Have you ever thought, “Man, I’d really love to get certified, but it’s just such a pain! Why do I need a piece of paper to prove that I know how to do my job?” Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone.
I write tests for a living, so I may be a bit biased. I could go on and on about the importance of certification (and you don’t have to just take my word for it). The value of having demonstrable proof of your skills is immeasurable. Whether you’re trying to get your foot in the door for a competitive interview, or shooting for that big promotion at your current job, a certification can set you apart. It’s a fantastic opportunity not just for customers, but for partners, employees, and prospects as well.
But if people aren’t taking tests because they feel like it’s too much of a hassle, then these benefits aren’t going to matter. As IT education providers, how can we make it easier for learners to get certified?
For a lot of learners, consuming the content and taking the courses is the simple part. The biggest challenge is finding the time to take the test. NetApp University partners with Pearson VUE to provide proctoring services at nearly 6,000 test centers around the world. But sometimes it’s just not convenient: maybe you’ve got small kids to wrangle, or you live in a location that’s far away from the nearest test center. We understand that this is a pain in the neck for many people, so we’ve come up with a solution.
This past April, NetAppU began offering online test proctoring for its certification exams. You’ll be able to test at home, at the office, anywhere you want. You could probably do it on a deserted island, but your wifi connection would likely suffer. All you need is a computer with a camera and a good internet connection. When you take your exam, you’ll have a representative from Pearson VUE watching you (yes, just like Big Brother). You hold up your ID to confirm your identity, and away you go. They’ll be available to answer technical questions in case you have a problem. They’re also there to make sure that you’re not doing anything that would invalidate the test, like looking at your notes, having someone feeding you answers from under your desk, you get the picture. The best part is that online proctoring is offered at no additional cost. NetAppU gives you the freedom to take the test at home or at a Pearson VUE center, whichever works best for you.
We’re hoping that by providing online proctoring as an option, more people will be able to take exams and earn certifications. Other companies like Microsoft and Citrix have been offering this service for a while now and have seen great results. By using technology to deliver innovative learning experiences for our users, we’re helping more IT professionals expand their knowledge and demonstrate their value in the industry.
Of course, you don’t have to take NetApp certifications on your own time. NetApp has been offering free certification exams at its annual Insight conference for years. So if you’re at Insight and you’re looking for a chance to knock out a couple of tests, our on-site testing center is the ticket. And if you don’t pass the first time, you can come back and re-take it for free! Pro tip: make sure you come early, we’ve had sell-out attendances for the past several years.