented, therefore new certifications need to be created in order to assure that
their consultants are well educated about these topics. As far as education goes, basic knowledge of these
languages and concepts have to be taught to computer science students so that they can be ready to apply
them in the professional realm. In particular SAIR Linux is planning on creating more certifications so that
companies can have more of a selection when looking for employees or consultants. 13 Also, in terms of the

11
     http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_progj2se.html
12
     http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/certs/rl/rl_index.shtml

13
     http://www.linuxcertification.org/mlce.htm


                                                                                                              8
future, there are certifications and concepts which are no longer being used because they are outdated.
Whenever new languages or standards get created there is either a new certification that gets create,
deleted, or updated so it can be compatible with the new standard or language.

         The past, present, and future of professional credentialing is an interesting topic. Education. as
well as certifications prepare you for the business world and diversify you as an individual. Getting a
higher education as well as various numbers of certifications are great because it adds value to your salary,
gives you a chance to take on more responsibility within a company, and builds your knowledge in the field
of computer science. Education is important for building you up as a knowledgeable computer science
individual but the certifications keep you updated on what is offered and updated throughout the computer
science world. There will always be changes in the world of professional credentialing, and keeping
educated will keep someone up to date on these changes.




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Bibliography

    1.   http://www.highereducation.org/reports/affordability_pa/affordability_pa4.shtml
    2.   http://www.watson.binghamton.edu/level2/ugrad.html#cs
    3.   http://www.monster.com
    4.   http://www.linuxcertification.org/
    5.   http://www.cisco.com/en/US/learning/le3/le2/le41/learning_certification_level_home.html
    6.   http://www-1.ibm.com/certify/certs/rl/rl_index.shtml
    7.   http://www.linuxcertification.org/mlce.htm
    8.   http://www.cs.binghamton.edu/cs_ms.html
    9.   http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/default.asp
    10. http://suned.sun.com/US/certification/java/java_progj2se.html




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Biography
        Hasani Hampden is originally from Freeport, New York. He attended Freeport High School and
graduated with honors. Hasani is on track to receive his Bachelor of Science from the State University of
New York at Binghamton. He is on track to receive his Bachelor of Science in computer Science in May
2005. After his undergraduate work he plans to attend Binghamton University to receive his MBA in
Management Information Systems.




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